Monthly Archives: January 2014

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The long road to warmer places

Happy New Year.

This being the new year we’ve just returned from a 10 day vacation that included a 2600 mile road trip (Michigan to Southern Florida and back). I’d like to say that we took the FFE for the trip but the two options I tried wouldn’t work (simply driving it there would have taken all 10 days and loading it on a flatbed trailer and towing it with our F-350 was cost prohibitive). In the end we decided to take the ICE Focus for the ¬†journey.

I know this is an EV blog but hear me out: For a trip of such length the ICE Focus is a pretty good choice as far as efficiency is concerned. Creature comforts and storage is another question! Even with the full trunk available it was a challenge packing the three of us and our included “stuff” into the car. Frequent stops were required to simply pry us out of the car for short walks to get all the kinks out of the limbs–much of which would be similar attempting any lengthy trip in the FFE.

On the efficiency side of things: Overall the ICE Focus sipped fuel at around 35 mpg for the entire trip. Not too bad for the speeds and mountains involved. The best mileage for a tank of gas was in FL & GA where we got 37 mpg. These numbers show why it was a good idea to electrify the Focus: It already is a pretty efficient little vehicle. Converting it to a BEV only increases that efficiency even more.

I did notice a few familiar noises in the ICE Focus: If I listened carefully I could hear some common sounds with the FFE over the noisy gas engine. For instance: When changing the settings on the climate control you can hear the vacuum controlled valves move–these are common between the FFE and ICE Focus. You just hear them more on the FFE since there isn’t any other sounds drowning them out.

Over the 10 days I did miss the FFE and frequently thought about how it would have been a better vehicle for driving around town once we were at our destination. Checking on it with the mobile app helped, except for the 3 or 4 days where it inexplicably lost communications with Ford’s servers!? I did have some “go times” setup for it to turn on twice a week. These were set with the climate control off. This was done to maintain the charge on the 12V battery (some users have experienced the 12V battery discharging when the car is left for an extended period of time while plugged in).