Ford Leviton recharger.automotiveIT

Ford’s home battery charger for the Focus Electric will cost $1,499 (Photo: Ford)

Ford said specially designed home battery chargers for the Ford Focus Electric are now available at Ford dealers and at retailer Best Buy in the US.

The rollout comes around six months before Ford plans to start major deliveries of the its first full electric passenger car model.

The chargers, built by electrical device maker Leviton and compatible with all safety standards, will recharge the batteries of the Focus Electric in slighly more than three hours.

Ford and Leviton will offer a 10-year limited warranty on the chargers, underscoring that battery maintenance is likely to be a key competitive feature once electric vehicles will be hitting the roads in greater numbers.

"Charging is one of the most important components of owning an electric vehicle," Mike Tinskey, associate director for Ford's global vehicle infrastructure, said in a press release.

The home charging stations will retail for 1,499 dlrs. They are wall-mounted, but can be relocated easily, Ford said.

The Focus Electric, a key vehicle in Ford's growing electric and hybrid lineup, is likely to be launched in small numbers late this year, probably in California and New York. But volume deliveries will start around March, 2012.

The lithium-ion battery-powered Focus Electric was first shown at the Detroit auto show in January. Ford said at the unveiling that the car, the first of five new electrified vehicles it is preparing, will offer better equivalent fuel economy than the Chevrolet Volt.

The Focus Electric will have a range of new comfort and safety features. These include a new infotainment system equipped with a MyFordTouch interface that has been redesigned for electric vehicles.