It's Official: Ford Now Shipping Focus Electric to US Dealerships

By · May 21, 2012

Ford Focus Electric

Ford is now shipping its Focus Electric vehicles to dealerships in three US states.

Over the weekend, Ford officially started shipping its Focus Electric to some 67 dealerships in three US states. Roughly 350 Focus Electrics will make the journey to select dealerships in California, New Jersey and New York by the end of May.

According to Automotive News, executives at Ford finalized Focus Electric shipment details on Friday. Initially, each of the 67 selected dealerships will receive six Focus Electric, five of which will be offered for retail sale to the public. A sixth Focus Electric will be held by the dealerships for demonstration purposes.

The Focus Electric will join established plug-in vehicles already on sale, including the Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, and the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, which got off to a brisk start in April.

In April, Ford CEO Alan Mulally stated that he would be satisfied even if Ford sold only 5,000 Focus Electrics in all of 2012.

Comments

· · 2 years ago

Has anyone at PluginCars driven a Focus EV; either for a short or long test drive? I'm vaguely remembering reading that it has some rough edges, so to speak. I'm suspicious that the Cg issues caused by having the battery above and behind the rear wheels, and the lack of storage space will be deal breakers.

Neil

· · 2 years ago

@ Neil
Brad's review of the Focus EV can be accessed by clicking this link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/automobiles/autoreviews/the-battery-dr...

· Les Moss (not verified) · 2 years ago

So where is the list of dealers?

· · 2 years ago

You'll find certified dealership info here: http://www.ford.com/electric/focuselectric/2012/reservations/

· · 2 years ago

Thanks Eric, I knew I'd seen it someplace, but I did not find anything here on this site. Brad goes into plenty of detail about the Focus EV. I think it is too bad that Ford didn't make as many aerodynamic tweaks as they could, like close off and smooth most/almost all the front grill; and use smooth(er) wheels and add a smooth full belly pan, add wheel strakes, etc.

So far, I'm really liking what Honda has done with the Fit EV. Maybe Nissan will take the hint and make the Leaf look a little more like the NISMO electric racer i.e. some crisper lines and less droopy rear, a better formed Kamm back.

We need to have EV builders get into a friendly competition for lower and lower Cd! Who will be the first to surpass the Prius? (I think the Tesla Model S does!) Will any car meet or beat the EV1? Can anyone approach the Edison2 or Aptera?

Neil

· · 2 years ago

I call it the "buggy whip holder phenomenon," Neil. Early 20th century auto manufacturers famously included those anachronisms on their horseless carriages long after just about everyone had given up on the idea of using a live animal as backup power. Likewise, big grills and pointless air scoops will probably be with us on EVs coming from mainstream OEMs for some time to come.

As Brad notes in the NYT article that Eric links to, above, Ford seems committed to making the appearance of the Focus EV as "un-EV-looking" as possible. At least they started with a rather nice looking ICE vehicle as a template.

PS: speaking of Aptera: I hear they've been bought up by a Chinese investor and may be around again to give it another shot.

· · 2 years ago

While I'm very happy with an EV that doesn't look different from any other car (its the motor that I'm concerned about, not the body style), I really can't see a huge demand for this FFE except Ford diehards.
At the price, why would anyone buy this when the Tesla Model S is coming out so soon with twice the car for only a little more.
While both are US made:
- The FFE has no trunk while the Model S has 2
- The Model S (lowest model) goes at least 50% farther on a charge
- The Model S is an undisputed luxury sedan while the Focus is an econobox

· CharlesF (not verified) · 2 years ago

How about that the FFE's manufacture will be around after the warranty expires.

· · 2 years ago

@CharlesF

If you're referring to Tesla not being around when the warranty expires, think again. Tesla is one of the rare cases where a start up company succeeds in getting into an established market with a competitive product.

Tesla already has all of next this and next (iirc) Model S's spoken for. They are selling all of their product - which no major car company can do (yes the volume is small in comparison but it takes time to expand).

They have plans going into the future with a Crossover (Model X) and a 30k sedan (Bluestar). If they can bring a 30k sedan to market in 2015 that looks as good as the S, it'll be at the top of my list for my next car - which I am planning to buy in about that time frame.

If you were referring to the Karma then I would agree, Fisker will not be around.

· · 2 years ago

@Charles F,
It doesn't do any good to have the company around if they don't want to sell you or take care of your car. My last EV from a major automobile maker isn't supported at all (in fact, they took the car away from me and crushed it). Good luck bringing a 1999 Ford Ranger EV in to a dealer for service.
The choice is between:
1) Buying an EV from a company that is committed to making EVs but doesn't have a very long track record to fall back on.
and
2) Buying an EV from a company that has been around for a while but does not like EVs.

It isn't as straight-forward as you imply.

· · 2 years ago

Does it have the chademo or sae or j1772 or what kind of connector and can we fast charge it or ford recommend to not fast charge it like nissan recommend. Maybe nobody will travel with that due to a lack of fast chargers infrastructure and an incompatibility of connectors. I think that this car is a bad buy. I prefer the volt.

· · 2 years ago

"why would anyone buy this when the Tesla Model S is coming out so soon"

Ex, I certainly agree the Model S is much better car is just about every regard, but it is $17,000 more and that alone will eliminate it from consideration for a lot of people. Plus there are people out there that would much prefer buy from an established company like Ford.
So there are reasons why people would be interested in the FFE even thought they could get a Model S in the beginning of next year or so. (Assuming they don't have a deposit already and want the 40kWh pack version)
You and I might look at the two and say no way would I buy the FFE when I can soon get an S, but we aren't exactly the 'average guy looking for a car either' and have followed Tesla closely for a while now and probably have more confidence in them than many others.
By the way, are you getting one? Keeping the roadster? Just curious.

gorr: The Focus EV doesn't have level 3 charging capability, at least not yet. Perhaps in a year or so they'll add it.

· Dan Hollands (not verified) · 2 years ago

My long awaited FFE is on a truck to Rochester NY

In response to gorr - one doesn't buy an EV to take trips. We never drive more than 50 miles in a day. Fast charge doesn't really matter. I could get by plugging into the wall but I do have a level 2 charger that can do a full charge in 3 hours.

I'll post more once I get my car!!

· CharlesF (not verified) · 2 years ago

We will see.

I hope Tesla makes it. I just think it is extremely difficult to break into the automobile market. It takes a tremendous amount of capital and a lot of time to navigate the regulatory environment. One misstep by a start up and they are gone.

I do not think buying an EV is very straight-forward. I do not think buying any advanced car is straight-forward today. In the not so distant past (like 2 years ago) if you wanted to make an environmentally sound auto purchase it was easy. Find the highest MPG car that was PZEV that meet your needs and that you could afford. A lot of people did that and the Prius was a great seller. Now you need a histogram of your daily driving distances and a computer spread sheet to figure out which car minimizes your gas use. Do you need an 11 or 21 mile mostly EV range hybrid or a 35 mile pure EV range hybrid or a 62, 73, 76, 88 or more mile range pure EV. If all of your driving is on the highway, is a non-plugin hybrid or Diesel the best. Who do you think will be president? If Obama, do you wait and see if the $7,500 tax credit is changed to a $10,000 instant rebate? If Romney, do you buy this year to make sure that you get the tax credit in case the GOP ends the tax credit? If you have a significant other, how does that effect your decision?

As my eight year old, 172K mile car ages out I am trying to answer the above questions. I have a couple of tax questions that further complicate my answer. At least I have it narrowed down to plug in hybrids, just not sure which one.

· · 2 years ago

gorr said:

"Does it have the chademo or sae or j1772 or what kind of connector and can we fast charge it or ford recommend to not fast charge it like nissan recommend. Maybe nobody will travel with that due to a lack of fast chargers infrastructure and an incompatibility of connectors. I think that this car is a bad buy. I prefer the volt."

These are actually good questions, gorr. No irony implied. I'm glossing over a few details, but here's some answers to your questions in a nutshell (fairly long nutshell, I'm afraid) . . .

First: The Leaf, The Focus EV and the Volt all have the same J-1772 plug for Level 2 (DC, 220 volt) charging.

The 2012 Leaf, 1st year production, allows 3.3 kilowatts per hour (kW/hr) charging speed. Some will say that makes it kind of slow to charge, other are fine with it. It's a big topic of debate here. Anyway, 3.3kW/hr will take up to about 8 hours to replenish a fully depleted battery. That's OK, if you park it overnight to charge at home and only drive around town for, say, a maximum of 50 miles or so.

The 2013 Leaf, presumably available later this calender year, upgrades to a 6.6kW/hr charge speed on the very same Level 2 J-1772 plug . . . 4 hours to fully replenish an empty battery, or in half the time. This makes it far more flexible in a lot of real world extended day driving situations around town.

The Leaf ( both model years) has the CHAdeMO quick charge Level 3 (DC, 440 volt) for the 30 minute charging. Nissan says it's OK to use this to fast charge once per day, but not much more than that.

The new Focus EV, like the 2013 Leaf, will have 6.6kw/hr charging speed on the Level 2 J-1772 plug.

Ford is "anti-CHAdeMO." I'm pretty sure the 1st generation Focus EV will not have any Level 3 plug. But later model year Focus EVs probably will. When they do, it will invariably the J-1772 Combo plug . . . and Ford will probably recommend, like Nissan does for the Leaf, to use it only once per day.

Chevy's Volt (someone correct me if I'm wrong, please) has the 3.3kW/hr Level 2, just like the current model year Leaf.

Chevy is also "anti-CHAdeMO." Currently, as you are well aware, there's a internal combustion engine (ICE) for long range driving. In practice, this takes the place of Level 3 charging in those sort of situations. Hence, no Level 3 plug right now.

But . . . like Ford, Chevy will end up using a J-1772 Combo, if they happen decide that later model year Volts will benefit from having this as an option.

The amount of manufacturer recommended times per day that an EV can be charged via Level 3 typically comes down to the specifics of battery chemistry.

Some will say that the next generation of batteries will be more durable. Imagine a Leaf that still has a range of only around 80 miles per charge, but can be safely charged on Level 3 numerous times per day.

Conversely, newer/better batteries might not end up being any more durable to Level 3 charging than they are today. But they could, instead, allow for greater range on the same size pack. Imagine a Leaf-sized battery pack that could easily do 225 miles per charge, instead of today's 80 miles. With greater range on long trips, less Level 3 charging would be needed in the first place.

Or . . . maybe the next generation batteries will be more durable to quick charging AND have greater range. I'd need to dust off the crystal ball to get any more specific. :-)

· spike09 (not verified) · 2 years ago

Benjamin,
The Nissan Leaf model SV does not come equiped with a DC fast charger connector (or the solar panel on the roof) while the much more popular Nissan Leaf SL model does. It takes less than 6 hours to fully charge a Nissan Leaf on 240V using an EVSE (a.k.a. "L2 Charger"). The 8 hour figure refers to plugging straight into a 240V outlet in Europe since their trickle charger has a 240v plug (instead of the 120V plug on the US trickle charger stashed inside the spacious Nissan Leaf trunk). There is an aftermarket modified 240V trickle charger available for the US and it can charges in 6 hours as well.

Regardless if it takes 3, 6 or 8 hours, you do not notice the difference when you charge at home. As far as public charging, there already is a DC fast charge that only takes 10 minutes. I have no doubt charging time or driving distance will not be much of an issue in a few years. In fact it is not much of an issue right now for those of us who drive EV's right now. There is a market for EV's, just like there is a market for fast sports cars with no back seats, Mini-vans that can seat 8, and pickup trucks that can haul a 2 ton boat.

· · 2 years ago

Yes, spike09, thanks. I realize that the base model Leaf doesn't have a CHAdeMO plug. You are correct in observing that the SL is "much more popular" and I purposely excluded the SV from my hasty survey, simply because it's such a statistically small blip on the EV radar screen. Locally, with about 300 Leafs on the streets of Tucson, I'm fairly sure that the number of SVs among them can be counted on the fingers of a single hand.

My goal in the above post was to put a quick and dirty thumbnail sketch of the current common EV market for gorr, basically explaining ubiquity of the J-1772 plug, but highlighting the varying kW/hr specs within, and which companies are allied with which Level 3 plug. I admitted above that I was going to be "glossing over a few details" and the SV omission wasn't the only one. Note that I also excluded Telsa from this truncated survey, as their "pluggery" is totally autonomous.

Although I don't have an EV yet (more lint in my pockets than anything that could be considered legal tender,) I've tried to keep up with what's new . . . especially in regards to plugs and chargers. You might find this recently completed web/radio feature of mine of interest, where I attempt to differentiate all those plug standards . . .

http://radio.azpm.org/azspotlight/podcasts/2012/5/10/1632-electric-cars/

· · 2 years ago

@Benjamin Nead,

Thanks for the recap. While I was aware of most of what you mentioned, it's great to have it in one place.

"But . . . like Ford, Chevy will end up using a J-1772 Combo, if they happen decide that later model year Volts will benefit from having this as an option. "

I just want to point out that Chevy is planning on using the Combo plug on the Spark EV. In fact, it will likely be the first vehicle available that is compatible with that plug.

P.S. "kW" (kilowatt) is a unit of power (e.g. charging). "kWh" (kilowatt-hour) is a unit of energy (e.g. battery capacity). "kW/hr" is a meaningless unit (unless your charger ramps up power over time).

· · 2 years ago

Thanks, Brian. That little treatise was, once again, for gorr, who I sensed was wanting to learn a bit more about this crazy EV stuff, for which he usually advances rather disparaging comments on. Perhaps he's in the process of coming over from "The Dark Side?" :-)

Yes, Chevy and their GM cohorts will embrace J-1772 Combo for fast charging (not CHAdeMO) and that this could entail either a next generation Volt or some other EV from GM product line, whichever gets here first.

An educated guess (no hard facts to back it up, mind you) is that the Spark EV will be marketed in a drive-it-only-in-the-city fashion and will forgo a Level 3 charging option. If it has a small battery pack, as most are predicting, a 6.6 kWh charging rate on Level 2 (as with the current Focus EV) will probably be considered sufficient and witness the car being able to completely recharge from empty in 3 hours or less. Having no Level 3 plug would also keeps the retail price down. A combo plug on a next generation Volt, which is a decidedly more upscale product, seems like something we might end up seeing before an honest-to-goodness Spark EV is even offered for sale. Again . . . just speculation on my behalf.

As for kWh vs. kW/hr, I thought they were more or less interchangeable abbreviations for the same thing . . . and that the forward slash and the inclusion of the letter 'r' wouldn't radically change the meaning. Now noted.

· · 2 years ago

@Benjamin Need,
kWhr or kWh is drawing 1 kW (kiloWatt) for 1 hour. That is the amount of energy drained. kW is how fast it is going out (power). You could look at power being energy being expended in an amount of time which would then be kWhr/hr or simply kW. It definitely is a bit confusing sometimes.
The power (kW or horsepower) of a motor implies how hard it can work. In order to do that, however, you need enough energy stored in the tank (or battery) to do it for a particular amount of time.
For example:
If it takes an average of about 15 kW to push a Leaf 60 mph because of its drag. Therefore, if you drive for 1 hour (60 miles / 60 mph), you'll use 15 kW * 1 hr = 15 kWhr of energy from the battery.

· · 2 years ago

I do have some grasp of the kiloWatt hour thing, ex-EV. Thanks. But, yes, I need to double check technical acronyms and make sure decimal points are in the right place whenever I get into the thick of it. I come from a long line of language arts people, who, alas, were all pretty mediocre mathematicians.

· · 2 years ago

The proper abbreviation of kilowatt hour is either kW h or kW•h. kWh is often used but is not technically correct although I believe it is allowed by IEEE/ASTM. kW h is a unit of energy and as ex said, is drawing (or charging) a kW (of power) for one hour. kW/hr should never be used as it implies one kW per hour not one kW for an hour. kWhr, kW hr, or kW•hr are also not technically correct since h (not hr) is the official si symbol of hour.

· · 2 years ago

@ex-EV1 driver,

What is the proper abbreviation of ex-EV1 driver? Are you ok with ex or ex-EV1?

· · 2 years ago

@regman,
I don't worry too much about "proper" abbreviations :-)

· · 2 years ago

Ben is a perfectly good substitute for Benjamin. But B/en isn't correct.
:-)

· Max Reid (not verified) · 2 years ago

Yes, selling 5000 units this year will still be great. I hope Tesla's launch will pull up sales for every one.

· · 2 years ago

@NeilBlanchard, "I think it is too bad that Ford didn't make as many aerodynamic tweaks as they could, like close off and smooth most/almost all the front grill; and use smooth(er) wheels and add a smooth full belly pan, add wheel strakes, etc."

You can't just arm chair aerodynamics. Look how varied the shapes of cars are now, some with very sharp edges, and yet they have very good Cd numbers.

The grill is blocked off for the most part. Smoothing the front grille will likely do nothing, because air already is going around it. Smoother (I presume you mean also closed off) wheels, can result in brakes overheating, and poor aerodynamics if air can't exit the wheel wells. Belly pans, strakes, etc. sometimes look better than they really work.

The gasoline 2012 Focus 5 door hatch already has a Cd of .27. The electric may be even lower due to fewer underbody protrusions. By comparison, the Leaf is .28 or .29 depending on the source.

It seems like Ford has already done their homework.

· tercüme bürosu (not verified) · 2 years ago

I'm vaguely remembering reading that Focus EV has some rough edges, so to speak. I'm sure that the Cg issues caused by having the battery above and behind the rear wheels.

· Shamus (not verified) · 2 years ago

They named it right, FUC US, right in the wallet.

Henry Ford would be pissed, he priced his cars so his workers could afford them, that is one of the main reasons he was able to increase his sales.

Ask your self, if the average American makes < 50K a year do you honestly think they can afford a 40K car?

Ford needs to get real, as far as I am concerned they can FOC OFF!!!!!

· · 2 years ago

@shamus,
There's nothing wrong with introducing a new technology at a high price in order to let the more affluent customers help a company recoup the new development costs. There's also nothing wrong with selling special options for higher costs.
Ford's problem is that they are too late with too little. Tesla and BMW are way ahead of them and addressing that market with better options than the FocusEV. Nissan and Mitsubishi lead in low price, less capable models.

· Louisianaguy (not verified) · 2 years ago

I'm glad to see Ford finally getting with the EV program! I personally am waiting to purchase the Fusion plug-in. Who knows how long that will be for a Louisiana purchase?

· MaxBob McDermand (not verified) · 2 years ago

I'll go look at the Ford if only because our first EV was a Ranger EV. But I think Ford is not serious about EV's and is in this case only building for CARB credits in California. I'll most likely go Tesla. At least they are committed to the idea. If Carb

· · 2 years ago

Still Waiting for my Focus EV Built in April but all I get from Ford is "waiting for transport"

· · 2 years ago

@danholl - I'm guessing that must be frustrating. Especially since it may seem unlikely that the car has been waiting for transport for over a month, elevating concern that you're getting the full truth of the matter? I am looking forward to hearing about your ownership experience...guess I'll have to be patient too.

· Dan Hollands (not verified) · 2 years ago

My Focus EV is actually in transit - evidently coming by train from Detroit to Rochester.
Still don't when it will be here but at least it is on the way

· · 2 years ago

Dan,

FWIW, this seems to be par for the course with any launch. I was waiting for about 2 months after my Leaf was built. Then again, my car was shipping from Japan, not Detroit. Anyway, congrats on the car. You'll have to let us know how similar it truly is to the look and feel of your gasser focus. I'm guessing it will drive much better! I also wonder how similar the dash/controls will really be since Ford seems to want to show off their technology in this car (they did unveil it at the Consumer Electronics Show, after all).

· Dan Hollands (not verified) · 2 years ago

My dealer received his demo car yesterday. I expect mine tomorrow. We stopped by the dealer and he let me drive it.

It is Great! Silent, nice acceleration

The dashboard is different from my wife's 2012 gas version. The EV speedometer is much easier to read. I didn't have time to play with the other readouts. The controls on the steering wheel are identical to the gas version so changing back and forth should not be a problem. The entertainment / information system is quite different as the EV has the full navigation package with color screen, backup camera etc.

One thing I had wondered about and which I haven't seen mentioned in the reviews is what happens if you are in drive or reverse and you take your foot off the brake. Most cars will then creep along so you can back out of the garage without putting your foot on the accelerator. I was surprised and happy to find the EV does the same.

Another topic of uncertainty was whether it made noise when moving slowly - it doesn't. I understand some cars can turn this noise on and off - I don't know yet if there is some way to turn it on.

So Far I am very impressed

· · 2 years ago

How exciting! I'm tempted to make my way out there to test-drive it! Your dealer is about 15 miles too far for my Leaf (not to mention charging time to get me home again). I hope your excitement only continues to grow once you have yours and drive it everyday.

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