Burning up fuel on California’s clogged freeway network could be a thing of the past for Californians looking to avoid high gas prices and save some money.
Buyers of gas-free Ford Focus Electric could save $10,000 in tax rebates and enjoy HOV lane access after the car was just approved for California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP).
Customers can apply for a $2500 tax rebate when the Focus Electric is purchased or leased. In addition, the car qualifies for the existing $7500 federal tax credit.
With Los Angeles and the San Francisco/Oakland metropolitan area ranked third and seventh, respectively, for the worst congestion in the US, HOV lane access could be a boon for Focus drivers.
In Los Angeles alone, congestion contributed to a total of 38 million gallons of wasted fuel over the course of a year. This costs the average LA commuter an additional $1464 a year.
Projected savings from driving the Focus Electric could be significant. Ccording to Ford, the cost to fully charge the Focus Electric in California at night is between $1-$2, which enables 76 miles of average driving.
In a gasoline vehicle that gets a fuel-efficient 38mpg at $5 per gallon, the cost of driving the same 76 miles is $10.
The CVRP rebate approval follows the March 2 announcement (found on the news pages at www.eurotuner.com) that the Focus Electric is America’s most fuel-efficient five-passenger car with a certified 110MPG equivalent (MPGe) city rating, and 99MPGe on the highway. Focus Electric has been certified by the EPA to offer 105MPGe combined, beating Nissan Leaf by 6MPGe while offering more motor power and more standard features.
The EPA-approved sales label will tell customers they could save $9700 in fuel costs over five years, compared to the average new vehicle.
Focus Electric features an advanced charging system that allows the car’s battery to fully recharge in four hours – nearly half the time of Nissan Leaf – using available 240 volt outlets that can be installed in residential garages.
Faster charging with 240 volts can also extend range, because drivers can recharge between stops more quickly – up to 20 miles per charge hour – so they can improve the car’s range during a busy day of driving.
For those who need to charge while away from home, the number of charging stations continues to rise. In the last 10 months the number of charging stations in the US has risen from 750 to 5507, according to the US Department of Energy.
To cut charging costs at home, a unique value charging feature powered by Microsoft is designed to help owners in the US charge their vehicles at the cheapest utility rates.
Other standard features on Focus Electric include Ford’s Rear View Camera System, MyKey, rain-sensing wipers and Reverse Sensing System.
Focus Electric production began in December 2011 at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, MI. Ford will ramp up Focus Electric retail production in the first half of 2012 for dealership availability in California, New York and New Jersey.
By the end of 2012, Focus Electric will be available in 19 markets across the US.