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The 2014 Ford Focus Electric won't receive any changes from the previous model year

Ford seems to have given up on its Focus Electric compact car, as it recently revealed that it won't make any changes for the new model year.

Ford said it won't make any vehicle upgrades or changes to the upcoming 2014 Focus Electric, which is expected to make an appearance this summer. 

According to Nancy Gioia, Ford’s director of Global Electrification, electric vehicles (EV) aren't worth the money. Instead, the company is focusing (no pun intended) on hybrids and plug-in hybrids. 

“The batteries are still very expensive,” Gioia said. “The pay back period is still tough ... BEVs are a hoot to drive. That is not the issue. The economic viability of it is. We still see battery electric as niche. We think that by focusing on the plug-ins and that awareness, we actually end up benefiting both the hybrids and the plug-ins.”

Ford currently has three hybrids, including the Fusion, C-Max and Lincoln MKZ -- and two plug-in hybrids, including the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids.

Ford has only sold 1,416 Focus EVs since its December 2011 debut.

This pales in comparison to other EV makers, like Nissan. Nissan's Leaf hit 7,614 sales for the first five months of this year alone, with 2,138 of those sales in May -- a 300 percent increase over its sales in May 2012. 

A large reason for the increased Leaf sales is its recent price cut. Nissan slashed the entry-level price of the Leaf 18 percent to $28,800 back in January. 

Other electric vehicle makers are cutting prices as well, such as Honda. Its Fit EV lease dropped from $389 to $259 per month.

While Ford cut the Focus EV lease price from $350 to $285 per month and even dropped the base price $2,000 to $37,995, Gioia said Ford won't make any huge cuts like other automakers. 

“We’re not going to chase down to the lowest price possible — that doesn’t make sense to erode the brand image or the true value of the product,” Gioia said. “We’re going to continue to evolve that product — make it better and better ... We don’t see the need to push it like crazy and erode the image of it.”

Ford spent $550 million to retool its Michigan Assembly Plant for production of vehicles like the Focus Electric, C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi -- and even spent $450 million more in 2010 for EV engineering and production. The Michigan Economic Growth Authority also gave Ford tax credits totaling $188 million. 

Source: The Detroit News

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Ford Failed
By toffty on 6/12/2013 4:38:44 PM , Rating: 5
The reason Ford only sold 1,100 vehicles? Because they never made an effort to sell them. When I was deciding between the Leaf and the Focus Electric I wanted the Ford. I contacted my dealer and got on the list - 3rd person. Was told Ford would have vehicles by end of the year (2011). Then told the dealer would only get 3 vehicles in all of 2012. Then silence. Ford doesn't care at all about EVs and never put any effort into it. I'm sure the $550 mil plant upgrade was nothing more than a tax write-off (tax rebate for upgrading for green tech)

So Nissan got my business.

RE: Ford Failed
By lelias2k on 6/12/13, Rating: -1
RE: Ford Failed
By Nutzo on 6/12/2013 6:06:12 PM , Rating: 5
Nothing to do with Big Oil.

EV's will be viable when they can make them with a 300+ mile range, while costing less than $30K (without the government handouts/rebates)

Until then they are a nitch product, or a play thing for the rich.

Of course if they keep raising electricity prices, they may never become viable.

RE: Ford Failed
By BernardP on 6/12/2013 8:18:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the "urban EV" looks nice in the driveway next to the Turbo Carrera and the Q7, and allow Mr and Ms. Doctors to spout green rhetoric at parties.

RE: Ford Failed
By BRB29 on 6/13/13, Rating: -1
RE: Ford Failed
By Mint on 6/13/2013 10:25:28 AM , Rating: 2
I think 100 mile range with a tiny range extender (gasoline, natural gas, or something cool like Phinergy's aluminum packs) is going to be viable first in the sub $30k price range.

In the meantime, the niche can get reasonably big and we can keep progressing manufacturing technology.

Electricity has a long way to go before it even gets to half of gasoline's price, and we'll see smart meters more often as well with lower night time rates.

RE: Ford Failed
By Bateluer on 6/13/2013 4:40:11 PM , Rating: 3
We need to start building those nuclear power plants asap, get them on line.

RE: Ford Failed
By tim851 on 6/14/2013 4:50:33 AM , Rating: 2
EV's will be viable when they can make them with a 300+ mile range

I think range is less important than recharge time. Tesla's Supercharger stations give you 200 miles of range in 30 minutes. That's acceptable, I think. Boils down to a half-hour break every two-and-a-half hours or so.

For EVs to be viable we need Supercharger stations (or any electric stations) across the country. Tesla says that will be the case by 2016. We'll see.

The Model S is a very desirable car and I did consider it, but currently you can't make any road trip with it and that's a dealbreaker.

RE: Ford Failed
By Mint on 6/14/2013 3:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
BMW and GM are going to unveil a limited fast DC charger network this year that gives you 80% in 20 minutes. It works with the Spark EV, and GM even claims that multiple fast charges per day are fine for the battery.

That's not bad at all.

RE: Ford Failed
By Dorkyman on 6/13/2013 1:29:33 AM , Rating: 1
Enough with the conspiracies already. Betcha those Kochs told Ford to lay off, or else.

RE: Ford Failed
By CaedenV on 6/14/2013 7:59:15 AM , Rating: 2
Ford is "Big car" not "Big oil". They want to sell cars, and they only want to sell cars that sell in quantity. Ford is a great many things, but they are certainly not risk takers, and they have very little invested in EV technology. When battery prices drop a bit, and there is less profit to be made in ICE and hybrid vehicles then you can bet that Ford will be all over EVs. Until then Ford is only making a few EVs to protect patents in the space so that they do not get locked out when EVs do eventually become popular.

RE: Ford Failed
By Ktracho on 6/12/2013 6:03:08 PM , Rating: 4
Maybe you should have gone to a different dealer. When my wife and I went to our local Silicon Valley Ford dealer in October just for "window shopping," the salesman offered to give us a test drive right away. We bought (actually leased) the car that day, and picked it up the next (to give them a chance to fully charge up the battery). They still had at least 3 more brand new electric cars on the lot available for purchase.

Personally, I'm glad I didn't get a Leaf - I'd be telling myself, "What an ugly car!" every time I walked up to get in the car. But that's just me.

RE: Ford Failed
By toffty on 6/13/2013 11:02:15 AM , Rating: 2
While the FFE looks better, I do like my Leaf's looks so it's not too bad.

It probably helped that you were in Ca. I'm in Co and there was one dealer of the 5 I checked that even knew about the FFE. Leafs on the other hand I'm seeing more and more of. Nissan is winning the EV market in a big way globally. [Yes I know the EV market is very (very) small but Nissan is the one to go to for EVs at this point]

I am looking forward to Tesla's next sedan, that'll probably be my next EV. (I plan to never own another ICE vehicles)

RE: Ford Failed
By DockScience on 6/12/2013 8:37:07 PM , Rating: 2
Why would ANY car company want to sell a lot of cars for tens of thousands LESS than they cost to make?

RE: Ford Failed
By FITCamaro on 6/13/2013 8:14:20 AM , Rating: 2
Well GM does but that's because the US tax payer underwrites them all.

RE: Ford Failed
By BRB29 on 6/13/2013 8:35:26 AM , Rating: 2
It's mainly because of fixed cost, not variable cost. In other words, they could not sell enough to reach the break even point. The market is still too small and the only practical EV is the Model S.

RE: Ford Failed
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2013 1:38:19 AM , Rating: 2
Barely anyone is making a profit from selling EV's. Ford didn't fail, this goddamn thing only exists because laws require fleet wide MPG averages. Why don't you people get this?

So car companies are basically being forced to make EV's, that just sit on the lot and rust, or have to be sold at a loss!

RE: Ford Failed
By danjw1 on 6/13/2013 9:58:44 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is that the Ford Dealers don't work for them. They are all independently own businesses. So they can't control what customers are told. They want the quick sale, not the one that takes them time to convince the customer that they would benefit from it. That is the whole problem with dealers and EVs. Elon Musk has commented on this with regard to Tesla. If Nissan has gotten their dealers to do a better job of it, good for them.

RE: Ford Failed
By toffty on 6/13/2013 11:10:36 AM , Rating: 2
This is correct as well. Every dealer, including the one I went on the waiting list for, tried to sell me an ICE Focus. At some points I wanted to hit them in the back of the head and say, "I DON'T WANT A GAS VEHICLE IDIOT!"

RE: Ford Failed
By DT_Reader on 6/13/2013 2:38:57 PM , Rating: 2
What was that Tesla was saying about the existing dealership network having a vested interest in NOT selling electric cars?

RE: Ford Failed
By CharonPDX on 6/13/2013 11:03:04 AM , Rating: 2

I hadn't even realized it was out - and yet it's been out for a year and a half?!?

I live in Portland, a *VERY* big market for alternative-power vehicles. I see Volts and Leafs and plug-in Priuses and Karmas and Teslas all the time. Yet I have not seen a single Focus EV. (And yes, I pay attention to those things, for example being able to tell at a glance the difference between a regular Prius and a Prius plug-in.)

And their online car finder says there are two at Portland-area dealers. As compared to four Focus Titaniums. So they only have two available in one of the hottest EV markets in the country. (And I'm going to check to see if the same two are available a week from now - I bet they will be.)

RE: Ford Failed
By johnsmith9875 on 6/13/2013 11:11:52 AM , Rating: 2
Ford knows how to sell its gas guzzling 640HP Mustangs so they stick with what they know.

RE: Ford Failed
By xti on 6/13/2013 1:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
such a tiny minority want these hippi-mobiles. reality is showing.

RE: Ford Failed
By StanO360 on 7/11/2013 6:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
Are you joking? Ford sells the number one selling car on the planet, the Focus. And it is very fuel efficient. The base Mustang gets about 30mpg on the highway. You are talking about the Shelby Mustang (I guess) which will sell in the 1,000's (maybe).

RE: Ford Failed
By Iaiken on 6/13/2013 2:42:12 PM , Rating: 2
I got to drive an Electric Focus for a day and it was a great car. It did everything a car does the way a car does it and it offered the same trim level as the Titanium Focus. It was still pricey, but I worked out that based on my commute it would actually pay for the difference (plus the added taxes/interest) over the course of a 6 year financing term.

Like the OP, I tried to talk to Ford about buying one, but all I managed to get out of them were promises that maybe next year I could have one so I just gave up. I wouldn't even be surprised if half of that 1100 sold were corporate demo cars that were purchased by Ford from itself to use in promotions like the one I participated in.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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