It’s almost here, and the pricing has been announced. Ford has priced its new Focus Electric at $39,995 USD -essentially the same price as the Chevrolet Volt, but more than the Nissan Leaf, which starts at about $35,200 USD.
American buyers will qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit, which directly reduces the price they pay, and makes it closer to the Nissan Leaf in price.
Ford dealers in California, New York and New Jersey are now taking orders. Consumers can choose options and accessories online at www.ford.com/electric/focuselectric/2012/ . Options come at a price however, and by selecting a special paint coating or leather seats, the price can reach $41,485.
A limited number of the cars will arrive at dealerships in the three launch states by the end of this year. That’s right, December 2011. It seem Ford have been spooked by the sales of the Nissan Leaf and are going to cash in themselves. God knows Honda and Toyota have some embarrassing catching up to do in this area too.
The Focus Electric is powered by a 92-kilowatt electric motor, and can be recharged in a little more than three hours using a 240-volt charging station.
“The all-new Focus Electric is an important part of Ford’s overall strategy, bringing another option to customers who want a car that is fun to drive, easy to own and fully electric,” said Chad D’Arcy, marketing manager for the car.
So far, Americans haven’t rushed dealerships to buy either the Leaf (8,048 sold through October) or the Volt (5,003 sold) due to the high cost and low availability, with a small few opting for home conversions instead, where they take an existing gasoline powered car, and convert it to run on clean, silent electricity (shameless plug for my do-it-yourself conversion series available to download here).
But what about range? Will the Focus finally prove that you can make modern electric cars that can travel longer than 100 miles per charge (like the Tesla Roadster), or will they play it safe, as to not make their diesel and gasoline fleet look low tech by comparison.
Well, call me a conspiracy theorist, but Ford can be added to the growing list of gasoline car makers which provide a limited-range electric car. Yep, you guessed it. Like the BMW i3, the Nissan Leaf, the Mitsubishi iMiEV, the new Ford Focus electric has been given a capped range of 100 miles.
Oh well. Can someone wake me when the 300 mile per charge Tesla Model S arrives in early 2012?