| 10:05 AM EST

Ford Electric Focus Markets Announced



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“There is a great deal of excitement for the Focus Electric across America and Ford wants to build on this enthusiasm by making our first all electric passenger vehicle available in as many pilot markets as possible,” said Mark Fields, President of the Americas, Ford Motor Company. While we don’t necessarily want to quibble with Fields, we must say that there is probably more enthusiasm across America for the forthcoming Focus, period, and the electric powertrain variant is something that not all that many people—outside of Drew Barrymore/Jay Leno fans, who are aware of her having—no, not that was on Letterman—accepted participation in the Green Car Challenge—are even aware of.


However, today Fields announced that the Focus Electric, which is to become available late in 2011, will be rolled out in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, Tucson, Portland (OR), Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

Let’s face it: producing battery-powered vehicles—at this point, anyway—isn’t like manufacturing them with inline fours under the hood, so there have to be some limits. (The car, incidentally, will be produced at the Michigan Assembly Plant on the same production line as the gasoline-powered versions of the car.) In addition to which, there are infrastructure issues involved (e.g., places to plug them in for recharging the 23-kWh lithium-ion batteries). Fields went on to say: “As the country continues to build up its electric vehicle infrastructure and demand for the Focus Electric grows, Ford will continue to evaluate additional markets and consider making this vehicle available in more cities across the country.”

Note that there isn’t a “If the country continues to build up its electric vehicle infrastructure.” It is happening.

An interesting aspect of this is that the cross-town rivalry between Ford and GM is alive and well. At this point the Chevy Volt is available in fewer geographical regions: California, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey and the Washington D.C. area. But then again, they’re rolling out sooner rather than later.

Still, it is encouraging to see the competition being engaged in earnest.