Gizmag readers will no doubt be quite familiar with Ford's Focus Electric by now. We first mentioned the company's plans to enter the passenger EV market in 2009, and Ford chose to first unveil its new vehicle at CES 2011. Later that year, the auto giant started taking orders for its new Focus Electric five door hatchback, and now attendees at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show are being given the first opportunity to actually get behind the steering wheel and drive Ford's first all-electric passenger car.

Ford expects the Focus Electric to be available in 19 markets across the U.S. by the end of this year, with prices starting at US$39,200 (plus $795 for destination charges) before any tax credits are taken off. The new flagship model of its growing ECOnetic Technology-badged line-up, the vehicle is said to have a range of 100 miles (160 km) on a single charge of its liquid-cooled/heated 23kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a charge time of just three to four hours via a 240V charging station, such as its own home charging solution developed with Leviton.

The Focus Electric also includes Ford's SYNC voice control, device integration and connectivity interface that presents the driver with real-time vehicle information, such as battery state of charge, distance to charge point, the corresponding range budget and expected range margin. Information displayed on the two 4.2-inch LCD instrument cluster screens can be customized using the five-way buttons on the steering wheel, and a SmartGauge with EcoGuide offers the driver a screen full of blue butterflies to graphically represent the surplus range beyond the destination of the next scheduled charging point.

There's also a MyFordMobile app that will allow drivers to keep up to date with important vehicle information, such as charge remaining, via their mobile phones.

The Focus Electric is said to offer drivers a similar steering, handling and braking experience to the gasoline hatchback on which it is based, featuring electric power-assisted steering and power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes with four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock braking system. The front wheel drive electric vehicle has a 141 hp/107 kW electric motor delivering 250Nm of torque and a top speed of 84 mph (136 km/h) rather than a fuel-powered engine, the transmission is single-speed, regenerative braking grabs back some otherwise wasted energy, and the external charge port is LED-illuminated.

View gallery - 5 images