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Move Over Prius, Step Aside Leaf?

Ford wants fuel economy leadership and new Focus Electric is key part of its arsenal.

by on Mar.05, 2012

Ford's new Focus Electric will have the highest MPGe rating of any 5-passenger vehicle in the U.S.

With gas nudging $4 a gallon — and some pundits predicting it will nip the $5 mark by summer — it’s not a bad time to be adding some new high-mileage models to your fleet.  Actually, most manufacturers are doing that these days, but Ford wants to go a step further, not only promising a big jump in mileage for its entire line-up but declaring that it now sells “America’s most fuel-efficient five-passenger car.”

According to the official EPA endorsement, that title goes to the new Ford Focus Electric, the battery-powered version of the maker’s latest-generation compact 5-seater.  The government rates the Focus Electric at 105 MPGe – or miles per gallon-equivalent – in the combined City/Highway column, or a full six ahead of the Nissan Leaf.

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The pure battery-electric vehicle is one of five “BEVs” and plug-in hybrids the maker is planning to bring to market.  It follows the limited-edition launch of a battery-electric Transit Connect van and will be followed by plug-in hybrid versions of the Focus and  the new Ford C-Max microvan, both of those to be labeled “Energi,” a term Ford apparently is reserving for plug-ins. The Detroit maker has yet to identify what the fifth battery car will be.