The new 2012 Ford Focus Electric has jumped to the head of the five-passenger class in EPA fuel economy, netting stellar 110 MPGe City/99 MPGe Highway ratings and a category-topping 105 MPGe Combined mark. All three numbers exceed the respective stats earned by the current king of this EV hill, the Nissan LEAF, which carries EPA miles-per-gallon-equivalent numbers of 106/92/99. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the new Focus Electric has a 76-mile per-charge range, which also puts it three up on the LEAF. Ford claims the car can be driven up to 100 miles on a single charge "depending on driving habits."
Based on the same global C-segment platform used by its gasoline-powered sibling, the Ford Focus Electric relies on a 123-horsepower motor that develops 181 lb-ft of torque for motivation that gets sent to the front wheels. Paired with a rear-mounted, liquid-cooled 23kWh lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack, it allows the Focus Electric to reach a top speed of 84 mph. The battery pack can be fully recharged in just four hours using a dedicated 240V line, about half of the time needed by the Nissan LEAF.
Currently seeing only very limited duty in dedicated fleets, Ford plans to launch the Focus Electric to the retail market during the first half of this year with initial sales slated for select areas of California, New York and New Jersey. By the end of 2012, the Focus Electric will be available in a total of 19 markets across the U.S.