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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Mon, Jan 31, 2011

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

An electric Ford Focus enters the permanent collection of the Petersen Museum

By John Grafman What happens when you bring Ford Motor Company, the Petersen Automotive Museum, and Jay Leno together for a couple hours? History! Thursday the 28th of January Jay Leno scrambled over the hill from taping the Tonight Show to the spectacular Petersen Museum for the presentation of Ford’s contribution to the permanent alternative fuel exhibit. This wasn’t just any old car, but the battery electric Ford Focus prototype that was used for the Green Car Challenge on the Tonight Show. This car had been used on the specially designed track for the show. Jay, a well-known car collector, has driven about every type of car one can imagine. His comments confirm what we already suspected. The electric Focus is a fun-to-drive car, with all of the torque right from the get-go.

Petersen curator Leslie Kendall (left) and Ford's U.S. marketing director Matt VanDyke wrestle for the keys.

The few lucky enough to take the driver’s seat included actress Drew Barrymore, Steve Carell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sheryl Crow, Serena Williams, Rush Limbaugh as well as others. Dr. Phil McGraw surprisingly pulled off the fastest time around the track of the celebs. While it might seem like the end of the line for this bright orange prototype, it’s just the start for FoMoCo. On hand also is a 2012 pre-production electric focus. This is just the start of the adventure, as Ford promises to have five electric models available for sale in the US in 2012, and the same in Europe in 2013. While Mr. Leno did lavish praise on Ford, he also tipped his hat to the Big Detroit Three. All of the domestic companies are pushing hard to develop new technology. Jay is a big supporter of the boys and girls in Michigan. In spite of this, Ford was still plenty pleased to have this honor bestowed upon its car. As humble as this Focus is, albeit painted in vivid colors, this is the start of a momentous turn in transportation. This is history in the making!

The beautiful new production model of the 2012 Focus Electric made an appearance

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