Ford To Debut All-Electric Car Next Year

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Monday its first all-electric car, the Focus Electric, will be available for sale in select cities across the country late next year.

The car will initially be sold in Atlanta, Austin and Houston, Texas; Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Orlando, Fla., Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va., Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

Ford said it chose the markets based on sales trends for hybrid vehicles, and the preparedness of local utility companies to handle the extra electricity demand. The vehicle is expected to be able to go 100 miles on a full charge.

"As the country continues to build up its electric vehicle infrastructure and demand for the Focus Electric grows, Ford will continue to evaluate additional markets and consider making this vehicle available in more cities across the country," said Mark Fields, president of Ford Americas.

The Focus Electric will be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. Production will occur on the same line as the gasoline version of the Focus, which will allow Ford to vary production based on demand.

Instead of a traditional gas engine, the Focus Electric's motor will be powered by a 23 kwh lithium-ion battery. The system uses a liquid heating and cooling system to maximize battery life and driving range.

Ford shares rose 73 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $17.03 in afternoon trading.