Ford America is making NASCAR history with its all-new Ford Focus Electric becoming the first all-electric pace car for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

2012 Ford Focus Electric

The Ford Focus Electric pace car will be unveiled to the public on April 25 before leading the field of the Sprint Cup Richmond 400, including former two-time Australian V8 Supercar champion Marcos Ambrose in his #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, at the Richmond International Raceway in Virginia on April 28.

Ford says the Focus Electric is America’s most economical five-seat car with a miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPGe) figures of 105 MPGe, which equates to 2.2 litres per 100km, operating entirely on battery power.

But while this betters the 99 MPGe (2.4 L/100km) figure for the Nissan Leaf, the Leaf has a greater range - 122km for the Ford (according to the US Environmental Protection Agency) and 175km for the Nissan (on the New European Driving Cycle).

Despite this, Ford is touting the Focus’ advantages with greater passenger room, more power and a faster charge time that’s almost half that of the Leaf.

Ford says its research shows Ford race fans are 67 per cent more likely to consider buying a Ford product than general market consumers - it’ll be hoping this proves true for its EVs.

The Ford Focus Electric will be available in 19 markets across the US by the end of 2012.

It isn’t the first time Ford has used NASCAR to show off a green car. In 2008 the Ford Fusion Hybrid was the pace car for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.

Ford Australia has announced no plans to offer the Focus Electric in our market at this stage.