Ford Focus Electric Car Gets Ready To Make Some Noise

Ford’s upcoming Focus Electric car will charge in a few hours, provide affordable commuting to Massachusetts drivers and will release zero tailpipe emissions. There is just one problem – it doesn’t make enough noise. President Obama recently signed legislation into law that will require electric vehicles to make noise to ensure pedestrian safety, and Ford is turning to the public to decide which noise the Focus Electric should make when it arrives at Ford dealerships later this year.

Ford is using Facebook to get feedback from its fans on its Ford Electric Vehicles page, allowing them to vote on four sound clips ranging from something reminiscent of the Jetsons’ spaceship to a muffled jet engine. There is also a clip using engine noises produced by a standard car similar to the gasoline-powered Ford Focus. Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently working out the parameters of how electric vehicles can sound and when they’ll need to make noise before the law likely takes effect some time in 2014.

“Who better to choose the Focus Electric’s signature sound than the people who will be buying it?” said Peter King, general manager of Watertown Ford, a Greater Boston Ford dealer that, like other Massachusetts Ford dealers, is slated to be among the first to receive the new electric car. “It is by no means an easy decision to make. Whichever sound gets chosen will be synonymous with the Focus Electric, so Ford will want to get it right. One Facebook fan said the Focus Electric should sound like a Mustang GT, but I think it deserves its own trademark noise.”

Looking very much like an everyday Ford Focus, the Focus Electric’s green credentials don’t prevent it from maintaining the versatility and reliable performance of its internal-combustion brother. The electric vehicle is built on the same global platform as other Ford Focuses, and those sold in the United States will be built at the same solar-powered Michigan Assembly Plant where the traditional model is manufactured.

Underneath the Focus Electric’s exterior though, the differences become readily apparent. Pop the hood and you won’t find anything resembling an engine. In its place, there are numerous power cables and an electric motor with a single-speed transmission that is capable of accelerating up to 84 mph; more than sufficient for the legal limits on America’s highways. Storing the Focus’ electricity is an advanced lithium-ion battery pack co-developed with battery expert LG Chem that is both heated and cooled to maintain peak performance no matter the temperature outside.

Like all Fords, the Focus Electric comes with a host of innovative features inside, including SYNC with MyFord Touch, which allows voice control of the car’s navigation and entertainment systems, as well as the driver’s Bluetooth-connected phone. North American Focus Electric owners using the Ford-developed MyFord Mobile app on their smartphone will be able to receive vehicle status information, monitor the car’s current state of charge and remaining range, program charge settings and perform key functions without being anywhere near the vehicle.

“Ford is pushing electric vehicle technology along at a record clip, and they’ll have five electrified vehicles in the U.S. market by 2013,” King added. “They’ve already proven they can build successful electric vehicles with the Ford Transit Connect EV, and now they’re moving on to providing reliable and affordable electric transportation for the masses. No matter which sound it ends up making, the arrival of the Focus Electric will be music to Massachusetts drivers’ ears.”

Watertown Ford is where Greater Boston Ford lovers head for the best deals on new and used Fords. No other Massachusetts Ford dealer has the same dedication to the customer, and that dedication has earned Watertown Ford the loyalty of Ford owners all over the state.