The 2012 Ford Focus Electric will go on sale in California and New York first when it debuts later this year. That's the latest from Ford, who says that it plans to roll out the all-electric Focus in the remainder of its initial launch markets by spring 2012.

News of the early launch in California and New York disappointed some of the Focus Electric's prospective customers, who were counting on the hatchback going on sale in each of its launch markets by the end of the year. But Ford says the launch is still on schedule.

"It was never our plan to have 100,000 cars on the market in December," said a Ford spokesman quoted in the Wall Street Journal, who added that launching a new car "isn't like introducing an iPad."

That may be true, but it means buyers in Ford's 17 other launch markets - Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tucson and Washington, DC - will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the Focus Electric. Fortunately, their wait won't be long, as David Finnegan, Ford's marketing manager of electric vehicles, recently confirmed the car would arrive in each launch market by spring 2012.

The intense interest surrounding the Focus Electric's debut isn't surprising. The hatchback is the first fully-electric American car, since its Chevrolet Volt rival uses a gasoline engine in addition to electric motor. It's also only the second fully-electric car on sale, following the debut of Nissan's plug-in Leaf hatchback late last year.

Featuring a 130 horsepower electric motor combined with a lithium-ion battery pack, the Focus Electric offers a top speed of 84 miles per hour and a range of 100 miles on a single charge. The hatchback will be built alongside the traditional Focus in the automaker's Michigan Assembly Plant near Detroit.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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