Ford Will Launch Focus Electric in 19 Markets, Spanning Much of the U.S., in 2011

· · 9 years ago

In the past, Ford has said its strategy to make an electric car using an already successful platform gives it a leg up on its competition because the existing manufacturing volume reduces costs. It looks like having that volume might also provide the company with another advantage: bringing the Focus Electric to more markets at launch than any of its competitors.

According to a Ford press release, at launch in late 2011 the Focus Electric will be available to consumers in Atlanta, GA; Austin and Houston, TX; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, CA; New York, NY; Orlando, FL; Phoenix and Tucson, AZ; Portland, OR; Raleigh Durham, NC; Richmond, VA; Seattle, WA; and Washington, D.C.

“There is a great deal of excitement for the Focus Electric across America and Ford wants to build on this enthusiasm by making our first all electric passenger vehicle available in as many pilot markets as possible,” said Mark Fields, President of Ford Motor Company America, in a statement. “This is the first step in rolling out the Focus Electric. As the country continues to build up its electric vehicle infrastructure and demand for the Focus Electric grows, Ford will continue to evaluate additional markets and consider making this vehicle available in more cities across the country.”

Translation: "If we see our current lineup of hybrids and higher-mileage vehicles selling well in other regions that commit to EV infrastructure funding, we'll bring the Focus Electric there as well."

The Focus Electric will be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, on the same line as the conventional version of the Focus. This arrangement gives Ford a great deal of flexibility to meet demand as conventional Focus's can be changed out for plug-in Focus's as the need warrants.

When the Nissan LEAF launches this year it will be available in five markets, expanding during the year until it is available nationwide by the end of 2011. The Chevy Volt will have a similarly limited launch and will expand at a slower rate than the LEAF. With Ford getting into the plug-in game about a year after the launch of both the LEAF and the Volt, it makes sense for them to use their already existing volume capacity with the Focus platform to reach as many markets as possible quickly to take the edge off of Nissan and GM's potential lead.

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