Ford headlines the industrywide trend toward electrification when it rolls out the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, raising the bet in the EV segment by a large amount. The Focus Electric seats five yet is capable of more than 100 miles per gallon equivalent and recharges faster than the Nissan Leaf, according to Ford.Ford claims fuel-economy leadership over the comparable Toyota Prius models as it reveals the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi. The Energi is the plug-in version that allows extended travel exclusively on battery power. Ford also can claim utility advantage, thanks to these mini-minivans' hands-free tailgate that opens when motion-sensing technology detects the operator's foot swooshing under the rear bumper.Meanwhile, other makers from Europe and Asia are wading more deeply into the green pool. Volkswagen has confirmed an electric vehicle concept, although the company was guarding details. VW also will show a Prius-fighting hybrid version of the Jetta.BMW will present the world premier of the 2012 ActiveHybrid 3, which the company says is the world's first-ever full hybrid among premium, compact sport sedans. The 2012 ActiveHybrid 5 will make its North American debut. Additionally, the i3 and i8 will appear. These electric and electric-hybrid cars with carbon fiber-reinforced bodies are scheduled for sale in 2013 and 2014, respectively.Battery-powered trucks were common after World War I, and to many the idea seemed right because a limited range often suited delivery routes. FedEx is testing an electrified Nissan van in Europe, and now Nissan will unveil an American-market van with Leaf-like electric propulsion.The company said this unveiling "previews a future production version of a full electric vehicle designed to provide businesses or families with flexible, roomy cargo space, while offering a dramatic CO2 footprint reduction."Details of production, price and timing are expected for the Cadillac ELR, which translates the sharp-looking 2009 Converj concept to a car based on the Chevy Volt's platform. "Like other milestone Cadillac models of the past, the ELR will offer something not otherwise present — the combination of electric propulsion with striking design and the fun of luxury coupe driving," said Cadillac vice president Don Butler. If his optimism is justified, the shopping malls around Beverly Hills should start to add compact-only parking spaces near the entrances.Mercedes-Benz will present the world premier of two hybrid versions of the E-Class sedan: the European-market E300 BlueTEC HYBRID, which uses diesel power, and the E400 HYBRID, which combines a gasoline-fueled V-6 with an electric motor for a combined rating of 27 miles per gallon. The 2013 E400 will go on sale in the United States in the second half of 2012.