Sneak Peak of Ford Focus Electric’s Dashboard Display

By · June 03, 2011

Ford Focus Electric Dashboard Screen Prototype

We're still deciphering what these screens mean. For example, what's "Budget View?" But it's great to see them so far ahead of product release, so we can provide feedback.

What information should electric cars display to their drivers about the state-of-charge (SOC) of its batteries, regenerative braking, and other energy issues?

That’s been a burning question on PluginCars.com recently—especially because the Nissan LEAF has come under fire for not displaying a pure percentage number for SOC. The Chevy Volt doesn’t offer a simple percentage number either, but Volt drivers appear more satisfied with the accuracy of graphical representations of remaining charge, and estimates of remaining range? Maybe that’s because the range question is more crucial to pure EVs, than to plug-in hybrids like the Volt.

Both of those vehicles are on the market, so real-world customers are providing feedback to the makers of those battery-powered vehicles.

In the meanwhile, Ford is still six months or so away from releasing the Ford Focus Electric. Yet, Ford shared a set of early images of the user interface with PluginCars.com, giving some glimpses into what info the Focus Electric will present to its drivers. I also spoke with Sherif Marakby, who is overseeing Ford's electrification program that will deliver two new hybrids, the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, and the Ford Focus Electric all within the next 12 months.

Sherif told me that the Focus Electric will display percentage SOC, but that it will go even further. “It will not only give the SOC, but as you change your behavior, it will recommend some actions,” said Sherif. Ford is known for its excellent dashboard interface regarding efficient driving, employed on hybrids like the gas-electric Ford Fusion. That will carry over to Ford’s EVs.

“Every time you brake, it’s going to give you a brake score to tell you how much energy you captured,” said Sherif. “The more you do that, the more your range is going to improve.”

Ford Focus Electric Dashboard Screen Prototype
Ford Focus Electric Dashboard Screen Prototype
Ford Focus Electric Dashboard Screen Prototype

Too much info? Not enough info? Not the right info? What’s critical? Take a look at the images on this page, and let Sherif and his team of engineers and designers know what you’d like to see on the Focus Electric. I’ll do my best to get Sherif to respond to your comments. And stay tuned to future posts about Ford’s brake regen strategy, which I discussed with Sherif in our recent chat.

New to EVs? Start here

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