The debut of the Ford Focus Electric means that Ford's sedan is the first vehicle to be offered in gas and electric versions, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Up to this point, electric vehicles have mainly been distinct models, such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf. While these cars bear some similarities to other models in the automakers' lineups, they're treated as separate vehicles. The Ford Focus Electric, however, is essentially the same car in gas and electric versions - the only difference is what's under the hood.
"It takes away the apples and oranges comparison," Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Automotive, told the news source. "To some extent it will be the same as offering both V-6 and a V-8 in the same model or an automatic or manual transmission. It becomes just an option."
There are some differences between the cars. Electric technology is still quite expensive, so the Focus Electric will cost $40,000 before a federal tax credit of $7,500. The normal Focus retails for about $25,000. The Focus Electric does offer an MPG equivalent of more than 100, however.
Whether drivers go gas or electric, vehicle maintenance is still extremely important. Getting a car tune up can help improve vehicle performance in both electric and gas-powered models.