Ford Motor Company today began a new chapter in its vehicle manufacturing history with the start of production of the all-new Focus Electric – the first full-electric vehicle to be built by Ford in Europe – in Saarlouis, Germany.
The zero-emission Focus Electric is spearheading Ford’s line-up of electrified and highly fuel-efficient vehicles, and will be joined in Europe by the C MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) next year, followed by the all-new Mondeo Hybrid soon after.
Developed as a “One Ford” global vehicle, the Focus Electric features an advanced electric motor and lithium-ion battery powertrain that produces 143 PS and achieves a top speed of 136 km/h. Focus Electric has been manufactured in North America since December 2011 and the Saarlouis-built Focus Electric will reach European customers from August this year.
“Focus Electric marks the dawn of an exciting new age of full-electric Ford passenger vehicles in Europe, and demonstrates the success of the One Ford strategy in making this sophisticated vehicle available to our European customers,” said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “It’s a car that addresses the mobility demands and environmental concerns of today’s car buyers in the most direct way possible – combining performance and advanced technology with a zero-emission powertrain.”
The launch of European production of Focus Electric was attended by Bernhard Mattes, chairman Ford-Werke GmbH; Martin Chapman, Saarlouis plant manager, Ford of Germany; Germany’s Federal Minister for the Environment, Peter Altmaier, and Prime Minister of the Saarland, Annegret Kramp Karrenbauer.
Ford has invested €16 million to integrate Focus Electric production directly into the established Focus production line at Saarlouis, delivering the flexibility to react to market demand with increased production volumes.
“The start of Focus Electric production in Saarlouis is hugely significant for Ford in Germany, and underlines Ford’s position as a leader in automotive innovation,” said Mattes. “We are giving customers the Power of Choice so they can decide whether a fuel efficient conventional powertrain or an electrified vehicle is right for their needs.”
The all-new Focus Electric is the first full-electric vehicle to be manufactured in Germany directly from a volume production line. Each Focus Electric is equipped with a 6.6 kW fully integrated onboard charger that can deliver around 100 km driving range with 2-3 hours charging, and around 150 km driving range with 3-4 hours charging from a 32 A power supply.*
Focus Electric features a new user interface called SmartGauge which calculates and displays range based on remaining energy; the driver’s unique vehicle use, across braking and acceleration inputs; and the use of accessories such as climate control and audio systems.
The Focus Electric’s sophisticated powertrain uses regenerative braking to capture up to 95 per cent of kinetic energy normally lost during the braking process, while the innovative Brake Coach feature encourages gradual braking to help return more energy to the battery.