Ford Joins Competition in EV Price Reductions

By · January 29, 2013

Focus Electric

It's Economics 101. Sell more widgets by lowering the price. In the case of electric cars, Ford is the latest car company to drop the price of its EV, but reducing the lease price of the Focus Electric by more than $10,000.

The details of Ford's new Red Carpet lease deal work out as follows:

  • Focus Electric lessees can get a 36-month lease with 10,500 miles a year for $285 per month (nearly 20 percent below last year's Focus Electric lease price).
  • $930 is due at signing. Or $249 per month with $2,138 due at signing.
  • The incentives reduce the net price of the Focus Electric from $39,995 to $29,249.

Not interested in leasing? That's okay because Ford is offering incentives on purchases as well. Ford slashed the Focus Electric's base price by $2,000 for "cash" sales, and is offering finance incentives that include a $2,000 discount and zero-percent financing for 36, 48 or 60 months or 1.9 percent financing for 72 months. Ford now lists the Focus Electric with a "cash-only" MSRP of $37,995—$2,000 below the MSRP listed in 2012.

2013 could go down in EV history as the year that the market corrected itself in terms of electric car pricing. In 2012, Ford built 1,627 Focus Electrics, but only sold 685 of those vehicles last year, so there's ample supply available, if the pricing can be lowered to entice new customers.

We've seen similar actions taken by Nissan and Chevrolet in regards to discounting plug-in vehicles. Nissan's 2013 LEAF S (entry-level version that wasn't available in 2012) starts at $28,800, a full $6,400 less than the cheapest 2012 LEAF and leases start at $199 per month for 36 months. Likewise, lease rates for the Chevy Volt dropped from more than $300 per month in late 2010 to as low as $159 per month. The 2013 Smart Electric Drive starts at a compelling $25,000, before incentives, which means a net price well below $20,000.

Fire Sale at Coda Silicon Valley

Price reductions to move metal off the lot are a regular thing in the auto industry. In a way, the fact that EVs follow this pattern is one more indication of the normalizing of plug-in cars. But there's nothing normal at Coda, where all signs point to the company circling the drain.

Here's another indication that the clock is ticking: Coda Silicon Valley is advertised a price of only $24,995 on the electric Sedan. That's a discount of more than $14,000 and doesn't include the additional federal and state incentives of up to $10,000. Apparently, the dealership slashed 40 percent off the price of its remaining Coda Sedans in an effort to rid its lot of the last few (five, to be exact) electric sedans. That price cut might not prove to be enough, as any discerning buyer would be concerned about buying a product from a company that might not be in the car business for the full duration of a warranty.


· · 5 years ago

Glad & sad to read this.

Glad as it should pick up the sales of this pretty good car (good in quality, power, seating, comfort, ...) (and the basic simplicity of an EV really appeals to me as an engineer).

Sad as now I almost wish I had waited a bit longer: I bought one of those 685 last year, and it makes me flinch to think of how much I paid for it (or am paying, since it is leased). On other hand, not having to cope with gasoline, oil changes, exhaust etc. does make me feel good about it.

· · 5 years ago

I bought it with cash and have no regrets. Early adopters will always have to take a hit. But if there are none then price will never come down. It is a great and refined vehicle. I am at 2500 miles so far and not one call to the dealer after I drove off the lot. First service stop is probably after two years as I drive 5000 miles per year.

· · 5 years ago

Can't wait until those corrections hit north of the 49th. Just for comparison:

Focus Electric:
US: 36-month lease $285 per month ($930 down) OR $249 per month ($2,138 down)
CANADA: 36-month lease $941 per month ($930 down) OR $900 per month ($2,138 down)

2012 LEAF:
US: leases start at $199 per month for 36 months ($2,999 down)
CANADA: leases start at $ 793.87 per month for 36 months ($2,999 down)

Chevy Volt:
US: leases as low as $159 per month ($0 down) for 24 months
CANADA: leases as low as $2104 per month ($0 down) for 24 months

2013 Smart Electric Drive:
US: starts at a compelling $25,000, before incentives, which means a net price well below $20,000.
CANADA: about the same - this one might actually compete.

Rest assured there are no typos on those prices and I did my due diligence to compare apples to apples (same terms, same down payments, same trims, etc).

I'm not asking for $69/month iMIEV leases here, but c'mon GM, FORD & Nissan Canada... our dollar's been at par with the US for so long I stopped paying attention, let's see some actual price parity!

· · 5 years ago

I visited the Ford booth at the Minnesota state fair and discussed the electric Focus with them. It was a last ditch effort to purchase a Ford before going with a Nissan Leaf. We discussed the poor sales that Ford was experiencing with the Focus EV. The folks at the Ford booth offered many reasons why electrics weren't selling. I was surprised when they looked at me like I was from another planet when I said the reason they aren't selling is the price. At that time the Ford Focus electrics were about $41,000.

It's nice to see that the manufacturers are finally identifying and correcting the first road block to electric vehicle sales and leasing. I think Ford, Nissan, and Tesla have the right approach to electrics... going ALL electric.

Now they just need to work on the second road block which is range. On a cold Minnesota day (around zero degrees F), the range of my 2012 Leaf is about 55 miles if I preheat the vehicle while it is still plugged in (level 2 charging) and use the climate control sparingly during the commute. Since my round trip commute to work is 44 miles, I think that my commute is about as long as one should risk in a cold climate. I think it is safe to assume that the previous poster "CanaDoc" will have an even colder climate than mine to drive in. Hopefully the cold weather driving range of my Leaf will not diminish too much over the 39 month lease.

I realize that this a Ford Focus EV forum here so I feel obligated to add a few additional comments.

My first choice for an EV was a Tesla S model but I just couldn't justify the price. Love the car (saw it at the Consumer Electronics Show) but a certain amount of practicality must be applied.

My second choice for an EV was the Ford Focus.
- Neither of 2 local Ford dealers could sell a Focus electric in Minnesota yet and they weren't sure they would be able to in 2013
- I tried to lease one from an out of state Ford dealership but the response I got was that it was not feasible
- The Ford sales folks at the Minnesota state fair finally talked me out of going with the Focus EV when they asked me where I would get it serviced if it were to need servicing. Their point was that no local dealerships would have trained mechanics or parts.

So, ultimately I went with a Nissan Leaf in August 2012. I waited until the end of the month and got it for $300.85 per month which included tax, title, license, with 15,000 miles annually, and winter floor mats thrown in. I did have to pay the 1st month lease payment. When I factor in the $7500 federal tax credit, my monthly cost is around $122 per month plus electricity which is about 3 cents per mile driven. I think that is an extraordinary monthly commuting expense.

I suppose a possible third road block to electric sales could be charge time. Tesla has made huge strides with their "Super Chargers" and Nissan has raised the charge rate from 3.6KWH to 6.6KWH. Perhaps this third road block is quickly resolving itself.

With price and charge times improving dramatically, all that might be left is to get the range of the mainstream EVs up to that of the Tesla. Shopping for a replacement EV at the end of my current lease should be very enjoyable indeed.


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