NASCAR and Ford are headed to the history books as Ford Motor Company became the first manufacturer in NASCAR history to supply an all electric vehicle as the pace car. The Ford Focus Electric pace car lead the pack at the Capital City 400 at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia on April 28th, 2012. This won’t be the first time the big NASCAR supporter uses the racing spotlight to showcase its vehicles. From the Taurus sedan to the Fusion Hybrid, Ford has used this fun and exciting platform to show off the vehicles they expect to become big sellers.
“Ford research shows the majority of Americans would consider buying an electrified vehicle but do not yet understand the different technologies,” Mark Fields, president of Ford’s Americas division, said Monday.
“Highlighting the Focus Electric as a pace car is a fun way to educate consumers about the kinds of benefits our electrified vehicles deliver and show people our commitment to provide Ford customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy in the vehicle that best meets their needs.”
The Focus Electric will be reasonably priced at $39,200 and will feature a 143 HP electric motor that is powered by a 23 KWH lithium-ion battery. Enabling the Focus to average an impressive 110 MPGe city, 99 MPGe highway, 84 mph estimated top speed, and will be able to travel up to 100 miles on a single charge.
Ford’s Focus Electric pace car not only demonstrates Ford’s pursuit of increased fuel economy, but showcases their ability to combine that pursuit with a stylish, practical and performance driven car. Thousands of race fans and millions more on TV were able to see the Focus Electric when it lead the race in Virginia. Whether or not this move will lead to an increase in sales when the all electric car hits sales floor later this year is unknown, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction for automakers like Ford.
What did you think about Fords move to showcase the Focus Electric as the pace car of the Capital City 400? Do you think this move will increase Americans acceptance towards all electric vehicles and lead to greater sales? Or will it have little to no effect on the way we perceive buying an electric vehicle? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.