Ford Focus All-Electric Vehicle (2014 Model Review)

Written By: EightySix

Editor: Assen Gueorguiev

How Does the 2014 Ford Focus Stand Out From the Crowd?

                                                              2014 ford focus ev

The 2014 Ford Focus Electric has crashed the compact EV party and is trying to make an impression. It's another four-door hatchback with an electric range of about 80 miles. (76 to be exact.) The range and price ($29,170) make it comparable to a few other vehicles in the class.

The Chevrolet Spark EV 2LT sells for $27,210 and goes about 82 miles on a charge. The Nissan Leaf S has a range of 84 miles and sells for $29,010. Each vehicle has its own reasons to be loved. Let's look at how they stack up against each other.

Focus versus Spark

Although the Spark is a tad behind in horsepower (130 to 143) it blows away the Focus' 184 pound-feet of torque with a wrenching 400. The secret? The Spark's 3.87 axle ratio. (The Focus has a 7.82.) The Spark leaps off the line and jets to sixty in 7.9 seconds, according to Car and Driver's tests. The Focus and Leaf both finished at just over ten seconds.

The Spark is notably shorter (146.5 inches to 172.9) and taller (62.6 to 58.2). It's up to you if you like the stubby tall look. The Focus cuts a more graceful shape. The Focus is therefore a good chunk heavier (3640 pounds to 2989) and drives with better balance. The Focus is also five inches wider, giving passengers more shoulder and hip room front and rear.

Focus versus Leaf

Although their zero-to-sixty times are neck-in-neck, the Ford definitely brings more oomph (143 horses to 107). The Focus' extra 400 pounds could be slowing it, but it climbs hills with more confidence. The Focus Electric comes from a family of compact performance cars, including ST and Roush versions, and drives that way. It's nimble around corners with responsive steering. The Leaf, on the other hand, drives like it was built for impressive efficiency.

This is not a detriment. The Leaf was indeed built to be an electric, while the Focus is a gas car converted to electricity. This makes a difference in styling. Drive a Leaf and you'll make a green statement. Drive a Focus Electric and most will never notice you're not burning gas.

But the biggest disparity comes when you try to load each car. The Leaf has 24 cubic feet of cargo space plus another six feet with the seats folded. The Focus has only 14.5 due to the obtrusive battery pack in the trunk. The batteries of the Leaf were integrated with the frame.

In the first half of 2014, the Leaf sold over 10,000 units in the United States. The Focus sold under 800. Limited availability partly held the Ford back. The Focus is for sale in only 19 cities. Ford is expanding the market, insisting the Focus is not just a compliance car to keep California happy.

The price was recently chopped by $6000 so it could compete with the Leaf. When it was debuted in 2010, it sold for just under $40,000. Ford is responding to sluggish sales versus the Nissan with an aggressive price war.

2014 Ford Focus EV

So What Sets the Focus Apart?

It drives most like a regular car. For people not ready to dive into an electric future, this is a comfortable small step. The gas-powered Focus is well-liked. The high-performance versions are a blast to drive. Hitching this model to a torquey electric drive works.

For around $30,000 you can drive the Spark, which is smaller than most Americans like, or the Leaf, which is a bold but gentle ecological statement. You could save some money on a Mitsubishi i-MiEV or a Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, but you'd squish yourself into it. Anything else out there would $6000 or more extra.

The dashboard is a combination of a familiar analog speedometer with modern LED displays of efficiency data. The SmartGauge monitors your driving style to deliver an up-to-date range estimation. It will also coach you on using the regenerative brakes more efficiently.

MyFord Touch infotainment is just like every other contemporary Ford, giving the driver access to a broad range of entertainment and navigation features. The EcoRoutes function suggests the most efficient path and notes charging stations.

The 6.6 kilowatt on-board charger will charge the Focus fully in four hours from a 240 volt source. It will take eighteen hours from 120 volts. The Focus does not come with a quick charging option, but Ford did work with Microsoft to develop a system that automatically charges at off-peak times. If you charge mostly at home, charging smart will be cheaper than charging fast.

Do You Want One?

Climb in and see if you like it. With any car, there's no other way. Will the range fit your needs? Are you comfortable? Do you like the features or is there too much stuff?

Many green drivers are realizing the beauty in simplicity. They just want to get there cleanly. Other drivers are just not ready to give up modern levels of comfort and technology for efficient utility. The Focus delivers the electric future without compromising on the 21st century's finest touches. It may be just the right balance for you.