The zero-emissions movement has gained a major new momentum with Ford’s Detroit Auto Show announcement that it will build an all-electric Focus-sized compact sedan in 2010.  For now, it is simply known as the Ford Battery Electric Vehicle, or BEV.

The BEV is a collaboration between Ford and component maker, Magna International. Magna will supply the powertrain and lithium-ion batteries and help integrate them into the vehicle itself.

The 100 Kilowatt electric powertrain is already being demonstrated in several Focus mules, one of which we recently got a chance to drive.

The first thing we noticed is how normal the driving experience really is. The Ford BEV moves along in a more brisk and confident manner than other electric vehicles we’ve driven recently.  It puts out a mild flutter of sound; just enough to make you feel like you have real power at your disposal.

The electric motor is tied to a single-speed transmission, and vacuum-assisted regenerative brakes are also designed to give the BEV a more conventional feel.

The BEV’s on-board battery charger will plug into any standard outlet. At 110 volts, batteries will charge in 12 hours. At 220 volts, charging time is cut in half.

And here’s the kicker: once fully charged, Ford claims the BEV will travel 100 entirely gas-free miles. So even if cold weather cuts that down, there will still be enough juice for the typical round trip commute.

Air conditioning will use a high-voltage compressor, and the BEV will also sport an electric cabin heater.

Ford’s goal is to take the anxiety of running on empty out of the electric car equation, and if they can price the BEV right, it could be Ford’s next high voltage better idea.

"With the XC60, Volvo puts its unique spin on small luxury crossovers. While its eye catching styling may be unexpected, the brand's renowned comfort, safety, and attention to detail all remain intact." – Shamit Choksey


  • 100 Kilowatt electric powertrain:
  • 100 entirely gas-free miles: