Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Safe Sustainability: Ford Focus Electric Receives Five-Star Rating from NHTSA

While developing the new Ford Focus Electric, the car's engineers wanted to make sure that its safety technology was just as advanced as its sustainable drivetrain. It appears they have achieved that goal, as the all-electric vehicle recently received a five-star Overall Vehicle Score in the New Car Assessment Program from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

To earn an overall five-star rating from the NHTSA, vehicles must excel in the organization's frontal, side-impact and rollover crash tests. The 2013 Ford Focus Electric delivered superior crash protection in the stringent evaluations with the help of advanced front and side airbags that deploy according to the size and position of individual occupants. Meanwhile, the model's standard AdvanceTrac electronic stability control helps prevent accidents in the first place by using real-time data on road conditions and driver response to adjust engine power and apply the anti-lock brake system when needed. 

"The Focus Electric saves its owners from throwing a lot of money toward gas, but Ford recognizes that you can't put a price on safety, so it made crash protection just as much of a priority as efficiency when designing the model," said Alan Melkonian, owner and general manager of Stoneham Ford, a Greater Boston Ford dealer. "Focus Electric drivers get the peace of mind of helping to create a healthier environment, but they can also take comfort in knowing that they are watching out for the well-being of the precious cargo that they're taking along for the ride."

Rated at a best-in-class 110 MPGe in the city, the Ford Focus Electric is powered by a 107-kW electric motor and a liquid-cooled, high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack. A full charge takes just three to four hours with the recommended Leviton 240-volt home charging station, and drivers can go up to 76 miles between charges, which is the longest range in the segment.

Ford announced this month that its number of EV Certified dealerships will be expanding to more than 900 this spring, up from 200 this past November. That new amount represents about a third of all Ford dealers in the United States, and the automaker will have an EV Certified dealer in all 50 states within the same timeframe.

"As a dealership that earned EV certification early on in the process, we can definitively say that Ford has gone to great lengths to ensure there is a highly supportive infrastructure in place for Focus Electric owners," added Melkonian. "From the faster home charging times to the MyFord Mobile smartphone app that lets you monitor and schedule time at public charging stations, the Focus Electric is going to play a big role in generating a broader acceptance of electric vehicles in the market."