Whats next?

At some point Ford will be redesigning, or at least refreshing the Focuses: The ICE Focus, the Focus ST, and the Focus Electric (FFE). I’ve read some speculation that Ford may drop the Focus Electric–I don’t think that is the case (why would they start building them in Europe if they plan on abandoning them?). I’m figuring that the California laws that have forced most of the manufacturers to produce electric vehicles will only get stricter in the future forcing many manufacturers to produce more BEVs–not less. In addition every automaker on the planet now has a really serious competitor producing very good BEVs (e.g. Tesla). Thus we’re likely to see more BEVs in the future, including more Focus Electrics.. Time will tell though.

My hope is that the FFE will evolve some by the time my lease is up so that I may lease a new, improved one and continue to drive electric. To that end here are a few things that I’d like to see on an improved FFE:

  • Software Improvements: This almost goes without saying, but the FFE does have some pretty significant bugs (to be fair MyFord Touch has some significant bugs that need to be fixed across the board!).
  • Improved reliability: A few FFE owners have had recurring “Stop Safely Now” issues (that is the message that appears on the dash when all the power cuts out; frequently while driving down the road). Fortunately I haven’t had the issue (almost up to 6000 miles now) and I hope I never do (which is why I haven’t really posted about it since I haven’t experienced it).
  • A moderate amount of increased range: I’d like to see all electric cars have a range increase to at least greater than 100 miles (a doubling would be even better; in the FFE’s case a doubling of the EPA rated range would put it at 140 miles). They don’t have to put the latest bleeding edge battery technology in; just some of it to get a bit more range.
  • Better battery/frame integration (e.g. distribute the battery more under the car to reduce the amount of intrusion into the trunk). I realize that this item directly contrasts with the one above (more range = bigger battery), but if I could get the above item without any more reduction of storage space I’d also be happy.
  • A more efficient system for heating the car. Currently the FFE uses resistive heating (basically a wire that gets hot when enough current is running through it)–about the least efficient way there is to heat the cabin.
  • Incorporating a fast charger plug (Ford has publicly committed to the SAE fast charging standard–commonly known as the “frankenplug”).
  • Perhaps make use of the in-wheel motors: In theory using in wheel motors reduces the amount of “stuff” under the hood (more room for a battery?).

That’s about it; in reality I’m still pretty happy with my FFE (after about 5 months) so my list isn’t that long or extensive. Maybe in a year or so I may have more ideas…

 

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