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Ford is quick to point out how much superior the Focus Electric is compared to the Nissan Leaf

Ford officially announced its Ford Focus Electric at last year's CES. A little over a year later, Ford is announcing the EPA ratings for the 5-seat hatchback.
 
The Focus Electric is rated at 110 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) in the city and 99 MPGe on the highway (105 MPGe combined). Ford is quick to boast that the Focus Electric's combined rating is 6 MPGe better than the Nissan Leaf. For comparison, here are the combined MPGe ratings for some other electric and plug-in hybrids on the market:
   
Ford also points out that the Focus Electric has more passenger space, a faster charging system, and a slightly longer driving range (76 miles versus 73 miles) than the Leaf. However, while the Focus Electric may have better specs and economy ratings than the Leaf, you'll pay for it out of your wallet. The Focus Electric has a base MSRP of $39,995 versus $35,200 for the Leaf before a $7,500 tax credit.
 
“Ford is giving customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy regardless of what type of vehicle or powertrain technology they choose,” said Eric Kuehn, chief nameplate engineer, Focus Electric. “The Focus and Fusion are great examples of how we transformed our fleet of cars, utilities and trucks with leading fuel efficiency.”

 
The Focus Electric is powered by a 123hp electric motor and a 23 kWh lithium-ion LG Chem battery pack.
 
Ford recently announced that the upcoming Ford Fusion Energi would have an EPA rating of 100 MPGe.

Source: Ford



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WTF?
By Ramtech on 3/2/2012 1:23:19 PM , Rating: 3
Could someone please explain me whats the point to commercialize vehicles which have 75 mile range?




RE: WTF?
By laweijfmvo on 3/2/2012 1:25:59 PM , Rating: 5
imagine a family with multiple cars that has a < 75 mile commute each day. as well as any short trips in the evening or on the weekend (shopping).

it makes sense for some, but definitely not all.


RE: WTF?
By Steve1981 on 3/2/2012 1:52:39 PM , Rating: 2
Such a vehicle could make a sense with my family, but not yet at that price.

As it is, my commute is ~9 miles each way, and my wife's vehicle does the road trips as its a bit roomier and more comfortable than my econobox.

Still, in my case that works against it in price, because it won't pay itself back in a reasonable period of time versus a regular Focus.


RE: WTF?
By Mitch101 on 3/2/2012 2:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
My car is a commuter car and my wifes car is the family car. I just need it to go to and from work and when we go somewhere with the kids we take my wifes car.

With that 75 Miles it probably under ideal conditions but its far enough that for some people they may not have to charge the vehicle every day.

For me I travel 23 miles each way and at 46 miles commute that provides me with enough buffer to consider one of these providing the math comes out ahead for me to do this over a combustion engine vehicle. I certainly know recharging it isn't free either and there will be some cost there to offset the price of using petrol.

I also have to consider in today's economy that I may have to change jobs and possibly commute further. You have to consider every scenario and if this would still be able to handle the round trip should I have to change companies. Think ahead.

Top Gear British edition did a good show on electric vehicles and the hassle of running out of electricity.


RE: WTF?
By StanO360 on 3/2/2012 3:22:52 PM , Rating: 2
Must have a garage to park in, equipment in your garage as well.

The price is kind of silly, get a Focus for $16-17k and buy a lot of gas for $15k, plus the fact that it makes all of us pay for a fifth of the price!


RE: WTF?
By Uncle on 3/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: WTF?
By Ringold on 3/2/2012 4:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
My understanding is they're pretty much completely recyclable. As for how much the replacements cost... That's a shot in the dark, the way things change. My guess would be "less than they would today" with after-market options available in the future, but maybe not if material prices skyrocket.


RE: WTF?
By Samus on 3/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: WTF?
By Jedi2155 on 3/3/2012 2:01:02 AM , Rating: 5
The battery is designed to handle > 3000 cycles with 20% loss capacity, using 80% of the charge. 3000 cycles means, if you charged it EVERYDAY (weekends included) fully drained, you would get 8 years of use before it reaches 80% of its original capacity.

Since the battery pack is about 24-26 kWH, Ford designed it so only 80% of that is usable (so you can go the full 76 miles charge, and still only use 80% of the pack), you can get 76 miles * 3000 = 226,000 miles, where at that point the pack will have degraded approximately 20%, meaning after that you might start seeing some range loss. As since they didn't use the whole battery to begin with they can start using some of the remaining capacity, so you should still see the full 76 mile range after 226k miles. At that point you should already start looking for a new car.

EV batteries are not the same as laptop/iPhone batteries. They are far more durable and safe. My laptop battery has degraded to 70 capacity after 3 years. Definitely not the same quality.


RE: WTF?
By Mint on 3/3/2012 12:48:14 PM , Rating: 3
Yup, recharging completely every day is actually the best use of the battery.

If you do 3000 full charges, it cost you ~$7000 of electricity, but will save you $20k-30k of gas on those 226k miles even when compared to a 40MPG car. That's a fantastic savings, and the battery will keep on being useful, too.

Realistically, though, buyers will only do 1/3-1/2 of that mileage, as they can't take it for long trips, so payback time is probably 10 years or more. IMO, PHEV is better for maximizing gas savings from each kWh of battery that is produced.

I suspect that they would have high residuals, too, because even the reduced used capacity will save a lot of gas money 10 years later. Given the low volumes, I think the automakers should take a risk with attractive lease rates and the gov't should figure out a way to make some of the subsidy available for leases.


RE: WTF?
By Jedi2155 on 3/5/2012 9:48:01 AM , Rating: 2
PHEV's are probably the best and most practical vehicle for everyone right now. But then the argument is whether you should go for a blended parallel hybrid like the Prius where you have a really small battery to supplement the daily 30 mile commute to create around 80-90 MPG, or go pure EV like the Volt in those 30 miles, and "occasionally" use the engine.

The Volt is far more complex, but far more capable. You get a much better vehicle for your dollars, but you're also paying a lot (from a manufacturing standpoint as I'm sure Toyota is making a killing for their plug-in prius pricing.) for the extra capabilities of a super capable electric drive train.


RE: WTF?
By Calin on 3/5/2012 3:42:28 AM , Rating: 2
Degraded battery (even from 100% to 80%), means not only range loss but maximum power loss too.
Not that it would matter very much (I think). And, IF what Ford says about the battery is true, it will probably hold you more than 200k miles, after which you might want a new car anyway.


RE: WTF?
By Jedi2155 on 3/5/2012 9:44:01 AM , Rating: 2
This is true, but they've designed for that as well. Although how well, they've done it...is still an unknown. There will be some power loss, but most likely not noticeable by most consumers.


RE: WTF?
By Jedi2155 on 3/3/2012 1:54:13 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
With that 75 Miles it probably under ideal conditions but its far enough that for some people they may not have to charge the vehicle every day.


75 mile is not ideal conditions but typical conditions by standard drivers. The Volt is rated at 35 miles EV range by the EPA, but I'm regularly getting 45-50 miles per charge on LA freeways.


RE: WTF?
By bjacobson on 3/2/2012 6:19:00 PM , Rating: 3
if that's all you're driving it there's very little savings on gas to be had


RE: WTF?
By Shadowmaster625 on 3/2/2012 1:29:52 PM , Rating: 2
Well when gas costs 6 or 8 or 12 dollars a gallon who is going to want to drive more than 75 miles?


RE: WTF?
By Steve1981 on 3/2/2012 1:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
People will still want to drive more than 75 miles, they just may not be able to afford to do so as often.


RE: WTF?
By Spuke on 3/2/2012 2:07:59 PM , Rating: 5
I will be. Kind of looking forward to non-congested roads.


RE: WTF?
By Jeffk464 on 3/2/2012 2:09:41 PM , Rating: 2
Duh, the guy driving the natural gas honda civic. Thats a no brainer.


RE: WTF?
By Jedi2155 on 3/3/2012 2:03:12 AM , Rating: 2
Which probably still only has 200 miles of range. While you can find a electrical plug just about anywhere....what if they didn't have a CNG fueling station nearby? Lot more difficult to find those...


RE: WTF?
By greggles on 3/5/2012 9:07:41 AM , Rating: 3
If gas costs 8-12 dollars a gallon, do you think the price of electricity will remain the same?


RE: WTF?
By danjw1 on 3/2/2012 2:58:54 PM , Rating: 2
Do you actually read this site? Just a day or two ago there was a story that said most people have a commute that is <30~ miles one way. So that shouldn't be a problem for them. It certainly isn't a car you take on a road trip, but not everyone takes road trips.


RE: WTF?
By nafhan on 3/2/2012 4:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
The obvious answer is that it's designed to appeal only to those who drive less than 75 miles between charging opportunities. Is that what you were asking?


RE: WTF?
By Ramtech on 3/2/2012 5:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
I just fail to see market for such car
Now you can buy less expensive car that has 300 mile range why would you buy a car which has 75 mile range?
Charging opportunities thats another thing imagine yourself to go through that hassle for example road planning,charging it sounds easy but is every gas station equipped with outlet?
Stopping at motel to hire room for recharging that sucks

I mean that is a lot of annoyance for normal customer


RE: WTF?
By Keeir on 3/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: WTF?
By corduroygt on 3/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: WTF?
By wifiwolf on 3/2/2012 9:00:48 PM , Rating: 2
You think that spending spree is going to last your whole lifetime? Think again. Those times are over.


RE: WTF?
By corduroygt on 3/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: WTF?
By Ringold on 3/3/2012 11:25:56 PM , Rating: 2
Just like Greeces spending spree! Oh, wait.


RE: WTF?
By Keeir on 3/3/2012 1:29:41 AM , Rating: 1
Hello Corduroygt.

As usual, you show your inability to asses statistics.

#1. Your statistic is old. In 2011, it was 70 months.
#2. Your statistic is average. In fact, the statistic you quote implies a large percentage keep their new cars more than 70 months. (Median is different than mean, but lets just say its close to 50%)
#3. Cars have this thing called resale/residual value. VERY few cars are scrapped at 66k miles, 100k miles, or even 150k miles.

The Average AGE of a registered car in 2011 was ... 10.8 years!

That means that roughly 50% of the car currently on the road in 2011 have more than 145,000 miles on them, -right now-.

Clearly, people are driving a significant number of cars well past 150k. 200k/250k miles is more like a lifetime now. And future fuel savings WILL increase the residual price you get for a car. It certainly has for Hybrids which overall have a higher residual value than other cars.

However, at no point did I refer to the market in general.

I do keep cars for more than 150,000+ miles.
I would be paying more than 20,000 in gas today to fuel a standard Focus SFE.
I would be paying less than 5,000 in electricity to charge an electric Focus.
I would consider 15,000 over the length of a car to be a potential incentive for people like like to keep cars more than 150,000+ mile.

Too bad this Ford Electric is priced so high that its makes it hard to justify living with the restrictions.. as I noted.

Reading Comprehension is another thing you need to practice a bit more.

A final note,

Kelley Blue Book estimates the 5 year cost of Owning a base 2012 Chevy Volt at ~37,500 (With 7,500 Government Rebate and no State Incentives)

Kelley Blue Book estimates the 5 year cost of Owning a base 2012 VW GTI with Automatic is over ~40,000

But hey, we all know its perfectly economically acceptable to choose something like a VW GTI, but its not economically acceptable to choose an electric!


RE: WTF?
By corduroygt on 3/3/12, Rating: 0
RE: WTF?
By corduroygt on 3/3/2012 9:05:46 AM , Rating: 1
You are also wrong about the Volt base, it costs $40,354 to own in my zipcode for 5 years vs. $32,800 for the Civic EX, $33,286 for the Elantra Limited, and $36K for the Focus SEL.


RE: WTF?
By Keeir on 3/3/2012 10:36:43 AM , Rating: 2
Again.

Reading Comprehension. If you read, you'd discover that 40,354 number include 0 Federal Rebate. Essentially your saving Kelley Blue Book estimates in your area a Volt over 5 years would cost ~33,000.

But all of this is besides the point.

"fair" 70 month costs would do this

Leaf, Prius, Civic, Volt, Civic Si

Which, as I have noted before, are on paper, not bad spots for the cars to be. Its too bad EVs and PHEVs are not the CHEAPEST and MOST CAPABLE cars on the road. But I wonder if the people constantly harping on EVs and PHEVs for this reason really drive the cheapest cars on the road either... or if they make emotional choices to value certain activities.


RE: WTF?
By corduroygt on 3/3/2012 1:04:29 PM , Rating: 1
Nope it includes the rebate (- sales tax) in that site, no matter which zip code I use:

State Fees ($4,835)


RE: WTF?
By Keeir on 3/3/2012 3:18:30 PM , Rating: 2
Hm. I see something very different. I get ~45,000 with no negative values being listed (which is why I quoted ~37,500)


RE: WTF?
By corduroygt on 3/3/2012 3:52:10 PM , Rating: 2
Here is what it gives for me, I use VA zip code, which does not have any State incentives for PHEV vehicles. I get the same result for NJ or MD zip codes as well.

http://i.imgur.com/xazNp.png


RE: WTF?
By Keeir on 3/3/2012 6:19:56 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting. I am mobile right now, maybe that's why...

I find that chart fairly accurate.

So its pretty much like I have said? The Volt is more expensive than a Civic but less than a Civic Si over 70 months?


RE: WTF?
By corduroygt on 3/3/2012 8:11:45 PM , Rating: 2
The Civic Si is a much higher performance bracket than the Volt, yet it's 5-year cost according to KBB is still less, at $36200. Honda's retain their value really well, so that's not that surprising since the biggest cost is depreciation in all cases.


RE: WTF?
By Spuke on 3/4/2012 6:42:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Reading Comprehension. If you read, you'd discover that 40,354 number include 0 Federal Rebate.
I'm not sure we can count the entire $7500 tax credit in totality. Tax credits can only be applied to taxes you owe. So you only get the full $7500 IF you owe $7500 in taxes. If you owe $800, you can only use $800 of that credit. If you get a refund, you don't get any of it. Also, it can only be applied once and it is non-transferable. Only the original owner can use it.


RE: WTF?
By Sivar on 3/3/2012 3:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
FWIW, I think your posts on this thread have been very informative and level-headed.


RE: WTF?
By Mint on 3/3/2012 3:55:29 PM , Rating: 2
High efficiency cars retain more of their value, because the used car buyer will also pay attention to what he'll pay for gas.

If I bought a used electric car with the intention to drive it 90k miles, I see value in fueling it with $3k of electricity instead of $12k+ of gas, so I'll pay $5-10k more for it depending on what I think I can sell it for.

A 5-year old regular Focus may sell for $6k, while an electric Focus could be worth $14k. That difference is half of the (after rebate) cost premium right there.


RE: WTF?
By corduroygt on 3/3/2012 4:05:24 PM , Rating: 1
The life of batteries is a very real concern with EV's so they won't retain as much of their value. A 5 year old gas tank still has the same capacity as a brand new one. Can't say the same about batteries.


RE: WTF?
By Mint on 3/3/2012 4:28:22 PM , Rating: 2
It's a concern, but it's probably not going to be a problem. As another poster mentioned above, they're designed for 3000+ full charge cycles (200K+ miles) while still retaining 80% of initial charge. After 5 years, it should have well over 90% capacity left.

While a 5-year old gas tank has the same capacity, a 5-year old car usually won't go as far with it, and could easily lose 10% fuel economy.


RE: WTF?
By CharonPDX on 3/2/2012 8:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
How many vehicles does the average American household own?

Two. (2.28 is the statistical average, but I'll reduce it to the nearest whole number.)

How many miles does the average American drive on a daily basis?

36.

That's not 36 each way, that's not 36 miles just commuting, that's the Federal Highway Administration's total average of all driving. So that includes short commutes and long cross-country drives.

So if a family generally owns two (or more) vehicles, and generally drives less than half 75 miles; having one vehicle that can "only" go 75 miles makes perfect sense.

Really, how often do *YOU* drive more than 75 miles with less than a four-hour break before needing to drive 75 miles again? Obviously, if for you, the answer is "daily", then this car isn't for you - just as a Lamborghini Diablo isn't for a mother-of-four. And obviously we aren't yet at a place where an electric vehicle can be readily used for cross-country trips.

But the Tesla S will do 300 miles (that's four hours driving at the fastest speed limit in the US,) per charge, and can recharge to 80% (240 miles) in 45 minutes on a quick-charger. While there are people who drive more than that in one solid go (I have at times,) with a quick-charger infrastructure equivalent to even 1/10th the gasoline distribution infrastructure, that would allow for cross-country drives with reasonable meal breaks for charging.

And the Tesla S (and other EVs) are also being designed to allow for automated mechanical battery swaps - so you could have an automated bay (similar to an oil change bay) that can swap out the battery with a fully-charged battery in about a minute. (Tesla has said they are looking in to having such battery-swap shops set up along I-5 on the West Coast so you could drive from Canada to Mexico with only limited 1-minute battery swaps. And they would rent you higher-capacity batteries for longer trips, so you could buy the cheaper smaller-capacity battery for commuting, and only rent the higher-capacity battery when you want to go on the long trips.)


RE: WTF?
By kmmatney on 3/3/2012 3:40:37 AM , Rating: 2
It still doesn't make much sense to buy this over a Volt. The Volt barely costs more, and is way more flexible.


RE: WTF?
By corduroygt on 3/3/2012 8:56:52 AM , Rating: 3
And it doesn't make sense to buy a Volt over a gasoline powered Focus, Civic, etc.


RE: WTF?
By Mint on 3/3/2012 4:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it does, as we've proven to you many times. Want a simpler comparison? Lease the volt for $350/mo, drive 1000 electric miles per month (40 miles * 25 days), and save $130/mo on gas. What kind of regular cars can you buy for $250/mo? Cars that aren't as well equipped as the Volt.

Many people love the silent, smooth ride as well, along with the instant throttle response. It's not something you can get in a regular car at this price range.


RE: WTF?
By corduroygt on 3/3/2012 4:15:56 PM , Rating: 2
Who is "we"? I don't recall seeing any proof whatsoever.
You're also portraying an ideal situation and failed assumptions.

Give it up, the Volt is a failure, they're shutting down the production line for over a month because it's not selling!!!


RE: WTF?
By Mint on 3/3/2012 5:28:27 PM , Rating: 1
Keeir has done it several times.

Instead of claiming failed assumptions, why not just say what they are?

The Volt's biggest problem is propaganda from tools like yourself, Limbaugh, etc. A lot of people looking for a $25k family sedan would save money in the long term and get a better car with the Volt.


RE: WTF?
By Keeir on 3/3/2012 6:08:20 PM , Rating: 4
I think there are many reason's why the Volt's not selling well

A) Gas has been below 3.50 for most of the release time. Volt makes more economic sense when the ratio of Gallon of Gasoline to kWh Electric is above ~30.

B) Surveys have shown that when it comes to purchasing a car, most American's want a payback period of 2-3 years for any fuel savings. (As a private comment, this is almost a failure of the US education system. The sheer innumeracy involved with the above statement is painful)

C) It new technology. Given that surveys have found that a majority of car buyers are fuzzy on how a Prius Hybrid works... the Volt is clearly a step above that in terms of technical knowledge

D) Too many "missed" promises. The Shape, the AER, the Range Extended MPG, the 100% Serial...

E) The EPA reporting. Given that people can barely think 2 years ahead, I think very few people get a sense of what 35 miles AER + 37 MPG really means... The Average driver will use ~.5 gallons of gas and 30 kWh of electricity to cover 100 miles. 75% of drivers will uses less than .75 gallons to travel 100 miles. Yet here we seem to only have people among the 10% or less than will use more than 1 gallon per 100 miles.

F) The size. 4 Seatbelts is too small for the US. Its the truth. I wonder how many families of just 3 insist on buying 2 5-7 seatbelt cars?

G) The Right Wing Propaganda certain doesn't help. Consider that Fox News stoops so low as to present stuff like this
http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/chevyvolt....
and it pretty clear that either Fox is too stupid to know what a Volt does or it wants to mislead the public.

H) The right wing politicians, many of whom had opportunities to vote against Plug-In credits and ATVM loan program but did not, see the Volt as a means of scoring politic points.

I) The economy is terrible and consumer confidence is low

J) Public anger over "bailouts" seems to be almost 100% centered on the Volt. GM still sells more cars in the US than any manufacturer, and most of GM products get a pass... but almost never the Volt

K) Dealers screwed the launch. I still can't purchase one at MSRP in my area, despite the really large "inventory". It doesn't help when people read stories about the 55,000 Volt!

But I think that GM could do alot better marketing the car as well...

The Volt is better looking than the Prius.
The Volt can be driven just like a normal car.
The Volt can be driven just like an electric car.
The Volt does cost less to operate than any other gasoline car.
The Volt does offer unique features (3 year Onstar, smartphone connectivity...)
The Volt does allow people to swap foriegn oil for domestic coal and natural gas.
The Volt can be charged overnight to full range without a special garage outlet.
The Volt does produce less pollution per mile than all but Prius family and other full electrics.
The Volt is a better driving car than a Prius.

If your a Volt hater, go and drive one of those ~4,000 units spread across the country now. Go drive a Prius.

Ask yourself this simple question, how much more are you willing to pay to drive a Volt > Prius? Or a Cruze Eco?

Is it more or less than ~3,000 dollars (the price gap over 100,000 miles)? It is more or less than ~1,000 dollars (The price gap over 200,000 miles)?

Essentially, what does the Initial price of a Volt need to be before you'd be willing to buy one? How close is the Volt to getting there...

Think about if the EV-1 had a range extender? It would have been a 100,000! dollar car. In 15 years GM developed a range extended hybrid for 40,000. In 5-10 years, Volt 2.0 has a good chance of costing 30,000 or less (in 2011 dollars) if 200 dollar per kWh are developed the way Elon Musk and Enovia both foresee.


RE: WTF?
By Spuke on 3/4/2012 7:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
No amount of money would get ME into a Volt as I like sports cars BUT my wife would consider it for $30k. Since her commute is as long as mine (65 miles round trip), it would have to do better than 30 mpg on the engine. The only way I could see a Volt in the garage at its present price is if it did 50 mpg on the engine and 65 miles all electric. We have two cars presently and are looking to get a third.

For everyone pooping on Keeir's total cost calculations, the fuel mileage savings DOES have an impact on total costs. In our case, the mpg and maintenance savings from my wife driving a 40 mpg car vs her present truck will pay for the 40 mpg car. We save money until we pass $35k initial price then we start to break even then eventually lose money. I suggest doing the math.


RE: WTF?
By Keeir on 3/4/2012 11:43:19 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, that wasn't really the thrust of the question.

The Prius is a car with compromised driving dynamics.

The Volt is more like a small displacement turbo/tdi. Lots of low end torque, linear power, etc until you get up past 65 where it starts peter out... Not anywhere close to a sports car, but also not as much of a penalty box as a Prius.

Anyway, your a good example who the Volt doesn't work well for... get more than 50+ miles between charges and Diesels/Hybrids/etc make more sense. Going less than 25 miles daily is also not ideal.


RE: WTF?
By The0ne on 3/4/2012 2:36:33 PM , Rating: 2
There are thousands, if not millions, of consumers who don't do more than 75 miles driving each week or a little above that, which a night's recharge would suffice. My sister is an example. She drives to teach at school, does some shopping on the way back home (food, crafts, etc) and come back home. On the weekend it's just more shopping for the house/household with around here in San Diego means <10min practically anywhere useful (beach, mountains, downtown, plethora of malls and restuarants, etc.)

So for her and 70% of my driving in THIS city it's very practical.


RE: WTF?
By MrBungle123 on 3/5/2012 2:10:24 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with this car is that you almost have to have a second vehicle that you can use for "long" trips. $40K is a lot to ask for something that is only really useful for short trips across town. Pretty much any conventional car under 20 grand is going to be more practical than this.


RE: WTF?
By Dan Banana on 3/7/2012 10:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Could someone please explain me whats the point to commercialize vehicles which have 75 mile range?


Price of electric Ford Focus: pricy. Knowing that you're not being a contributor to the filthy, destructive and terror supporting national oil addition problem when you're driving it: priceless.


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