DETROIT – Ford Motor Co. will offer a full-electric vehicle based on the Focus C-car platform in 2011, through a newly formed partnership with Magna International Inc.

The battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, as Ford dubs it, will be powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery and have a range of up to 100 miles (161 km) on a single charge, the auto maker says, noting it expects annual sales volume of the vehicle to be 5,000 to 10,000 units.

The BEV’s exterior styling will be different than the Focus, Ford says, declining to reveal what the new vehicle will look like.

Speaking at the North American International Auto Show here, Executive Chairman Bill Ford says the electrification of the automobile is the direction customers, and the country, want the auto maker to take.

“I think that is where society would like to see the entire industry go, and Ford is going to lead that charge,” he says.

Don Walker, co-CEO of Magna, says collaboration “drives innovations and keeps costs down. Bringing a fully electric vehicle to market that meets customer expectations in terms of cost and performance is a great testament to both our companies’ expertise and collaborative efforts.”

Marketing a BEV will have its challenges, Jim Farley, Ford director-marketing and communications, tells Ward’s on the sidelines of the show here, requiring a new way thinking.

“The way people buy a battery. The way you operate and charge your battery,” he says. “We’re seeing a lot of new business models in the dealership. There are a lot of really intriguing new options coming out about the BEV, and how it comes to market. I think we’ll see a lot of new business models with electrification.”

Before the arrival of the Focus-based BEV, Ford will launch a full-electric van in 2010. Plans also call for bringing next-generation hybrids and a plug-in hybrid EV to market in 2012.

In addition to its partnership with Magna, Ford says it has entered into a 4-way “Eco-Partnership” in China to expand its expertise with electric-powered vehicles. The venture includes Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co. Ltd. and the cities of Chongqing, China, and Denver.

The Eco-Partnership will examine ways to develop projects to advance energy security and promote economic and environmental sustainability. Areas of concentration include developing electrified-vehicle technologies, green-city planning, efficient urban transportation and electric-grid integration.

bpope@wardsauto.com