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Ford Focus EV  (Source: Ford)
Focus EV will be offered in limited numbers for 2011

The focus of much of the automotive industry today is on the development of hybrid and full electric vehicles. Some of the companies like GM and Nissan are already fielding EVs and hybrids.

Other car brands like Ford are taking a more cautious approach to the EV and hybrid market. Ford has several hybrid vehicles on the road today and plans to offer full electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids over the next few years. 
The Detroit News reports that Ford exec Sue Cischke outlined Ford's electric vehicle timetable at an electric car even in Washington.

Part of the details that Cischke revealed included the fact that the all-electric Focus that is expected in 2011 will not see significant production numbers until 2012. She said, "We had always said 2011, which we'll still do, but I think you'll see more of the concentrated volume in 2012. Right now, we're getting ready to provide a little bit slower entry."

Cischke declined to offer a specific number of Focus EVs that will this the roads next year, but did hint at the number. She claims that the initial production volume of the Focus EV will be in the middle of the production numbers of the Volt and the Nissan Leaf. GM has already stated that it intends to build in the 10,000 to 15,000 range the first year of the Volt and Nissan plans 20,000 of its Leaf EVs the first year.

Cischke said, "I think it's going to be somewhere between the two when we first start out. Certainly, if it was very popular, we'd be able to get more batteries and do what we need to do."

She also talked a bit about the driving range of the Focus EV stating that the 100-mile driving range number is necessary because the battery packs will degrade over time. That statement hints that in some conditions the range may be higher than 100 miles. Cischke said, "You need to have some margin there."

She also noted that Ford plans on watching how GM and Nissan market their EVs and will learn from their wins and losses. Cischke also noted that if the Focus EV proves to be very popular in the first year, Ford can get more battery packs and increase the production numbers as needed to meet demand.



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Real Volume of Ford Focus EV?
By wldfire on 10/20/2010 8:48:09 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry to be a bit of a downer, but I have yet to see an actual quote from Cischke where she is the one mentioning the 10-20K range for 2011 production.. All of her language is about a "slow" rollout and "some" EVs on the roads in 2011. It looks to me like it is the reporters who are putting the 10-20K range in there based upon estimated production numbers for the Volt and Leaf in 2011. Truth is, "first year" production on these cars (or atleast those 2011 models coming out in 2010) is more like a few hundred at the most. Based on Ford's stealth-mode to date, I couldn't say which end of this range (300 units - 20K units) would be more accurate, but when model introduction gets rolled over into the next year like this, I'd tend to lean towards the lower end of the spectrum. Just look at the Volt and the Leaf as good examples..




RE: Real Volume of Ford Focus EV?
By knutjb on 10/21/2010 10:52:29 AM , Rating: 2
Ford is being very cautious to this market. Why? Because most people are not ready to have a car with limited range as compared to their equivalent ICE car that will cost more.

They have also built in to their production line, unlike their competitors, the ability to produce ICE only, hybrid, and EVs on the same production line just as they do with other options like leather or cloth seats. Additionally they are designing a common battery to be used in all their hybrid/EVs giving them more production flexibility. This enables them to translate market demand into production output with much less lag time.

Ford is operating from a completely different production paradigm than its domestic competitors and that should give them a significant advantage. They have been doing this for some years down in Brazil where they produce any combination of vehicles back to back on the same universal line, i.e. a small suv, then a compact, then a midsize, etc...


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