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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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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.

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