Ford Focus Electric News
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Ford Motor Co. announced sweeping plans this week about its work on “vehicle electrification” in the coming years. Among those plans,Ford promised to produce a pure EV sport utility vehicle, with a driving range of 300 miles, by 2020.
Volkswagen will introduce a new electric car—about the size of the Golf and able to go more than 200 miles on a single charge—by 2019. Meanwhile, according to a new report in Automotive News, Ford is planning to launch its own 200-plus-mile electric car in early 2019. Ford is expected to use “Model E” as the brand name for a family of compact cars using hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric powertrains.
When you combine monthly sales of its Fusion and C-Max plug-in hybrids—with a few units of the all-electric Focus EV thrown in—Ford should be viewed as one of the leaders in the emerging electric market. Yet, Ford’s approach is decidedly incremental, as opposed to its competitors that are trying to push the limits of battery-powered driving range.
Revisions to the 2015 Ford Focus are aimed at the entire platform, rather than the electric model. While the style of the 2015 model, including the battery-powered version, was updated with a bolder look, there weren’t any tweaks to the electric powertrain or charging system.
Ford is committed to vehicle electrification. But the company’s course for plug-in cars will be slow and steady, with an emphasis on plug-in hybrids over pure electric cars.
A few weeks after releasing a faulty update to its iPhone MyFord Mobile EV app, Ford has written to owners warning them about an upcoming temporary outage to its service, and the removal of key features. In a letter addressed to owners of its Focus Electric hatchback, Ford warned that it would temporarily suspend its MyFord Mobile service for up to eight hours tomorrow as part of a planned maintenance.
It’s no secret that Ford’s big vehicle electrification plans—essentially to offer some form of “electrified” version for each model in its lineup—center on hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains. Earlier this month, Ford gave the clearest indication yet that it considers electric cars a poor cousin to its hybrid lineup.
Some 200 Level 2 chargers will go into 50 Ford locations in North America, including factories and offices. The company is strongly committed to electrifying the fleet, but its vehicles need a higher profile.
Ford confirmed yesterday that 12 complaints filed against its all-electric Focus with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have prompted an official safety investigation. Complainants said their cars, 2012 and 2013 Ford Focus Electric, have suddenly displayed a “Stop Safely Now” message on their dashboards while being operated. As soon as the message is displayed, complainants say their cars’ on-board electronics systems “stop responding,” forcing them to pull over at the side of the road.
Plug-in electric vehicles got short shrift in a Ford webinar yesterday. The company used the event, dubbed “Electrified Vehicle Momentum,” to announce a raft of enhancements to its conventional hybrid vehicles. Plug-in electrics could one day benefit from Ford’s increased investment in hybrid batteries and powertrains, but for now, the plug appears to be a secondary concern for the company.