Ford is hoping to make big waves in 2011 with its first EV passenger car, the Focus Electric. The zero-emissions Focus hatchback makes its official debut at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show and Ford says the car will officially launch at the end of 2011 here in North America, with European customers expected to take delivery sometime before 2013. Read about the car after the jump!!


Visually, the Focus Electric has an improved aerodynamics package to improve drag, incorporating a new front fascia that looks like something right out of the Aston Martin school of design. (Too bad this isn’t the Cygnet, huh?) The only other major design changes are the addition of a charging port with an LED ring to the left of the driver’s door and a new set of 15-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in low-rolling resistance tires. And speaking of LEDs, while the gasoline-powered Focus’ LED eyebrow above the headlamp is only available in Europe, Ford tells us that the North American-spec Focus Electric will wear this bit of accent lighting when it hits production.

The Focus Electric is powered by 100-kilowatt electric motor with a 23-kWh battery, capable of producing 123 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque at its peak. Ford says its EV can reach a top speed of 84 miles per hour, and while the official range hasn’t been disclosed just yet, we’re told it should be able to travel up to 100 miles on a single charge (just like the Leaf). Speaking of charging, Ford says the Focus Electric can be fully charged in just three hours from its 240-volt home-installed charging station, though the car will take up to 20 hours to charge via a standard 120-volt outlet.

What’s most interesting, perhaps, is how Ford is prepared to make EV ownership as easy as possible. The two-piece, wall-mounted charging stations can be purchased and installed from the folks at Best Buy, and the automaker has created a new MyFord Mobile app that allows you to monitor and interact with your Focus Electric at all times (click here for our full hands-on experience of the app). What’s more, Ford has partnered with Microsoft to offer value charging, a system that “allows our customers to reduce their electricity costs by taking advantage of off-peak or other reduced rates from their utility without a complicated set-up process,” the automaker explains.

Ford will build the North American-spec Focus Electric alongside its gasoline counterpart at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, and a decision is currently being finalized on where Euro-spec Focus EVs will be built. For the full raft of details, follow the jump for the official press release, and scroll through our high-res gallery below to see the new EV from all angles.–Steven J. Ewing