Skip to content

Britain's favourite car gets battery power

It is one of the best-selling cars in the UK and was recently voted our favourite over the last 25 years but now the Ford Focus is going green. The Ford Focus Electric was launched on September 12 and is entirely powered by batteries. It claims a range of up to 100 miles on a single charge and can reach speeds of 85mph.

It is one of the best-selling cars in the UK and was recently voted our favourite over the last 25 years but now the Ford Focus is going green. The Ford Focus Electric was launched on September 12 and is entirely powered by batteries. It claims a range of up to 100 miles on a single charge and can reach speeds of 85mph. It is hoped that offering the popular Focus in electric format will boost sales of electric cars but with a price tag of £28,500, even after the £5,000 government grant, it remains a pricey option. It is, for example, more than double the price of the entry level petrol-engined Focus. 

The UK government's grant scheme has not thus far been a resounding success, with only 4,500 electric cars being sold since its introduction in 2011. The Focus does not represent any particular technological breakthrough. Its range and charging characteristics are much the same as previous electric cars like Nissan's Leaf. It is also difficult to see how the Focus can compete with the Renault Zoe, which at £13,995, after the government grant is deducted, is half the price of the Focus. The motoring press like it though, hailing it as having 'excellent driving dynamics' and calling it a 'great new electric car to be enjoyed and savoured.' Ford themselves seem to be counting on the reputation and brand of the standard Focus translating into sales for the electric version, commenting: "Ultimately Ford have now electrified one of the best-selling cars in Britain. It is a very popular business and family car." 

BMW are about to join the fray with the i3 electric car, which at £25,680 will also undercut the Ford, while having a more prestige badge. Despite the paltry take up of electric cars and steep sticker prices, the government seems determined to press ahead with imposing electric cars on the motoring public. They have stated that every car sold by 2040 should be powered by either electricity or hydrogen.

In a transport strategy for low-emission vehicles, published this week, transport minister Norman Baker explained the policy: "As well as huge opportunities for the automotive sector, this move to low-emission vehicles will bring life-changing benefits to our towns and cities, improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions and it will provide energy security by reducing our reliance on foreign oil imports." 

Motorists will be hoping that the price of such vehicles falls dramatically and their practicality improves. If not, we shall have to get used to much more expensive cars and very limited driving ranges.

Posted by on

Back to September 2013

Back to top