What is the Ford Focus Electric?
Much like its main rival, the Nissan LEAF, the 2013 Ford Focus Electric is a five-door hatchback with front-wheel drive and seating for five. However, instead of offering a unique, futuristic interior layout, it proves eerily similar to every other member of the Focus family.
2013 Ford Focus Electric Price and Specs
Under the hood of the 2013 Ford Focus Electric is a permanent-magnet electric motor that generates a very reasonable 143 horsepower. It draws energy from a 23 kWh lithium-ion battery (located in the trunk) that can be charged through any 120V household outlet. Using this power source, a full charge may take around 20 hours.
Unlike the gasoline-powered variant, the 2013 Ford Focus Electric produces a healthy 184 lb-ft of torque right off the bat. When accelerating from an intersection, I left many Civic, Mazda3, and Elantra owners dumbfounded. A single-speed transmission is also part of the mix.
The MSRP for the 2013 Ford Focus Electric is $39,342. Some Canadian provinces (including Quebec) offer a credit of $8,000 to electric-car buyers and leasers, so that brings the price down to $31,342.
Based on a 20,000km yearly average, you would start to receive a return on your investment ($8,109) in just under five years if you opt for a 2013 Ford Focus Electric instead of a Focus Titanium.
Driving the 2013 Ford Focus Electric
There's always a bit of a shock factor when driving an electric vehicle, especially for the first time. I mean, the motor is silent and all you hear is the tire noise. As far as the 2013 Ford Focus Electric is concerned, the body is so rigid that you never hear a peep out of it. Meanwhile, the suspension remains neutral in corners and does a great job of limiting body roll.
Overall, the ride is super comfortable. Whether you go to work, run errands or just drive around town, the 2013 Ford Focus Electric is sure to please.
Of course, it's not perfect. For starters, the turning radius is too large for such a small car. Also, when my 4’11” wife sat behind the wheel, she didn't even have long enough arms to adjust her seat. Ford designers should take a page from VW's book, which puts the lever on the right and not under the seat.
Inside and Out of the 2013 Ford Focus Electric
Like its three siblings, the 2013 Ford Focus Electric looks very dapper. The interior sits five and has all the amenities you want including Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, a Sony audio system, and a sharp-looking touchscreen. What's more, after testing three other vehicles from the Blue Oval, I must say the once-complex SYNC technology has now grown on me.
Comparing the 2013 Ford Focus Electric
The 2013 Ford Focus Electric faces only two serious threats: There's the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which is about $7,000 cheaper, but far less sophisticated and compelling; and then there's the Nissan LEAF, which uses a more modern approach but is not quite as roomy and attractive as the Focus. By the way, another American electric car will go on sale for 2014, namely the Chevrolet Spark EV (range of 132 kilometres).