The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given the Ford Focus Electric its top safety rating, a five-star designation. NHTSA’s New Car Assessment program measures diverse parameters of vehicle safety, including side-impact and front crash testing. The Focus Electric is the first all-electric model Ford has produced. The car has a unique system of airbags which react to individual passengers and include air vents to prevent collateral injury from the bags themselves.
For a fascinating look behind the scenes at Ford, check out the video clip below, in which a Ford engineer shows exactly how the company came up with the instrument cluster design in the new Focus EV. After many hours of surveys, researchers sat people down in a simulator and recorded their reactions to various road conditions. In order to decide what to show on the readout screen, Ford’s team looked for a way to tell drivers not only how much charge was remaining, but how to manage stored electricity from regen braking. The “brake coach” system on the Focus tells the driver what percentage of energy has been captured for re-use. As the engineer explains, after a few driving sessions, people are very motivated to get 100 percent of the available energy, which can only be done by gradual braking. In essence, the brake coach on the Ford Focus teaches drivers how to operate the car in an efficient manner.
Ford Motor Co. now offers a full array of alternative fuel vehicles. Besides the all-electric Focus, the automaker offers the Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, as well as the C-Max. The company’s popular plug-in vehicle, the Fusion Energi rates 100 mpg-e, which is one of the highest fuel-efficiency marks in the industry.
For more about Ford Motor Company, see the U.S. automaker’s official corporate website: