Ford Focus EV reservations open today

by Ernie Hernandez on November 2, 2011

Ford Focus EV

First Foci EV offers limited availability to the coastal few

The Ford Focus EV opened to consumer reservations today – if you happen to live in California or New York.

Initial orders will be taken in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco in California, as well as New York. 15 additional markets will open up next year including Atlanta, Austin and Houston, Texas; Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Orlando, Fla., Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va., Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Also, in Ford’s words a limited number of Focus EVs will be available initially. We don’t know how many that means, but certainly we expect the delivery numbers to be very low through the beginning of next year with deliveries ramping up slowly as other markets are allowed into the reservation system.

We think that the Focus EV is a good looking car and it most closely resembles LEAF capabilities and characteristics of all of the vehicles that we have seen to date. Ford’s web site does not yet offer all of the statistics on the vehicle, although some are pointed out in the initial marketing pages displayed.

Focus offers a 23 kilowatt hour battery pack, similar in capacity to the LEAF. Ford has chosen to include a 6.6 kilowatt hour on-board charger though, so charging time on a 240-volt system will be roughly half that of the LEAF. For nightly charging this makes no real difference, as either will get you charged before you wake up. Where it may help is those opportunity charging situations where you are out for the day. An hour on a 240-volt charging dock in the LEAF will get you roughly 10 miles. Expect to see 20 miles returned to the Focus EV during that same time frame. Not enough to make a difference if you are looking to make a long trip, but it could be the difference on that day trip to the coast or not. Nissan has not yet commited to providing the 6.6 kilowatt hour on-board charger yet, although it is widely assumed that it will be incorporated on those LEAFs coming out of Smyrna late next year.

Starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the Focus EV is $39,200 plus $795 destination. Currently only one option is offered – leather seating for $995. As we get additional information on specifications – which we expect to closely mirror the LEAF – we will keep you informed.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sasparilla November 3, 2011 at 7:11 am

I was rather surprised by how high Ford went with the price on the Focus Electric (they’ve changed the name from Focus EV). They went with Volt pricing for a Leaf type vehicle.

That said, this vehicle was developed and pitched to Ford executives by a Canadian supplier (crazy smart supplier) – the issue here though is that the Focus Electric will be a very production limited vehicle (they don’t have a big component or battery factory getting ready in the US like GM or Nissan) – so they probably made the decision that demand will outstrip supply for the foreseeable future and they may as well go high on the price.

No quick charger (result of the supplier designed architecture so it would fit in the majority of small car architectures since they planned on selling it to multiple manufacturers) and very little trunk space are downsides to the vehicle, but it sure looks nice.

Interesting story behind the vehicle: http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/20/autos/ford_electric/index.htm

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Sasparilla November 3, 2011 at 7:14 am

Sorry for the double post, I mis-typed there – the lack of trunk space (not the lack of a quick charger) was the result of the generic EV architecture the supplier designed putting the inverter up in the trunk so it would fit in most small car designs.

On the Leaf the inverter is under the hood. Its out of the way on the Volt too, although I’m not sure where its placed.

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Tom K November 3, 2011 at 8:58 am

I’m disappointed with the price. It does seem Ford, like GM, is making a tepid start into the EV arena. The only advantage I see in the car is a faster built in charger. I would love a 6.6kw in my LEAF…

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Chris November 3, 2011 at 9:34 am

I like the Focus styling much more than the “crazy catfish + full diaper” look of the Leaf. However, it’s still not ending up in my garage. The 23KWh battery pack is just too small. With a 24 mile round trip commute, an average day would be fine with a Focus EV. However, I have occasional errands that take me from La Jolla to Escondido – about 50 miles round trip of highway driving. I know the EPA will rate this thing at somewhere around 70 miles range (and Ford will claim 100), but 50 miles at highway speeds is pushing it. Add in battery degradation over time, and it’s too close a call to spend $40K on.
Additionally, I don’t like how the Focus EV is a conversion. Nissan did it right by building a new car from the ground up and (among other things) placing the battery flat under the car. I applaud Ford for testing the waters of the EV world, but it feels like their heart isn’t really in it. Ford, if you’re going to phone it in – don’t expect people to line up for your product.

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Tom K November 3, 2011 at 9:38 pm

The “crazy catfish + full diaper” look of the Leaf… ;-|
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… I’ve never had anybody tell me my LEAF looks like a fish or a diaper… Everyone has been impressed with the car, including it’s looks (mine is red). Just buy a LEAF and get on with the EV revolution….

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steve November 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Ford messed up their timing with respect to the Portland market, as the state tax credit vanishes at the end of 2011.

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Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) November 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm

It seems that Nissan isn’t the only one that hasn’t ironed out all the wrinkles yet…

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