A brand new Ford Focus Electric has been confirmed as part of a $4.5 billion (around £2.9bn) investment in electrification from Ford.
The new Focus Electric will enter production late next year and is expected to go on sale in the UK late in 2016. It will feature a new DC fast-charging function, which Ford says is capable of delvering an 80% charge in 30 minutes, providing 100 miles of range. The current US-market Focus Electric can manage the same charge in around 2.5 hours.
Ford says the Focus Electric will come with a configurable digital instrument cluster, allowing the driver to "see real-time electric vehicle power usage to help maximise vehicle efficiency", as well as a 'braking coach' function to help drivers apply smooth braking. The Blue Oval also promises the new car will have a "fun-to-drive character, with agile steering and handling engineered into the vehicle to give drivers a more connected feel to the road".
The current Focus Electric features a 143bhp electric motor which allows it to reach 62mph in 11.7sec. It has a top speed of 85mph.
The Focus Electric's existence was confirmed as part of a new EV push from the company, which will see it add 13 new electric vehicles to its range by 2020 as well as providing electrified versions of 40% of its models. Ford says this is its largest-ever electric vehicle investment over a five-year period. The company says its investment in electric vehicle technology "addresses global trends calling for cleaner, more efficient vehicles."
Ford chief technical officer Raj Nair said: "The challenge going forward isn’t who provides the most technology in a vehicle but who best organises that technology in a way that most excites and delights people."
As part of its EV investment, Ford says it is also changing the way it handles market research, focusing more on user experiences and customer interactions as opposed to pure products. Ford is also expanding its battery research in Europe and in China, with its teams able to test new systems inside a virtual environment.