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.
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
How optimistic is the outlook for the UK’s turbine bid?
Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly