We thought our vision was suffering this past week when we couldn’t find the 2011 Ford Focus electric vehicle on the company’s display. Thankfully, our retinas are just fine; we couldn’t find the car because it wasn’t parked on the stand – it was parked on the roof.
For those who haven’t attended the Detroit show, one of the best ways to park near Cobo Hall is to park on Cobo Hall – access to the convention center is immediate, and visitors avoid as much frigid January weather as possible. That was my thinking in parking there this morning, and it’s a sentiment apparently shared by whoever (we’re safely betting it was a Ford employee) piloted this prototype to the show. What you can’t see under the decal-heavy exterior is an all-new electric drive system, co-developed by Ford and supplier Magna International. While you can read the details of Ford’s electrification plan here, we’re told the Focus prototype – a preview of a production model due in 2011 – will use lithium-ion batteries and have a range of approximately 100 miles.
We think the fact that it isn’t on the stand has less to due with Ford shying away from the technology, but rather the end product – possibly either a Focus or Fusion – is nowhere near ready for a formal introduction. If you’re planning on attending the show and hope this EV makes its way from the rooftop to the show floor, don’t count on it. Ford sources tell us the Focus mule won’t be on display to the general public (hey, it wasn’t for us, either), but a cutaway chassis showing its shocking innards will be available for public ogling.