Ford Focus Electric
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Along with Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, Ford CEO Alan Mulally is confident in the growth of the electric car segment. It's a long-term play, though, so Mulally isn't committing the electric Ford Focus EV to making a strong sales statement. For now, Ford's chief says he'd be fine moving fewer than 5,000 Focus EVs in the model's first full year. And even that would mean a steep rise in uptake based on just 12 having been sold in December and January.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Mulally has also let slip the cost for the battery pack in the all-electric Focus: "around $12,000 to $15,000," which makes the Focus Electric's starting cost of $39,200 a bit more understandable. Given that price range and the EV's 23-kWh battery, that means Ford's cost is between $522 and $650 per kWh, which is lower than the estimated $689-per-kWh industry average so far this year.

Reportage on the current sales of EVs is a bit schizophrenic – for example, bullish here, bearish here, but the commentators and the numbers seem to support Mulally's confidence. If the Focus EV did manage 5,000 sales this year, that would be a little more than half of the 2011 tally for the Nissan Leaf, yet according to Bloomberg, EV market share grew more quickly than any other segment in Q1: Nissan is still working through its Leaf pre-order list, Chevrolet Volt sales were up 277 percent to 2,129 units vs. March 2011, the Opel Ampera has exceeded sales expectations, and other electric vehicles and their marketing pushes will come online later this year. Oh, and gas prices are still climbing.

There were no Focus EVs sold in February or March, but the retail push is gearing up now for the Spring season.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 89 Comments
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's amazing to see the hatred from some ABG readers for the Ford Focus EV. Self-appointed costing experts, with absolutely no industrial engineering or cost-analysis experience, confidently pontificate about how much the Ford focus Electric should cost. Others invent absurd conspiracy theories based on the 'accusation' that Ford has components developed by specialist makers, if this was a sinister, unique act, in an industry where almost all models, especially low volume models, have some speciality outsourcing. But what I detest, is the hopeful gloating that an EV will fail ! Ford were one of the pioneers in EV's. The fact that the Nasser years brought Ford to near catastrophe, means a financially cautious Ford can no longer take multi-billion dollar gambles to satisfy the opinions of a few EV critics most of whom, wouldn't actually buy any EV. True EV enthusiasts, should be delighted that 5000 Ford buyers may actually like the FFE. (ignoring the rantings of armchair experts). The important thing should be that another EV is available, and the Ford FE will appeal to people who don't want a Leaf, or wait for a much larger Tesla (at a much higher price) . Most FFE buyers will be people who would probably not buy an EV from another maker.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        @Marco Polo Well, I do have experience in running a small car company. The theory is much the same, just larger numbers. I believe I also have a modest degree of experience in financial and corporate investment analysis. These are skills while provide some insight into the complexity of large industrial corporations. But then, I'm not the one pontificating on the manufacturing costing for any particular model of car. Your dislike of all things American, and love of Renault, makes you judge others by your own measure. EV manufacture is not a tribal issue. Hating one manufacturer and being loyal to another is childish. If i have a personal preference, it's for the Volt, as I think it's most versatile. That doesn't mean I hate Nissan or Renault. Apart from the specialist EV's we commission, buy or build, for commercial reasons I have purchased a number of Toyota Prius (Japanese) as fleet cars and Hybrid Lexus (Japanese), Blade Electron EV's (Australian) Liberty Range Rover Electric. (UK) and 32 Vectrix maxi-scooters (US/UK/Polish). I will replace the Toyota's with GM Ampera's. (American). I am looking at buying several Kangoo EV's. You will notice no Fords! Not even ICE models. (Although I do own some ageing F-series and Bronco's for farm use. ) However, if comparisons are made it's important that such comparisons are fair and accurate. It's a mistake to think that because one model sits your own taste or circumstances, everyone else will feel the same way. That's the whole point of freedom of choice. The more EV models the better. I have no objection to fair and informed, comparisons, but I fail to see how ill-conceived misinformations serves any useful purpose. Especially, when those inaccurate negative comments are intended to damages the sales of any EV manufacturer .
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Perhaps you might like to detail your experience of running a major car company. If it is non-existent that makes you just about as much of an armchair expert as any of those you criticise. That is pretty much what blogs are about, to discuss viewpoints, and it is not clear why you imagine that your own is worth more than anyone else's, and you are a cut above. Expert discussion happens on expert forums, this is a green auto blog. For some odd reason you appear to have a blind loyalty to American car companies, and Ford in particular, regardless of what they turn out. Some element of relative judgement about the things that you consider they have done well and those which they haven't or have done less well might give your views some element of credibility they currently lack.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      'without having them all 'splodey'..... :D
      dmay
      • 2 Years Ago
      They still haven't given consumers a reason to buy one instead of the Leaf. Same range. Functionally the same efficiency. No fast charge option. Higher cost. I can't think of one single reason why someone would buy this car instead of a Leaf. (Maybe there's someone out there that wants to drive and EV but wants it to look like he's not driving an EV.)
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dmay
        The Ford Jokus EV does have some nice things over the Leaf: -Much more visually appealing than the Leaf to many (count me in that group) -Level-2 charger that is approximately twice as fast at the Leaf charger. -A little more power -Built in the USA (Yeah, I know . . . the Leaf will be built here soon but not yet.) -Uh . . . I know it must have a few more advantages. ;-)
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dmay
        "I can't think of one single reason why someone would buy this car" Individually, no. Corporately, only if you have an exclusive fleet purchase / lease program with Ford.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dmay
        @Jason: You must be a very odd shape since the Leaf is bigger than the Focus.
        Jason Allen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dmay
        I fit in the focus very well but was cramped in the leaf. Plus the torque is a bit better too. Large amercans probably need a focus EV instead of a leaf. I want others including friends to get a leaf if it fits them in all ways.
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Ford's chief says he'd be fine moving fewer than 5,000 Focus EVs in the model's first full year." No sh*t. But the thing is, while PT Barnum was right that there's a sucker born every minute, but sales to date of 12 cars over 4 months mean that idiots with money aren't quite so common. Besides, e-MINI, Smart EV got there first to take their candy with low-value, overpriced EV conversions. OTOH, if this started within 5% of the Leaf base price, a case could be made for 5000 sold in the first year.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        What's the deal with shooting so low and not trying? I can only imagine it is a CAFE play and nothing more. Automakers don't build cars without the intent to really sell them or be price competitive. Unless it's one of those dang electrics... Why is that?
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Ford and Magna probably thought they had more time before GM would reach production, and that they could get their car done without delays.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          "I think Ford's fundamental position though is that pure electrics are not going to sell" At $40k for a Focus with MIEV performance, no, they won't. At $40k for an EREV, or $30k for a MIEV, yes they will. Had Ford launched a E-Fiesta as a dedicated BEV at a MIEV-like price point, they might have actually done OK as a city runabout.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          I think they were playing this partly for serious engineering reasons to master the technology, and partly to play the 'patriot' card so that Government departments and so on order it . However if Throwback is correct and like for like specs put the price difference at only around $2k instead of $4k, then they are a bit more competitive for people who really can't stand the looks of the Leaf. I think Ford's fundamental position though is that pure electrics are not going to sell, and that Nissan are making a mistake. I'd expect the 2013 Leaf to further undercut them.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford is wisely setting low expectations for this vehicle that is not competitive economically with what is already on the market. The $12K to $15K battery price is very disappointing. I would have hoped for prices a little less than $500/KWH these days. But even at those prices, they should have been able to sell it for less than $40K. If we assume the $15K price and add that to the base Ford Focus price of $17K that is only $32K. It can't take $8K to remove the ICE drivetrain and put in an EV drive train!
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Ford isn't doing the work, so there's no economy of scale. Magna is doing a low-volume conversion, and they only have a very small handful of vehicles to spread the costs over. Same issue with the TCE.
          Mart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Magna/Azure Dynamics got Solecria's tech. Maybe Ford should have just made the Sunrise instead.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          It is a little better than the Transit Connect Electric (TCE) since it is at least built on the Ford assembly line and thus manufactured more efficiently than a glider conversion done in a shop.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Throwback: Many thanks. I was trying to find out what the price difference is taking into account equipment levels, which in the case of the Focus are at the Titanium level I believe, but could not readily find them and comparing US prices and specs is tricky if you are not a native as it is easy to be thrown out by delivery charges, local taxes and so on. That is a much more bridgeable gap, although i suspect we will see major price reductions in the Leaf as production is localised and the low volume for the Ford make price reduction both difficult and unlikely.
          throwback
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Magna is not building this car. It's built on the same line as the gas Focus. Magna did the engineering on the car, so I am assuming Ford is not willing to sell the car at a loss. If this is too expensive then one of two things will happen, they will drop the price, or kill the car. If EVs take off they can adjust their production to meet demand. If they are not price competitive then they lose. I don't understand all the whining about the price. It's $1,900 more than a similarly specced Leaf, people buying a Leaf aren't exactly hurting for money.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        They are hardly getting bulk buyer discount. Their costs have got nothing to do with those of Nissan, Mitsubishi or GM, other than to indicate an absolute top end limit.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      built to fail of course. built ford dense
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thanks for posting the cost of the battery pack. A beef I have had was everyone saying, 'I want it to go this fast, this far, but only cost $19,000.'. This helps to explain the costs involved. We can all comment from a position of knowledge.... What is fun is, the motorheads on other websites are the same. 'I want a new GTO, with a V8, 500 hp, seats 5, get good gas mileage, but keep the price at $19,000.' Good luck with that...
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        EZEE, have you been watching the idiot Ford fanboys going after the BRZ on AB?
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          SVX: Don't put silly words of your own invention into my mouth. I certainly do not think that the Prius C has a $15k battery inside. In fact since it uses the different chemistry of NiMH I don't know what it does cost. But I do know and was pointing out that a lithium battery in the small sizes in hybrid is much more expensive per kwh than the large ones in BEVs. So hybrids with lithium batteries are not paying $5-600 kwh, but perhaps $1,500 or $2,000 kwh for their 1.5 kwh or so batteries.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          EZEE: I don't have an answer to that directly, but don't confuse the costs of NiMH batteries like that in the Prius C with the costs of lithium. Many including Toyota and Peugeot say it is cheaper, but that may not be true for Nissan/Renault or Mitsubishi. The other area which needs separating out is that smaller batteries which have to have a relatively high power output and have to cycle loads of times are very different to the much bigger packs in a BEV both in specification and cost.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          SVX: That 'tiny battery' in the Prius C has to deal with a lot of cycling. That tends to cost way, way more than slower cycling.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          So you're saying the Prius C has a $15k battery inside it? No.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          I stopped going to autoblog after their political nonsense leaked onto that side. Nothing wrong with being a fan, but when it turns into a 'my side can do no wrong...' that is annoying. Actually, I was happy this article posted the cost of the batteries. What then do the batteries cost on a Prius c? That is the cost leader right now....
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          @EE, Prius C has only a tiny battery to support low-speed hybrid driving. It's not at all cost comparable. I doubt it's more than $1k.
      Jiminy StAck
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have a Focus EV and it has been very good. It even has liquid cooling just like a Tesla. The batteries may last 16-20 years even in the Phoenix HEAT. We also have a LEAF to compare. The LEAF is distinct and everyone know you are driving electric, the Focus looks European and many like that but have no idea it's electric. It's less than $1 of US electric vs a gallon of gas that makes 20 lbs of pollution and is 40% imported at at a cost of $1 Billion a day. I'll help the USA thank you and save money while doing it. .
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Tax system has changed in UK Electric cars will now have to complete on cost with other normal cars, the electric car tax incentives are getting removed so unless the price of the electric car comes down to match gas/diesel car prices it is doomed to failure. http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/autoexpressnews/281911/evs_doomed_by_tax_move.html
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rick
        That's a bit OTT. The benefit in kind tax on EV's is to be 13%. On a Ford Focus for instance it will be 20% in 2014/5. The Renault's are about the same price as their diesel equivalent so the difference is not made up by higher purchase price. Fuel is also taxed as a benefit in kind where fuel is provided by the company at 19% Presumably battery lease will be charged at this rate. It is certainly a silly move at this stage of the car electrification game, but probably not fatal.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Rick: BTW, in practise I can't see anyone getting 50 mpg carrying a load in city traffic, so the fuel cost for 1,250 pm would likely be higher than that. There are also exemptions from congestion charges, road tax and so on for the electric vehicle.
          Rick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Some like Renaults electric Kangoo van costs £16,990 to buy new with the added cost of battery hire £105 a battery leasing thats before you have added one electron, compared to a diesel Kangoo van that costs £8,950 with no range anxiety or 8 hour lay ups for battery charges.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @Rick: Here is the price guide for Renault Vans including electric: http://www.renault.co.uk/Resources/PDF/Brochures/Van_Price_Guide.pdf I am not going to go through in extreme detail to compare specs, but it appears that the price you give is for some sort of stripped down special edition, and that the general use 'Core' versions of the van are about £12,550. The ZE version has a discount from the Government available, so the £16,990 you quote is an actual cost of £13,592: http://www.renault.co.uk/vans/model/kangoo-van-ze/pricesandspecs.aspx So there is typically about a grand in it. If you look at page 9 on the pdf then the battery hire over 36 months is £87 pm for 15,000 miles pa. Your 1250 miles/mo is going to use around 416kwh, at 10p per kwh off peak that is £42. Total electric cost pm around £130 Urban mileage is around 50mpg for the Kangoo: http://www.mosteconomicalcar.com/uk/most-economical-vans-uk.htm For 1250 miles/mo that is 25 Imperial gallons, or 112 litres. Diesel is currently £1.47/litre: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/apr/20/petrol-prices-new-high-falls-expected?newsfeed=true So you are paying £165 pm on fuel. In addition the residual on the electric with the battery hired is around half again as great as on the diesel. more than making up for the extra £1,000 you initially spent, and maintenance negligible. This compares twith
      • 2 Years Ago
      So - what ICE engine costs nothing? - bullshit - I bet new engine costs about $6k - so how 12-15k battery pack makes EV that much more expensive compared to the ICE one.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        ICE engines don't cost $6K. You can get a crate motor (ICE engine complete in a box) for less than that and those things have a 200% or more markup.
          Ford Future
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Let's not forget, there is no pollution testing compliance costs, labor or paperwork. A whole set of EPA regulations go out the window, as Not Applicable.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          You have the transmission and a whole heap of other things like the exhaust system in an ICE which you don't need in a BEV as well as the engine, which itself has a thousand or so parts instead of the few in an electric engine. List of the differences here: http://www.electricauto.me/Learning.html
          Ford Future
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          The Catalytic Converter alone costs $1000.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Rotation; does that include all the emissions equipment, fuel lines, ECU, etc?
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          I still think that an EV drivetrain (without battery) is probably approximately equal in price to an ICE drivetrain. The EV should be cheaper since it is much simpler. But it is currently built in low volumes. And you need to change the heating & air conditioning systems since there is no big hot ICE motor to draw heat or power from.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          2WM: It includes fuel lines on the engine, fuel pump, ECU. It includes all emissions equipment up to the headers, which leaves some expensive (but ordinary) bits like catalytic converters off. Even adding this stuff will not make an ICE $6K. Catalytic converters do NOT cost $1K. The retail price is usually around there and the markup on repair parts is enormous.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ferrari is a nother hand built car. Let's see a Ford Jokus EV or a Tesla model S. One is a 40k dollars and goes 70 miles at 55mph, the other is 57k dollars with 160 miles range at 55mph. The choice is not even close for me. Thumbs down Ford. One is a ploy for greenwash that wishes to push ICE's. The other is, all in, with no ICE pollution machines to fall back on.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        Ford Jocus EV! Well named! Kudos!
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        Ford Jokus EV will now be my new derisive term for this vehicle. It is certainly nice to have another EV on the market but this one is low on the totem pole. They probably felt releasing the battery price would give them some sympathy. To the contrary, it seems to make matters worse. We now know they are charging $8K to $11K to remove the ICE components and put in EV components. That is far too much.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @Mart: Hardly fair on Mitsubishi. The car they used was suitable for conversion and does not suffer from defects like the intrusion into the trunk that the Focus EV does. Similarly the Honda with a similar body style works well. Re-design is only appropriate when the old one causes problems as it does in the Focus. Mitsubishi have also extensively re-jigged the basic design for the US market, are producing in the tens of thousands rather than a dozen or so, and currently have the cheapest EV's on the market. The differences seem more pronounced than the one similarity of not being a fresh body design.
          Mart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Both Ford, with it's Focus platform, and Mitsubishi, using the existing "i" in most markets, have gambled that using an existing ICE platform and converting it to electric will be cheaper than designing a new car from the ground up (Nissan Leaf) for electric drive. Apparently the cost of not installing parts is pretty high.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Agree with Dave - the MIEV was largely purpose-built as EV, unlike FFE / TCE, which are quick & dirty conversions. There is a *lot* more actual BEV engineering in the MIEV.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          I don't know what the MiEV was originally designed as, but it works well as an EV platform since it is small, lightweight, reasonably aerodynamic, and they were able to mount the batteries to the bottom to keep the center of gravity low, protect the batteries, and keep the batteries from crashing into passengers in an accident.
      MTN RANGER
      • 2 Years Ago
      I own a Volt and I still want the Focus Electric to do well. If they dropped the price by $3k, they could sell well. But then that's the problem, Ford doesn't want to sell more.
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