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With 105 MPGe rating, the 2012 Ford Focus Electric tops the industry

The official EPA ratings have just been announced for the 2012 Ford Focus Electric and with a combined mile per gallon equivalent of 105 MPGe the new Focus Electric is the most fuel efficient 5-passenger vehicle available in the United States – beating the Nissan Leaf by 6 MPGe.

The 2012 Ford Focus Electric EPA rating of 105 MPGe is comprised of the highway rating of 99 MPGe and an incredible city rating of 110 MPGe. For comparison, the Nissan Leaf is the main competition for the Focus Electric as well as also being the bestselling electric car sold in the US; offering a combined rating of 99 MPGe with a city rating of 106 and a highway rating of 92. Some quick math indicates that the Ford Focus Electric offers an advantage of 6 MPGe combined, 7 MPGe on the highway and 4 MPGe around town. The EPA also found that the Ford Focus Electric has an average range on a single charge of 76 miles – 3 miles better than the Nissan Leaf. Ford also brags that the Focus Electric will charge in about half the time that it takes the Nissan Leaf.

Over the past year, the only vehicle that the Nissan Leaf really had to contend with has been the Chevy Volt, even though the Volt and Leaf are two very different vehicles. However, with the introduction of the Ford Focus Electric, American consumers will have another choice when looking for a pure electric vehicle and between the electric Focus and the electric Leaf – the fact that Ford bests the Leaf in literally every efficiency category may come as a major hit to the sales of the Nissan.

Ford points out that the 2012 Focus Electric offers more passenger and cargo space than the Leaf in addition to the greater range and shorter charging time but the most important factor could be the cost. The Nissan Leaf starts at $35,200 on the Nissan USA website and the Ford Focus Electric starts at $39,200, giving the Leaf an advantage of $4,000 before any incentives or discounts to any vehicle. Based strictly on those two prices, consumers will have to decide whether the addition space, the greater range and the vastly quicker charging time is worth a $4,000 premium. However, once the Ford Focus Electric hits the biggest US markets and the price begins to come down thanks to incentives and dealer discounts – the Nissan Leaf could become a much harder sell when compared to the far more capable Ford Focus Electric.

The Ford Focus Electric will be joined in the 2013 model year by the new Ford Fusion Energi, with which Ford hopes to begin offering the most fuel efficient midsized sedan in the US with an MPGe rating around 100. For Nissan, sales have been slumping over the past few months while things have been doing well for the Chevy Volt – which is the only other mainstream electric vehicle even though it differs from the Leaf with the range extending gasoline engine. Once the Focus Electric hits dealerships around the country, consumers who want a pure electric vehicle will have a choice for the first time – with the Focus offering the best fuel economy in the US auto industry.