Ford Misses the Mark with $40k Focus Electric Price Tag

By · November 02, 2011

2012 Ford Focus Electric configurator

Ford prices 2012 Focus Electric at $39,995. Order yours starting today.

The 2012 Ford Focus Electric officially has its price tag, an online configurator and is available to reserve starting today. As we reported on Monday, it's very good news to see a new choice for getting behind the wheel of an electric car. However, the $40,000 price tag is simply not competitive, raising questions about Ford's commitment to selling electric cars in significant quantities—or even being perceived by the early adopters as a company that cares about the technology.

In terms of MSRP, the 2012 Ford Focus Electric starts at $39,995 (including destination fees) before any state or federal incentives. That's $3,995 more than the 2012 Nissan LEAF SV's base MSRP of $36,020 (including destination fees) and $1,925 more than the base-level LEAF SL's MSRP of $38,070 (including destination). Leather-trimmed seats—the only optional item available on Ford's electric hatchback—add $995 to the Focus Electric's price tag. The MSRP for the plug-in hybrid 2012 Chevy Volt, a car with an electric drive and a gasoline engine—is $39,995 (including destination). That's identical to the Focus Electric's base price.

As I pointed out back in December, the way that Ford built, announced and promoted its most recent electric car, the Ford Transit Connect Electric, is night and day compared to the Chevy Volt. Ford barely made a peep about the Transit Connect Electric, even though it represents a unique place in the market as the only delivery van/truck without a gas engine. Whereas Nissan and GM are using their electric cars to represent their brands, Ford appears tentative and reluctant.

With pricing info officially announced, it becomes a bit easier to compare the Nissan LEAF to the Focus Electric. But what might have tipped the scales in favor of the Focus Electric—a compelling price—has not set it behind the LEAF, and makes the compromised trunk space that much harder to swallow.

It will now be up to the Focus Electric's first customers to determine if faster charging times, the car's driving dynamics, and Ford's dashboard user interface are worth paying two to three grand over the price of the LEAF. Are you going to give it a try? If so, then reserve your 2012 Ford Focus Electric today. Ford warns that "only a limited number will be produced for the 2012 model year," and that reservations are currently restricted to residents of New York, New Jersey and California. The higher-than-expected price and limited availability put a damper on what might have been a major cause for celebration for plug-in car fans.

New to EVs? Start here

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