Ford Focuses on the Details of Life with an Electric Vehicle

By Ford Social Member

Electric Vehicles will bring about new ways of refueling. Instead of gassing up, customers will plug in, and Ford is working with its supplier partner, Yazaki, to make this a natural and comfortable experience.

The two companies used internal ergonomic studies to design the convenience cord, drawing inspiration from hockey sticks, curling irons and tennis racket handles. While most owners are expected to recharge the zero-emissions, gas-free Focus Electric at home with an optional wall-mounted 240V charging station, they also will have the ability to recharge at remote locations with a standard 120V convenience cord. Both types of connectors will use an industry-standard five-point plug fitted with an ergonomic Ford-branded handle specially designed for comfort and durable daily use. Owners of Focus Electric will recharge the car’s onboard lithium-ion battery pack by plugging the convenience plug or charge station plug into the vehicle’s charge port.

The Ford Focus Electric, which debuts in late 2011, will bring enhanced recharging flexibility with a 120V convenience cord to allow users to recharge the all-electric vehicle at remote locations; the convenience cord will serve as a backup to an optional 240V home charging station. Focus Electric is one of five new electric vehicles Ford will deliver over the next three years in North America and Europe; it will be built at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant.


When plugged in, the vehicle’s onboard charger converts the AC power from the electric grid to DC power to charge the liquid-cooled battery pack. A full recharge is expected to take six to eight hours with a 240V charge station or more than 12 hours with a 120V convenience cord set. When fully charged, Focus Electric is expected to deliver up to 100 miles of gas-free driving – more than enough for most U.S. commuters, who average 40 miles per day.

Like most household electrical plugs, Focus Electric’s cord set connector has three pins at the end that plug into a standard outlet. But the similarities stop there. The end that connects with the car has five pins, including one that communicates with the vehicle about the type of electrical current (120V or 240V) it is requesting and another pin that deactivates the current when the user disconnects the plug from the charge port.

Focus Electric’s convenience cord will be 25 feet long, making it long enough to reach the nearest outlet, eliminating the need for an extension cord. When not in use, the user can spool the cord around a special oval-shaped holder that also accommodates the cord’s control box. The spooled cord will have a designated spot in the vehicle’s trunk.

Between plugging in and unplugging at home, work or other places, Focus Electric owners are likely to recharge their vehicles two to four times each day (nearly 1,500 times a year) compared to once a week for gassing up (52 times a year). With a Focus Electric owner in contact with the connector so many times, Ford conducted an ergonomic study to help determine plug handle design, as well as charge port height and insertion angle. Study participants – who ranged from petite adult females to larger adult males, ages 21 to 61 – tested a variety of plug handle prototypes.

In seeking a blend of tactile toughness, high-tech polish and ergonomic comfort, the team benchmarked Craftsman® tools and considered the attributes of such disparate products as Apple® mobile electronics and OXO Good Grips® kitchen utensils.

The plug handle uses a matte-finished blue rubber that allows for a comfortable, non-slip grip and the plug head is shielded with a glossy white hard plastic to protect the electronics. The Ford Blue Oval trademark helps make the device immediately recognizable.

Ford supplier partner Yazaki conducted extensive and durability tests on Focus Electric’s cord set connector, including an insertion/extraction study of 10,000 cycles to assess the durability of the interaction between the handle and plug. For every thousand insertions, testers dunked the plug into a sandy salt water solution to add grit to the connectors and they repeatedly dropped the handle and rolled over it with a car tire to test its durability. Testers also subjected the cord set connector to ambient extreme temperature increases.
Daniil Shevchuk 12/28/2010
People, you better start watching wall street journal and look at the barrel prices. All I can say is that it does not look good no matter how you look at it. If Ford provides me with a Focus with 200 mile range on a single charge, I'll be the first one in line along with many people that I know.
People, watch the gas prices go above $5 a gallon by the the end of 2011. I guess my gas guzzler Mercedes won't be driven daily.
* I need to know the battery life and how much it will last because I guarantee you that I will run that poor battery dry in couple of months and not only me, but all the other Californians.
Julian 12/27/2010
Not sure what part of the country you live in, but coupling an electric car with photovoltaic solar panels on your house could be the answer. While the technology in both are still on the pricey side (although there are considerable tax incentives for both), think of the possibilities. Generate your own electricity to zero out your house electric bill and charge your car at the same time. $0 electric bill, $0 gas bill for your car, 0 emissions generated either by driving or charging. I haven\\'t done all the math, but with all the savings (mine is $230 electric bill, $400+ gas per month) it could be cost effective to convert. Like others I would like to see Ford manufacture a good looking EV, I'm happy they are taking the initiative to start down that path.
fastback570 12/16/2010
Love ya Ford but Tesla's Model S is what people want, good fresh looks and real range..

I love my ZX3 but how is this EV 10 years better than the GM EV1????
Brad 12/15/2010
all electric is great but who makes the power to charge them ? dosent that contribute to the problem as well ?
Frank 12/14/2010
There should be some sort of Battery change out stations.empty Batteries out and replaced with fully charged Batteries in 15 min.
santafedave 12/10/2010
Dude you must work for a refinery or oil company.
Scotty 11/22/2010
What about the power it takes to run the car? Do people think electric means green? If you plugged in today would you be a green car or a coal burning fire car? It is still bad for the environment if you are using coal. Coal is not the answer. I know it sounds awesome but if you are not using Hydro, Wind or Solar then what is the point?? Need to have Solar to charge the Car.
Need to have Wind Charge as you are driving! I am not a engineer but this sounds like common sense! Plugging in should be the last option?
Barry 11/18/2010
I own a Honda CIVIC GX with a home PHILL unit in my garage. My home gas bill is around $70 per month for the whole house/car and I drive about 60 miles a day. I'm afraid once the PHILL unit dies, and is out of warranty, it won't be worth keeping the Honda CIVIC GX because it will be too costly to replace the PHILL unit. The alternative would be to buy something like the Fiesta electric plug-in. But how much will my monthly electric bill increase? Will it be worth it the extra $$$?
Jay 11/17/2010
The batteries will not go into a landfill. They will have to be recycled just like the batteries that go in your car now are.
nick 11/17/2010
good for you to make an electric car, know all you need to do is get it in the market, the volt just came out and sold out in west michigan, ur new focus will do the same if you give it a good price!
RWF 11/15/2010
Electric vehicles are what is needed to help the environment and free us from foreign oil. I would like to see alternative ways to charge the batteries, a separate power supply for onboard systems, smart car systems like in the new Edge and blue tooth, wifi capabilities and online access to controls. Many employer and public parking lots have lighting, it should be fairly easy to install charging access on light poles. A tax incentive for installing charging stations or pay per charging hour would motivate this effort. Perhaps a natural gas powered generator and/or solar recharge options. I guess one could put a small generator in the trunk to use for charging while away from the home charging station. We must do it to perfect it. Just MHO.
Richard Yeager-Stiver 11/15/2010
Ranch, it is okay if you don't want one. That means one less person I have to wait behind in the long line of reservations. (LEAF is sold out until some questionable time in the future). I hope Ford takes orders online like Nissan is doing, instead of creating the mess GM has going with their confusing Dealer orders.
MEG 11/09/2010
Just did a test drive of the Nissan Leaf - what a trip! It goes faster than I expected with ease. When will Ford be offering its test drive? I want to compare the experience! I am happy to rent a car for the next cross country trip I take - or one that is more than 100 miles. Daily commuting is what I do most, so an all electric vehicle makes a LOT of sense. Save some CO2 emissions - you can't stop the amount that comes from the electric plant when you recharge your battery, but you can stop what comes out of your tail pipe - especially if you don't have one! :-)
Richard Yeager-Stiver 11/07/2010
I have driven 2 Ford cars in my lifetime, the rest were GM. I only purchased a Prius because no one else offered a car that could get 48mpg (I average 55mpg). I wanted the GM Volt, but after the fictional tax break I would still have to pay $47,236USD. I was going to purchase the Leaf when a good friend sent me an email about the Focus Electric - I would rather buy American! $33k may seem like a lot, but I'll save ~$1100 a year on gas and oil changes, in 4.5 years I'll break even (if top end fully loaded Focus Titanium ICE costs $28k, and gas prices stay at $2.97).
mark raymaker 11/07/2010
Is this plug J1772 compliant?
Tony 11/06/2010
It will keep you warm with an electric heater. This is where the "up to 100 miles" comes into play. Everything the car does besides driving; heat, AC, wipers, headlights, defroster, radio, etc. takes miles away. I am not an engineer, but I'm going to guess that for the electrics the biggest challange will be having all the other things use as little electricty as possible so the car has the range for a persons commute.
Tony 11/06/2010
I can see the typical buyer as someone that the electric car is not the only car. The wife drives the family size car, we have 4x4 truck as a third vehicle and I drive an economy to work every day. The electric would be perfect for me as a work car. If we are going somewhere too far for the electric, take one of the other vehicles. A little advice to the car makers, make it universal. Nice story on how Ford put much thought into designing the plug, but if the car plugs, home chargers, etc. don't work on all cars, all makes, etc. It will flop. Nobody want to play the VHS / Beta or the Blueray / HD DVD game with something that costs as much as a car.
Horst 11/05/2010
Please get your facts straight before making claims.
even though Tesla is an incredible company and I can hardly wait for the model S to come out, it costs 50k.
And no there is no plan for a sub 20K model anytime soon. The next model is the Model X (SUV)
don't expect a sub 20k before 2015.
Jason G 11/05/2010
Can you really compare a Tesla and a Ford? Two totally different markets. I do have my money on Tesla as they keep getting more and more interest and funding from major auto + tech companies, but you've got to hand it to Ford for starting the transition to electric now. And especially with a hugely popular vehicle like the Focus. Let's encourage change... not squash competition that will drive progress.
Mary Rene 11/04/2010
As a long time Ford Owner, I am excited to see the Focus Electric; why not include a solar roof like the Prius? My husband was threatening to trade-in my Mariner this morning on a Hybrid. I'll wait until next year for the electric car. If my husband can't wait, I'll just have to get a Leaf.
Rita A. King 11/04/2010
About time AMERICA has some options other than gas vehicles for transportation needs.
Ben 11/03/2010
The point of the system is not to dive across the country but to drive to work and back. This simple step gives off quite a bit of CO2, most of which is due to idle time in traffic and stop/start at lights. The electric car could recover lost energy from stop/start cycles at lights and would not be using energy for idling. This makes it an ideal solution for commuting and short distance errands (within 20 miles). For long trips a plug in hybrid is a much more viable alternative, although you may want to make sure your gas engine doesn't seize from disuse. as for who could fix the motors, if one goes out after about 2,000,000 miles, take it off and put in a new one. Training will happen at ford dealerships, and i'm sure the tech guy in your family will know how to fix it. One motor at each wheel is an even more efficient alternative but i don't see anyone implementing it due to budget constraints and consumer wariness.
808Johnny 10/29/2010
What about security? Can someone come into my buildings parking and steal the plug at night when it's charging?
Are Electric Cars really green, when you consider which land fill we are going to put all of these gazillion batteries, when they need to be replaced?
In your back yard or mine?
MustangScott 10/29/2010
Wow, a crazy amount of negative replies. I am a current V6 Mustang owner with a 2011 5.0 GT on order yet find cutting edge technology very exciting and will consider it once the volume/price ratio has stabilized and once the technology finds its way into some more fun (read sports car or sporty coupe) cars. Ford please don't forget about those of us who don't want a 4-door sedan or a school bus (SUV)! Thanks!
scott 10/28/2010
Great car, great idea exactly what we need, more choices. I applaud Ford's effort for pushing the electric vehicle into the market. I would seriously consider purchasing one if the price will be comparable to the internal combustion model. I do not understand how removing the engine, transmission, fuel system, exhaust sytem and associated electronics and replacing it with an electic motor and battery seems to cause such a giant leap in price.
Leah 10/27/2010
This electric car DOES NOT COMPARE to the far superior electric that Tesla Motors is coming out with in late 2011. Ford better step up to compete with the acceleration, charge time, battery life/mileage, luxury, and overall look of the Model S. Their current Roadster model is quite pricey, but the Model S is extremely affordable for a luxury car at under $30,000. Plus, they plan on coming out with EXTREMELY affordable models after 2012. So, good luck, Ford.
Anyone even slightly interested in the Ford vehicle should definitely check out Tesla Motors. They're mind blowing.
David F 10/27/2010
I live in TX. What about air conditioning?
Bennie 10/27/2010
how can I find out how to purchase a Focus electric or a Transit Connect electric? What are the specifications for a 220V charger if I wanted to do the pre-wiring for a charging station in my garage?
Luis 10/27/2010
If you been around long enough you probably own a tiny long lasting cell phone. Just in the past twenty years look at how far they have come, instead of bad mouthing a product with such high expectations use your imagination. The people who will benefit the most right away with this technology will be the worker bees in the city who work in the office most of the day and only require a vehicle to last atleast seventy miles to work and can plug their vehicle for a good period of time. If you plan on driving long distances keep your gas vehicle for a few years until they have minituarized and improved charge time and distance on this vehicles. Like my self I drive at most ten miles to my work place stay in the office most of the day then drive back home another ten miles with the ocassional drive to the store and get some milk on my way home. So to all you nay sayer, "hurry up, shut up, and wait".
Jerry 10/26/2010
Looking at a Fusion Hybrid - one thing that would prevent me from driving one in comfort is the headrest position/angle. Changing seat angle/position didnt' help. Looked at turning it around - that didn't work. Is there a substitution that can be made, or some work-around
robert 10/26/2010
Well i see everybodys concerns about this new electric car. But i dont know how old any of you are but this isnt a new concept. All of the major american companies once had electric vehicles and the owners loved them but they were only leased for a year then "big oil" bribed them to crush them all. As far as the whole roll the cord up i can almost bet that those will end up on some kind of reel much like air hoses and drop lights are in shops. Also i know that gas by end of 2011 will be in the $6 range due to the wars and greed. Best thing to do if you dont want an eletric car is buy a bike because unless you make over 80k a year and already own your house and car then you wont be able to afford the luxury of a car. On long drives it isnt the right car but thats where hydrogen cars come in to play and guess what you can run those off H2O (water) still an electric car but it burns hydrogen and you can convert most of todays cars to burn hydrogen all it takes is the right equipment i made a 89 jeep get 65mpg just by adding a hydrogen cell into it but as far as the mechanics are concerned they are already being trained in trade schools for the switch.
playt 10/26/2010
The article says a 5-prong industry standard,, sounds like it means the same for all manufacturers.
Thanks to Ford Motor Company for looking out for the best interest of the American consumer all while turning their company around!
Torrey 10/25/2010
Will the plugs for all electric vehicles be similar (I'm talking all manufacturers)? Or will each car company have their own plug made specifically for their cars? I'm asking this because I'm assuming that public charging stations wont be happy if they have to provide a variety of plugs for each brand.
dale 10/24/2010
still didn't hear how much it costs to recharge and how long a battery will last. how much is a replacement battery? will there be a resale value to this car?
mark marion 10/23/2010
hey Ford! How about a gas hybrid focus or explorer??? Hmmm,deisel hybrid explorer? All electric explorer? Don't you guys get it?

Mark, a focus 2003 and explorer 2000 owner.
I'm just saying it isn't rocket science! Give us consumers what we're looking for. Don't be like Obama Motors (Oh I mean G.M.)
David 10/21/2010
I have always driven a Ford, but have a Telsa Model S on reserve. I hope Ford executes on delivering this car...maybe I will keep driving a Ford for half the price instead of waiting until 2012.
Alicia 10/20/2010
I agree completely! Why hasn't anyone added a solar panel to the roof of the electric cars? I will take feature/function over looks. I would be a candidate for buying an electric car but the recharge time is a bit long. You can't really be spontaneous, on the go with such wait times. I dislike going to a gas station and while going to an electric station will not be as big a hit in the pocket, why can't we reduce that trip almost completely?
Jon Mohn 10/20/2010
When can I buy a Ford electric car??
J Daniels 10/20/2010
Mr. Ford is a unsung hero. Not only is Ford's engineers been testing every aspect of this electric car, but he has decided to bring the manufacturing to the devistated Motor City. People around the world value these efforts, as do I. These efforts are far reaching. Ford has literally took the bull by the horns. Some see it, and some don't, that's OK with me, 'cause here it is-- part of the urban solution like Denis pointed out. Drive One-- when it becomes available, then judge for yourself. My 'bet' is you will all be impressed. I think it might even come with a on-board heater and windshield wipers too! I might buy one for 50 weeks of the year, the other two weeks (vacation) I might get me a rental.
Jim 10/20/2010
I love my Fusion Hybrid, but am concerned that pure electric vehicles will not work here in Minnesota. How is the battery going to last at -30? How is it going to keep me warm?
Adogg 10/19/2010
I would love to have this car! Have had nothing but Ford products since I was 17. I dabled in other stuff once or twice for a cheap commuter, but they never lasted too long. Problem is 100 mile range is no good for me. My daily round trip is 80 miles and thats only if I am not sent on a call. I never know exactly how far I may go in a day. That what makes the Volt such a head turner. If Ford can build an extended range Focus, that would be the cats meow.
NotAddictedToOil 10/18/2010
Hey Ranch, SPEAK FOR YOURSELF! You stated WE but I would buy an Electric and in the past I have even converted a gas sucker to Electric. You can continue to support OPEC and when fuel is over $8/gallon like it is in Europe your gas hog will be sitting in the driveway worth nothing. Wake up and stop supporting terrorist by buying OPEC oil.
Imagine if our country didn't buy OPEC Oil?
Titus 10/17/2010
I can wait for the Electric Car. It's an incredible innovation. All the anticipated flaws would be addressed with time. Bravo, Ford!
mike m 10/17/2010
There are obviously some drawbacks to having an electric car but this gives average
Americans the chance to help free us from our dependence on foreign oil and fight
Nicholas 10/17/2010
It would be nice to have these in the USA.
Hal Halvorson 10/16/2010
The Electric Focus should be a great thing. It will fit my driving requirements exactly. Reliability should be exceptional. There is no transmision or complex engine to maintain. Super.
Jacek 10/16/2010
Nice electric fuel, if good know if drive in long road without parking of power electric reload, possible have itself sun battery or small smart windmill electric on reload energy.
Denis_Russia 10/15/2010
I think, that producing of electric cars is beginning of our future. It`s great, that our children,who living in big megapolices like Moscow (with 10-20 millions people in it) will have better health. Yes, we know, that electric recharge stations is require building new atomic power stations, but this objects should be located far away from cities (for example, in deserts). Finally, I vote for Electric cars. Thanks to Ford for this idea.
Patrick 10/15/2010
I think a Focus BEV is awesome! Really enjoyed the Green Car Challenge on the now defunct "Jay Leno Show" last year with that gorgerous orange European Focus hatchback. I'd definitely be interested in buying an electric Focus if it had a much longer range in the 300-350 mile range on a single charge. I'm sure it will get to that point in the near future. For now, I'm buying the all new, next-generation 2012 Focus hatchback w/Powershift.
edvard 10/15/2010
Nobody said you had to buy one. Its your choice. Ford is a company with its best interest in making money so it is free to "waste money" if it wants. I'm sure there were people out there who were upset when cars came to replace horses. The same will be true with electric cars replacing gas cars.
Ranch 10/14/2010
We dont want no electric car, I will never buy one.
Ford Motor Company better not wastes any money on that.
Matt 10/14/2010
It is a nice looking concept and is nice too look at like the Volt.
Not hideous like the Prius, Leaf or Insight
I'm not surprised that Ford has done their homework, they always do ...
I thinks its cool how ford is going for their own style, instead of being copy cats like everyone else.
example: Ford Edge-(cherokee and venza)
Ford Fusion (only unique car in its class)
Ford Fiesta (also only unique car in its class)
keep up the inovation cant wait for the Focus or Fiesta Ecoboost
Eric 10/13/2010
With the Nissan Leaf EV starting out at around $33k and the Chevy Volt expected to be at $41k (most recent number I saw), $30k seems to be right on par with those. And the cost will go down over time. That seems to be the case with most new technologies.
I'm sure that there will be a lot of mechanics who won't know what they're doing at first, but if this is the direction that the manufacturers are taking us, then the mechanics will have to learn how to work on the new tech or close up shop. It's not exactly the first time that they've had to adapt.

I don't know a whole lot of people who travel across country, but of course this would not be the ideal car for that. However, I don't think those are the kinds of people this car was made for. It sounds like it's designed for people who only drive, on average, 40 miles per day, which this car is more than capable of handling. You can plug it in when you get home for the afternoon, evening, night, or what-have-you, and unplug it in the morning. And as remote charging stations begin to become more available, it will most likely get to the point where you can plug in your vehicle while you're at work. I have a cousin in North Dakota who already does that in the winter to keep his engine block warm. I would guess that as the technology improves, we'll see decreased charging times and an increase in distance traveled per charge.

I will not be buying one of these anytime soon due to the fact that I'm the typical broke college student. However, one complaint that I have would be the fact that I have to roll the cord up after charging it at home. I would much rather be able to have a retractable cord that winds itself back up into the car. To me, that's a huge oversight on Ford's part considering how much time and money they spent to develop this cord. Some may call it laziness, but I consider it a convenience factor.
Dankind 10/13/2010
I see Jared's point here to an extent. Like he said however, there has to be a start somewhere. I can see a Focus Electric being a great around town/city vehicle, or for businesses who need company vehicles that drive a few miles a day. Then the vehicles could be recharged overnight and ready for the next day.

The technology is obviously not here yet for a 500 plus mile trip without a charge, but given a few years, it will be. Look at an F-150 from 10 years ago. 260 hp out of the biggest 5.4 V8. Now the BASE F-150 V-6 will make 300 hp. Cars are improving at a tremendous rate, and so will electric vehicles.

I say bravo to Ford.
Jared 10/13/2010
The real question, is how much is this going to cost? $30,000+? For such a time-consuming product? No thanks. Also, maintenance on this thing is going to be awful because I doubt any mechanic will know what he's doing in an electric car.

Of course, there HAS to be a start somewhere. DVD players started out in the $1,000 range and now they're down to your nice Walmart price of $30. While I applaud the efforts, the amount of recharging required totally turns me off (literally) to this vehicle. Come up with a battery system that doesn't die in an hour-ish of freeway driving, and you might have a customer in me. Can you imagine driving across the US in one of those beasts? That would be a trip.