Is It Now Ready To Compete With Top Seller Nissan Leaf?
In early 2013, the Nissan Leaf shed a massive $6,500 from its $35,200 base price to offer a new starting price of $28,800. Since then, we have seen numerous other plug-in vehicles get smaller price tags, from the Honda Fit EV (lower lease price) to the Chevrolet Volt (around $5,000 lower) to the Mitsubishi i (a $6,130 drop). Last year, Ford lowered the $39,200 price of the Focus Electric by around $4,000, but that hasn't been enough to get the Ford EV to really compete, saleswise, with other plu
Perhaps a confluence of larger public and private incentives will help EV reach the tipping point north of the border. Canadian consumers are now privy to company, provincial and dealership incentives that could total more than C$12,000 ($11,200 US) for battery-electric cars such as the Smart ForTwo ED and Ford Focus Electric.
Ford has, for at least the second year in a row, teamed up with techno promoter Paxahau and a couple of artists to make music in recognition of the Detroit Movement music festival. This time, Movement performers Ataxia and Secrets were selected by Ford, and were invited to spend some time at the automaker's Michigan Assembly Plant, which gives birth to the Ford Focus and Focus Electric models.
The Nissan Leaf models are the easiest to spot, since they dominate the foreground. But Tesla Model S EVs and Chevy Volt plug-in hybrids are represented as well. Look a little closer and you'll see a Ford Focus Electric and Mistubishi i EVs. And is that a Cadillac ELR we see?
The styling changes to the 2015 Ford Focus were shown off at the recent Geneva Motor Show, so what the EV version looks like is not that much of a surprise. Still, the 2015 Focus Electric is making its world debut here at the New York Auto Show, so we wanted to know what changes we are looking at compared to both the internal combustion engine version and the earlier EV models.
Upper-level Ford executives are sending mixed messages about the power of plug-in vehicles, but in the companies parking lots across North America, at least, the signal is clear: come on and charge your EV.
When we saw a note about a recall for the Ford Focus Electric, our first reaction was, "is that a new one? Because it's getting hard to tell." This year, we've already seen the Blue Oval's all-electric hatch recalled for non-working door chimes and a "wiring incompatibility" in the headlights. The car is also reportedly under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the "Stop Safely Now" issue.
Everything's coming up batteries. Over in Ann Arbor, MI, the University of Michigan is announcing a new lab to test out new battery chemistries and concepts, all with an eye towards building better electric cars. The basic idea is to see if these "experimental battery chemistries" will work on a small scale before automakers and suppliers build a whole bunch of them. The lab is scheduled to open next fall and will be available to "any automotive or non-automotive firm," according to The Detroit
Ford will be voluntarily recalling 23,830 Focus Electric and C-Max Hybrid and Energi models equipped with push-button ignition, according to The Detroit News. Why? Because the cars don't make a noise when the driver's door is open, and are therefore in violation of federal regulations. It's not as silly as Honda's badging recall that isn't a recall, but it's close.
In editor-speak, Ford may have buried the lede here. The US automaker, which sells the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrids as well as the Ford Focus Electric, was looking to get some press by letting the world know that drivers of its four production plug-in models put on 203,000 miles of electric-only miles a day, or the equivalent of eight trips around the earth.
The feds are stepping in to investigate the "Stop Safely Now" messages that a Ford Focus Electric vehicle driver reported to AutoblogGreen earlier this year. The situation is a serious one, but not widespread as Reuters reports that the NHTSA has received just 12 complaints. Not a big number considering Ford has sold 1,910 Focus EVs through August of this year, and Reuters estimates 1,000 of the EVs are included in the just-launched federal probe.
Ford is recalling 6,308 units of the 2012 and 2013 Focus Electric and 2013 Focus ST that were fitted with HID headlights because a "wiring incompatibility" could keep the front side marker lights from working. A bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the recall should begin in the middle of this month, after which owners can take their cars to dealers to have the wiring assembly repaired free of charge.
Between slow sales and a hefty price drop for its nearest rival, the Ford Focus Electric may be looking at a pretty substantial price cut. The Detroit News is reporting that Ford will drop the price of the all-electric by about $4,000 to $35,200 to be more competitive with the Nissan Leaf, which received a big price cut for 2013 down to $28,800.
So far this year (through the end of May), Ford sold 723 Focus Electrics in the US. Not a whole lot – especially compared to Nissan, which sold more than ten times that many Leafs (7,614). What's interesting is that Ford isn't going to immediately make a bunch of changes for the 2014 model year to try and push that number up. Not according to a report in The Detroit News, anyway.
In a sort of "man bites dog" development for the green-car set, Ford plug-in hybrid drivers are hooking themselves up to charging stations at a greater frequency than drivers of the automaker's pure battery-electric Focus, Green Car Reports says, citing a presentation Ford's Mike Tinskey made in oh-so-green Portland, Oregon.
So far in 2013, Ford has sold roughly 600-700 Focus Electric vehicles, which can help put the fact that we have just four officially reported problems with something called the "Stop Safely Now" light into perspective.
About one in three US Ford dealers will be certified to sell plug-in vehicles by this spring, as the automaker gets ready to increase sales of its Focus Electric vehicle and C-Max and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids, Automotive News reports, citing the company.
The Detroit News reports Ford is having real trouble moving its new Focus Electric. As a result, the automaker is offering substantial incentives in an attempt to lure in more buyers. How substantial? Try $10,750 off of a three-year lease. What's more, the EV can now be had for $37,995 ($2,000 less than its original base price) on top of an additional $2,000 cash discount to buy the EV outright – or you can opt for 1.9-percent financing if you work through Ford Motor Credit. None of which
Waiting for a Ford compliment from Consumer Reports these days is like waiting for a low-cost new product from Apple. So we weren't really expecting a glowing review of the 2013 Ford Fusion when CR got its hands on the car. The institute's crew bought three different versions of the Fusion (Hybrid, 1.6-liter EcoBoost and a Titanium with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost) to put through its barrage of tests, and while we aren't too surprised by some of the findings, they're still interesting nonetheless.