Ford’s first fully electric car has won a top safety rating from the US’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), confirming the new Focus Electric’s status as a practical family solution.
Due to launch in the UK later this year, the battery-powered model has been on sale in the US since April last year, where it is known as America’s most fuel-efficient five-seat car. Economy is rated as strong as 110 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) for city driving and 99 MPGe on the highway, according to the US’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Now the car adds a top safety rating to its credentials, with a five star Overall Vehicle Score in NHTSA New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) testing, which combines vehicle performance in frontal and side-impact crash tests and resistance to rollover.
“As more people shop for electrified vehicles, the Focus Electric now offers both a top vehicle safety rating from NHTSA and a faster-charging technology that allows it to fully recharge in three to four hours,” said Steve Kenner, global director of the Ford Automotive Safety Office.
The Ford Focus Electric features front and side airbags, with tailored deployment to suit individual occupants. For example, the driver’s airbag uses a reconfigured curve-shaped tether system that pulls in the lower section to create a “pocket” to help lessen the impact of the airbag on the driver’s chest and ribs in frontal crashes. Innovative side airbags feature unique shoulder vents that stay open and reduce pressure for smaller occupants who typically benefit from reduced forces.
There is also Ford’s AdvanceTrac with electronic stability control, four-wheel anti-lock braking system, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether Anchors for Children) and anti-theft engine immobiliser.
The Ford Focus Electric is rated as having a top speed of 84 mph and a range of around 74 miles per charge and can be recharged in about three to four hours with the 240-volt charge station. Prices for Europe have yet to be announced, but in the US it costs around $32,495 (£20,772), including a $7,500 federal tax credit.