2 of 5
BACKNEXT
Focus BEV
Focus BEV
Removing the internal combustion engine from the equation altogether, Ford plans on selling its first plug-in electric passenger car in 2011. (A plug in work van will go on sale next year.)

Ford developed this car in conjunction with automotive supplier Magna International. The test vehicle I drove was built inside the body of a current-generation U.S.-market Ford Focus. The final version will be based on Ford's next-generation Focus, which will be shared with Europe.

The car drives about 100 miles on a full charge. It will take six hours or so to recharge if fully depleted but, since most people drive less than 40 miles a day, a typical recharge will take about three hours, Ford says.

Driving the Focus BEV - for Battery Electric Vehicle - was actually more enjoyable than driving a regular, gas-powered Focus. Acceleration felt quick and peppy and the electrically-boosted steering provided fine road feel.

In this version, at least, the battery takes up substantial trunk space. Expect that to be much improved in the production version.

The problem with cars like this, however, is the dreaded "range anxiety." On most days, 100 miles is fine. But on other days, or the day after you forgot to plug it in, you'll start to worry, as I did when told I was getting close to the limit.

NEXT: Fiesta

Last updated May 06 2009: 11:11 AM ET
Find Your Next Car
More Galleries
Most 'one percent' moments of 2014 This year was all about more money, more problems. Here's a look at the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the 1% over the last year. More
6 products to keep the skies friendly Plane travel can be stressful, especially during the holidays. These things can help keep the peace among travelers. More
2014: Helluva good year for stocks The bull market has been going for 2,115 days. If you put you're money in stocks, it's been a very happy year. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.