First Look: 2013 Ford Focus Electric

The biggest differences are inside the car. Dropping into the driver's seat, you'll find a new, but familiar, instrument cluster. Repurposed from the Fusion Hybrid, the MyFord Touch instrument cluster features a central analog speedometer flanked on either side by 4.2-inch full-color LCD screens. Rather than lifting the Fusion Hybrid's cluster wholesale, Ford has reprogrammed it with new graphics and features.

This would be a good time to introduce you to what Ford is calling your "range budget." On the left-hand screen, your budget is displayed as your current battery level, your estimated range, the distance to your next selected charge point, and the amount of "surplus" energy available, meaning your estimated range beyond the charge point. The steering wheel-controlled MyView feature allows you to customize the display for the information you're most interested in, just like the Fusion Hybrid. The left-hand screen also features Brake Coach, a program that shows you how much energy you captured with the regenerative braking system after each full stop and what effect it's had on your range.

The right-hand display is a bit more abstract. Instead of the Fusion Hybrid's leaves, the screen displays butterflies, and instead of just rewarding economical driving, they also serve as an indicator of your additional range beyond your selected charge point destination. The more efficiently you drive, the more butterflies you get and the greater your battery range. Why butterflies? Ford says its designers got the idea from the principle of the "butterfly effect," wherein a small change can have major consequences. Like the Fusion Hybrid, at the end of your trip, the screen displays the miles driven, the miles gained through regenerative braking, the total energy consumed, and the amount of gasoline saved by driving on electric power instead. The screen can also show other vehicle data such as navigation, phone, or radio information.

Why couldn't the regular Focus have been graced with as clean a front end as this concept????
Why couldn't the regular Focus have been graced with as clean a front end as the electric version?

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