The availability of mainstream electric vehicles (EV) is a lot closer than you realize. The Tesla Roadster (with its six-figure pricetag) and Mitsubishi i-MiEV are already being sold to the general public*. The Nissan Leaf is scheduled for a December 2010 launch and the Coda Sedan isn’t very far behind. Ford wants to be a player in the EV space and the Focus (along with the Transit Connect) are platforms being developed as pure electric vehicles.
The Ford Focus EV is based on the next-generation Ford Focus, a capable if not head-turning car. By choosing an existing platform, Ford will save the expense associated with developing a unique design. Ever since the second-generation Prius, with its iconic design, became a hit, automakers have adopted the idea that a hybrid car with an innovative high-tech drivetrain needs to scream out for attention. That’s the direction that Nissan is taking with the Nissan Leaf, due out in limited markets in late 2010. The Chevy Volt extended-range EV, the new Honda Insight, and the Lexus HS 250h are also original purpose-built designs.