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Ford Focus Electric becomes first EV to pace a NASCAR race: Motoramic Dash

Motoramic

Welcome to the Motoramic Dash, a quick read of what's happening in the auto industry today:

The all-electric version of the Ford Focus will become the first EV to pace a NASCAR race when it handles the parade chores for the Richmond 400 Sprint Cup race on April 28. Given that pace cars in NASCAR never go more than 55 mph, and that the electric Focus has a range of roughly 75 miles, the Focus EV should be up to the task -- unless Juan Pablo Montoya mistakes it for a jet dryer.

Given that the Focus Electric starts at $39,995 before tax credits, and that Ford's limiting sales to California, New Jersey, and New York through at least June, putting the Focus EV in front of NASCAR fans isn't so much about selling battery-powered cars. Not that the market's so big at the moment anyway: the Nissan Leaf, now on sale throughout the country at a lower price than the Focus Electric, has sold 1,733 copies through March.

Other news to get charged up with this morning:

How green are electric cars depends on where you plug in: Yes, if you charge an electric car off a solar panel, you're doing far more for the environment than if you're pulling juice from burned coal -- as half the nation does. (New York Times)

Porsche Macan arrives with 370 hp twin-turbo V6: New, smaller V6 shows how Porsche will keep up with the turbo-crazy competitors at BMW. (Autocar)

Ferrari Enzo replacement could pack 920 hp: Ferrari may consider a KERS-like hybrid system for its Enzo replacement that would make to its latest V-12. (Motor Trend)

Will Power conserves fuel to win Long Beach Grand Prix: After an engine problem forced every car with a Chevy V6 to drop 10 places on the grid, eight Chevy-powered cars finished in the top 10, including Will Power's victorious ride. (From The Marbles/Yahoo)

Auto supplier warns of resin shortage disrupting output: In the butterfly-effect world of auto manufacturing, a fire at one plant in Germany can shake factories around the globe. (Bloomberg)