Tuesday, October 16, 2012

5,000 miles later...

Yeah. So it's been a while since I posted here. I've been out driving—and mostly enjoying!—my Focus Electric! As my daily commuter car since June, I've now logged more than 5,000 miles on the clock. And now that it's "broken in" and I've become acclimated to the car, here are my initial pros and cons of driving my battery-powered Ford Focus Electric.

It's extremely quiet. This is more that just pure EV, no-noise quiet. This is "Deep Space Quiet," as one early NY Times reviewer put it. Sitting in the car and driving at "normal" highway speeds, I equate the ride to sitting in a Lexus or a Mercedes Benz. Ford apparently put so much sound dampen in the car that I can barely hear the "whine" when I mash the accelerator pedal. (Must be the extra foam cover over the motor under the hood!) If I have the XM satellite radio off, all I hear is road noise from the tire and the wind rushing by.

It's fast. The Focus Electric's top speed is electronically limited to 84 miles per hour. And in New York highway traffic—when it's moving—I could easy travel at the 65 to 70 MPH "flow" without effort. What's more, without the usual noises of a gas engine under hard acceleration, it's not that hard to hit the 84 MPH top speed and not know it.

It's geek-tastic! Yeah, there's a LOT of tech goodies in this car to keep a geek like me "happy." A voice-activated system means I can switch between radio stations, satellite or even answer my smart phone without even taking my eyes off the road. Sitting in traffic? Instead of fuming over dumb drivers, I can browse through the choices on XM radio or browse through the built-in GPS system for an alternate route around the traffic jam.

It's got connections. The Focus Electric has a built-in wireless data modem (and service from AT&T wireless) that keeps it connected to the Net. From my computer—any online computer—I can check on the condition of the car, such as when it'll finish charging or if the alarm is going off. I can even start the car and pre-cool (or pre-heat) to the right temperature from my office computer--or the app on my Android smart phone!

So, I've been pretty happy with the first 5,000 miles or so in my Ford Focus Electric. It's a much sweeter ride that the Mini-E. Still, there are some "cons" to the EV. And I'll tackle those the next time, which hopefully won't be a month later!

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