Ford Focus Electric quietly rolling out, and no one is buying it

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Focus Electric

The Ford Focus Electric has quietly been on sale for some time, with few takers. Photo Credit: MSVG(Michael Gill)/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

Ford has joined the ranks of companies making electric cars by releasing the Ford Focus Electric, which is being slowly rolled out across the country. The electric Focus is not taking the world by storm; only a few people have purchased one.

Slow-burning debut

Like many other green vehicles, the electric Ford Focus is being given a slow rolling debut, gradually going on sale in a few states at a time. Currently, according to USA Today, the Focus EV is available in California, New Jersey and New York along with 19 scattered metropolitan areas. It will slowly go on sale everywhere else over the course of the rest of the year.

Ford is also trying to increase the exposure for the car, according to the Wall Street Journal, by getting NASCAR to make the Focus electric the official pace car for Richmond 400 in April. It is the first time that an electric vehicle has been used as the NASCAR pace car, though NASCAR has used “green” cars as pace cars since at least 2008, when a Ford Fusion hybrid was used during the Ford 400 in Miami, according to Nascar.com.

Total sales of 12

The Focus electric is not, according to AutoBlog, off to a very strong start. The cars went on sale in December, selling a total of 12 vehicles from the first day of availability to the end of January. Since then, not a single one has been sold.

[Shopping to buy a car does not have to be a stressful thing]

Part of the issue may be the battery pack. The base Focus starts at less than $20,000, but the Focus Electric starts at $39,200, before the $7,500 tax credit or state incentives. Much of that extra cost is because of the battery pack, which costs Ford between $12,000 and $15,000 per vehicle.

More in power but also price

The Focus Electric has a 23 kilowatt-hour battery pack that, according to CNET, gives it a range of 77 miles, slightly more than the Nissan Leaf. However, according to USA Today, careful driving may be able to extend that up to 100 miles. The Focus EV is good for 141 horsepower, compared to the Leaf’s 107, according to Edmunds. The Leaf is much cheaper though, coming in at $27,000 after the federal tax credit.

Charging time for the Focus electric is comparable. It takes about four hours using a 240-volt charger, which the owner has to purchase for $1,499. The Leaf manages about the same.

The Focus also comes with the MyFord Touch system and the MyFord Link app, a smartphone application for Android, iPhone or Blackberry that enables users to monitor charging status and battery levels. The interior also has a flourish of “green” touches, as the fabric and many components are made of recycled materials.

Sources

USA Today

AutoBlog

CNET

NASCAR: http://www.nascar.com/2008/news/opinion/11/14/splash.go.rswan.ford.hybrid/index.html

Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/korearealtime/2012/04/17/lg-chem-battery-powered-car-to-pace-nascar-race/?mod=google_news_blog

Edmunds: http://www.edmunds.com/nissan/leaf/2011/road-test2.html

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