The 2012 Ford Focus Electric is the first battery-electric car from a Detroit maker since GM's ill-fated EV1 a decade ago.
Its main competition is the Nissan Leaf, a purpose-built five-door compact hatchback that is Nissan's high-stakes gamble on dominating the global market for fully electric cars.
Unlike the Leaf, the Focus Electric looks just like its regular gasoline counterpart, so no one will know you're driving electric--which may appeal to some buyers.
It also gets marginally better EPA efficiency ratings than this year's Leaf, although Leaf upgrades expected for 2013 could change the equation.
Two other battery competitors are the Mitusbishi i minicar, which is far smaller, and the Coda Sedan, from a startup maker and also conventionally styled.
Both of those are available only in certain states, though that applies to the electric Focus too.
Two other competitors, the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, pair their battery power with gasoline engines, though the Volt is powered only by electricity, with the engine powering a generator after its 25 to 40 miles of electric range is depleted, while the plug-in Prius adds more electric range to a conventional gas-electric hybrid.
For 2012, the electric Focus will be only be offered in very limited markets--whereas the Leaf and Volt are now available nationally.
|2012 Ford Focus ElectricBrowse Used Listings||2012 Mitsubishi iBrowse Used Listings||2012 Nissan LeafBrowse Used Listings||2012 Toyota Prius Plug InBrowse Used Listings||2012 Coda SedanBrowse Used Listings|
|51 MPG City / 49 MPG Hwy|
|5-Door HB||N/A||4-Door HB SV||5-Door HB (SE)||N/A|
|Front Wheel Drive||N/A||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||N/A|
|Hatchback||N/A||4 Door Hatchback||5 Door Liftback||N/A|