Ford has come out swinging in the battle to be the most “fuel-efficient” car in the country. The American automaker — hot off the heels of an EPA certified 105 miles per gallon equivalent rating for its soon-to-be released Focus Electric – will be truly elated with the EPA’s recent fuel efficiency certification.
The EPA’s findings actually best the Blue Oval’s own estimate by 5 miles when the company stated back in December that the all-electric Focus would be able to get about 100 MPGe.
Of course Ford is not wasting any time sticking it to Nissan by ruffling a few feathers – make that Leafs. The Dearborn-based automaker was quick to point out that the Focus electric has been officially certified by the EPA to offer 105 MPGe combined, which beats Nissan’s Leaf by 6 MPGe, while at the same time offering more power and more standard features. And since there is nothing like kicking a man when he is down, Ford was also keen to point out (again) the Focus’s roomier interior and faster charging times than its Japanese counterpart.
“We’ve been working for three years to make the Focus Electric America’s most fuel-efficient vehicle of its kind,” said Chuck Gray, Ford chief engineer of Global Core Engineering Hybrid and Electric Vehicles. “The entire group feels like a sports team that has just won a major championship. It’s a good feeling to be at this point now.”
Ford will surely be pleased with the EPA-approved label that also certifies the Focus Electric’s range of 76 miles on a single charge – that figure can increase to 100 miles depending on driving habits — again besting the Leaf’s 73-mile range. While that number will undoubtedly fail to impress EV skeptics, it’s important to note that the average American drives about 29 miles a day, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
The EPA has also confirmed that customers opting to purchase a Focus Electric could save up to $9,700 in fuel over a five year period when compared to the average new vehicle. Not surprisingly, that number could climb even higher given the rising cost of gasoline.
It isn’t all doom-and-gloom for the Nissan’s Leaf, though. While Ford can certainly point to a number of figures that overtake the Leaf, one figure in particular Ford will certainly not be parading around is price. When it arrives, the Focus Electric will start at $39,200 before the $7,500 federal tax credit. In comparison, the Leaf starts around $35,200.