Battery Electric Cars: Ford's Sustainable Turnaround

Focus, Fusion, C-Max— The new Ford battery electric cars and hybrids are making a dent in the EV market and revving up to entice eco-friendly car buyers to its showroom floors. 

As one of the only U.S. car manufacturers to successfully weather “the deep recession in comparatively good health,” according to the Daily Beast.

Ford is making a seriously good electric car and generating promising sales records with its hybrid vehicles. 

Ford Focus Electric Car

Photo By Kevin Tietz

The result may, indeed, be the car-maker’s transformation into a sustainable company of tomorrow.

Ford’s First Battery Electric Cars

With competitors like Toyota pioneering battery electric cars with its popular Prius models, Ford, as many would say, took its time to move into the alternative energy field. 

Perhaps this isn’t surprising when the company pioneered the traditional cars of yesteryear and built its fortunes on models dependent on fossil fuels.

Ford’s First Battery Electric Cars

With competitors like Toyota pioneering battery electric cars with its popular Prius models, Ford, as many would say, took its time to move into the alternative energy field. 

Perhaps this isn’t surprising when the company pioneered the traditional cars of yesteryear and built its fortunes on models dependent on fossil fuels.

By 2011, however, the car giant finally released its Ford electric car—the Ford Focus, a vehicle that could be “fully charged in three to four hours using a 240-volt outlet,” according to the Huffington Post.

 

According to the company’s statements back in 2011, they designed their battery electric cars to accommodate most people’s daily driving habits.  The company’s chief executive stated that he believed many Americans were ready and looking forward to owning cars that produced zero emissions.  Consequently, the company began to sell its first all-electric vehicle in May of 2012 in the U.S.

Ford Focus Overview

The electric Ford Focus delivers a range of seventy-six miles (on a single charge) with its 23 kWh lithium-ion battery.  The battery features advanced technology that employs a liquid cooling and heating thermal management platform that significantly advances the battery’s life. 

 

Because the vehicle is “all-electric,” there is no gasoline engine and, therefore, no gasoline to harm the environment.  The battery takes about four hours to completely charge, which according to Ford’s website, is half the amount of time it takes to charge some its closest competitors like the Nissan Leaf.

 

Ford states on its website that “The all-electric motor is designed to help reduce energy loss and heat generation while reducing your carbon footprint”.

Ford Focus Reception

As of recently, Ford battery electric cars have been generating considerable praise and excellent reviews. 

The Daily Beast reported that the company’s electric focus and hybrid vehicles have helped Ford engineer a “remarkable turnaround” and that its vehicles are making “conquests”  that are attracting Prius car owners to switch to Ford electric and hybrid vehicles.

 

While Ford’s hybrid and Ford electric car numbers are small in terms of the market, they are growing and for a company that only recently got into the electric car market, the numbers are encouraging. 

 

According to U.S. News Rankings & Reviews, “Auto reviewers are impressed with the Focus Electric’s off-the-line acceleration”.

 

Additionally, the report asserts that many reviewers are quite pleased with the vehicle’s range. 

 

According to Car and Driver, “Like most alternative-powertrain cars, this EV has a number of information displays that goad drivers into extracting the most mileage from the battery’s electrons”.

 

Many reviews have also been quick to point out that the electric Ford Focus is quite similar to the standard, gasoline-reliant Focus in most respects from handling to interior/exterior. 

 

However, similarities aside, the electric Focus is as green as Ford gets and the car’s success is likely to fuel other forays into the eco-friendly world of electric vehicles for the company.

Ford’s Greener Tomorrow

Why is Ford finally embracing a greener platform?  To put it simply, it believes its customers are ready for the transition.

 

According to the company’s website, “Statistics show that one in four adults in the U.S. are living more sustainable lifestyles and are interested in companies that are more socially responsible and buying products that are healthier for people and the planet”

 

Staying in step with America’s shift toward a sustainable future has become vital for Ford. 

 

To that end, the company states that its “holistic and sky’s-the-limit approach to using more sustainable materials means that researchers are hard at work developing new implementations of other renewable materials to help reduce resource burdens, waste and emissions as well as help reduce the weight of vehicles and improve their fuel economy.”

 

Consequently, not only will consumers witness Ford battery electric cars like the Focus, but also elements like soy-filled seat cushions and parts made from biodegradable plastics.  This is a green revolution for a carmaker like Ford, but it’s also likely to herald a major shift in the American car manufacturing industry as a whole.

The Realization of a Dream?

Henry Ford wanted to make cars as everyone knows.  Few people know, however, that he wanted to make Ford electric cars.  His wife, after all, didn’t want to ride in the gasoline automobiles she referred to as “explosion cars”, according to Detroit Electric. 

 

According to the organization’s post, “Henry Ford was reportedly quoted saying that he would die a failure if he did not die broke and planned on spending his fortune to make the battery electric cars the mainstay of American transportation.” 

 

Though his car industry needed a century to come around to an electric future, many would say “better late than never!”

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