When car companies pass out hot, information-packed photos like this one, they call them teases. Frankly, I find them irritating rather than interesting. Ford also put them on Facebook, which is more of an irritation yet.
Another thing the company is doing is to bypass the typical auto-show debut for the Focus Electric. Instead, the car will debut at the CES in Las Vegas, Thursday through Sunday of this week. Car gadgetry will be a focus, and you’ll hear windy speeches about how smartphones in cars and voice-control technology will reduce distracted driving.
CEO Alan Mulally will make some “big news” on Friday, which of course is to announce the Focus EV. This entire charade will do little ultimately to sell cars, but should gain media attention for a competitor to the Nissan Leaf (both will have a 100-mile range and probably similar performance).
The car is most likely a production version of the EV concept, a third-generation Focus, if you will, which was announced a year ago. It seems to be basically the same car as the gas-powered Focus, which is going on sale “in early 2011.” So Mulally’s big news is likely to be that the EV will go into production, with a definite timeline.
The Focus EV will need all the attention it can get. The Leaf is on the street and winning some very nice reviews. The Chevy Volt has won lots of awards. Ford’s thinking seems to be that they can save gobs of money by building an EV on an already-capable platform. Also, by using a propulsion system already developed by Magna International, and a battery by LG (lithium polymer cells, liquid cooled), they will possibly have built a better (and cheaper?) mousetrap.
The Focus EV builds out on a known quantity, and Ford may use that as the basis for an effective sales pitch. They would also be smart to add an enticing lease option, as GM and Nissan have done.
From what you know, do you think the Ford Focus EV has a chance to beat Nissan’s Leaf?