Ford Focus Electric Most Fuel-Efficient Car
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certifies the 2012 Ford Focus Electric as America's most fuel-efficient five-passenger vehicle with a 110 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city rating
- Focus Electric achieves a combined rating of 105 MPGe, topping Nissan Leaf by 6 MPGe while also offering more motor power, passenger room and standard features
- Customers can make more use of this efficiency with Ford's faster charging technology that can recharge Focus Electric in about half the time of Nissan Leaf
- Ford gives customers the power of choice with 10 fuel-efficiency leaders across segments and powertrain technologies
Focus Electric also has been certified by the EPA to offer 105 MPGe combined, beating Nissan Leaf by 6 MPGe while offering more motor power and more standard features. Focus Electric's 99 MPGe highway certification bests the 92 MPGe rating for the Leaf.
The Focus line soon will be joined by the new 2013 Ford Fusion – aiming to be America's most fuel-efficient gas- and hybrid-powered midsize sedans – to help create one of the industry's most fuel-efficient car lineups. The Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is projected to become the world's most fuel-efficient midsize sedan by achieving more than 100 MPGe in electric mode.
"Ford is giving customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy regardless of what type of vehicle or powertrain technology they choose," said Eric Kuehn, chief nameplate engineer, Focus Electric. "The Focus and Fusion are great examples of how we transformed our fleet of cars, utilities and trucks with leading fuel efficiency."
The EPA-approved Focus Electric label also certifies that the car has a range of 76 miles on a single charge compared with the 73-mile range of the Leaf. The Focus Electric can be driven up to 100 miles on a single charge depending on driving habits. The average driver drives 29 miles a day, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics website.
The approved label also will say customers could save $9,700 in fuel costs over the course of five years compared with the average new vehicle. Comparative savings could go even higher if the current trend of rising gas prices continues. In California alone, the cost for a gallon of gas rose 20 cents in a seven-day period that ended last week.
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2013 Fusion 1.6-liter EcoBoost: Projected 37 mpg highway that would make it America's most fuel-efficient non-rechargeable midsize sedan
2013 Escape 1.6-liter EcoBoost: Expected to be the most fuel-efficient crossover of its kind with 33 mpg highway
2013 Taurus 2.0-liter EcoBoost: Expected to deliver best-in-class 31 mpg highway
2012 Edge 2.0-liter EcoBoost: Delivers 30 mpg highway, besting all SUVs its size or larger and even some cars such as the Honda Civic Si
2012 Explorer 2.0-liter EcoBoost: One of the most fuel-efficient seven-passenger SUVs on the market, delivering 28 mpg highway
2013 Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid: Aiming to become the world's most fuel-efficient midsize sedan with a projected 100 MPGe rating
2013 Fusion Hybrid: Expected to become the world's most fuel-efficient non-rechargeable midsize sedan with 47 mpg
2012 Fiesta: Offers up to 40 mpg highway and class-leading 33 mpg combined rating
2012 F-150: The most fuel-efficient full-size pickup, with V6 models delivering best-in-class 23 mpg highway and 17 mpg city
"We've been working for three years to make the Focus Electric America's most fuel-efficient vehicle of its kind," said Chuck Gray, Ford chief engineer of Global Core Engineering Hybrid and Electric Vehicles. "The entire group feels like a sports team that has just won a major championship. It's a good feeling to be at this point now."
"Focus Electric shares many of the same premium components and features as its gasoline-powered counterpart while delivering distinct efficiencies and a uniquely exciting driving experience," said Kuehn.
In addition to boosting quality, Ford's strategic decision to electrify vehicle platforms – instead of creating one-off vehicles – allows the company to offer customers more choices as part of its fuel-efficient product lineup.
Focus Electric features an advanced charging system that allows the car's battery to fully recharge in four hours – nearly half the time of Nissan Leaf – using available 240-volt outlets that can be installed in residential garages.
Faster charging with 240 volts also can extend range as drivers can more quickly recharge between stops – up to 20 miles per charge hour – so they can significantly improve a car's range during a busy day of driving by recharging multiple times.
For those who need to charge up while away from home, the number of charging stations continues to rise. In the last 10 months the number of charging stations in the United States has risen from 750 to 5,507, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
To cut charging costs at home, a unique value charging feature powered by Microsoft is designed to help owners in the U.S. charge their vehicles at the cheapest utility rates, which can make charging the Focus Electric less costly than charging the Nissan Leaf.
SYNC® with MyFord Touch® offers multiple ways – including voice commands – for customers to manage and control their phone, navigation, entertainment and climate functions. Plug-in hybrids and all-electric models have additional options for monitoring information like battery state of charge
MyFord Mobile enables access via smartphone or Web-based interface to perform key tasks, such as monitoring a vehicle's state of charge and current range or locating charge stations and planning routes to find them
SmartGauge® with EcoGuide provides instantaneous fuel economy so drivers can adjust driving behavior accordingly if needed
Regenerative braking captures and reuses more than 95 percent of the braking energy normally lost during the braking process
Hybrid transmission, designed by Ford engineers in-house, is capable of operating at high speeds and in a smooth, fuel-efficient manner at the same time
Charge port (for electric and plug-in vehicles), conveniently located on the driver's side and near the front of the car, activates a light ring that illuminates the port twice when plugged in. The light ring then illuminates in quadrants as the car charges. Each quadrant represents 25 percent of the maximum battery charge
Recycled fiber made from 100 percent post-consumer and post-industrial content is used in the seat fabric with the equivalent of 22 plastic, 16-ounce water bottles in each car
Ford will ramp up Focus Electric retail production in the first half of 2012 for dealership availability in California, New York and New Jersey. By the end of 2012, Focus Electric will be available in 19 markets across the U.S.
More information about Ford's electrified vehicle lineup – including press releases, technical specifications and other related material – can be found online here. Photos of the Focus Electric can be found here.
Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process
Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.
Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.
The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content.
In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.
Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.
"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president.
“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.
"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.
Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.
Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.
A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.
The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.