This issue is cost and weight, and how batteries that can supply a 200-mile single-charge range play into those figures. With Ford selling the Focus EV for less than $30,000, the company is likely looking to keep the MSRP in that range for the 2017 model-year version. Layden justifies that strategy by saying that a 100-mile range satisfies a "big chunk of the population."
Ford still thinks the EV sweet spot is more like 100 miles than 200.
Whether folks are willing to trade another 100-odd miles of range for an extra $6,000 or so remains to be seen. The Bolt, also set to debut this fall, will have a 200-mile range and a price tag of about $37,500. Tesla is promising a 215-mile range for about $35,000 with the Model 3 that was first shown off to the public late last month. And Nissan is talking about boosting the range of its next-generation Leaf to at least 200 miles in 2018. Ford isn't alone, though. Hyundai has said its upcoming Ioniq EV will have a single-charge range of 110 miles, showing a growing bifurcation when it comes to production EVs and single-charge ranges.
In late 2014, Ford shaved $6,000 off the price of the Focus EV to bring it under $30,000. Still, the model remains in the low-volume category, as Ford moved just 1,717 Focus EVs last year, down 21 percent from a year earlier. Through March, Ford has sold 257 Focus EVs this year.