Though it is fashionably late to the EV party, Ford has finally shown up with its $39,200 Focus Electric with some great news. The EPA has evaluated the Ford Focus Electric and pegged its range on a single charge at 76 miles, giving it a city MPGe rating of 99 and a highway MPGe rating of 110, for a combined rating of 105 MPGe.
That’s better than its closest rival, the Nissan Leaf, which has a 73 mile all-electric and a 99 MPGe combined rating. However, the Nissan Leaf also starts $35,200, a price discrepency of about $4,000. Is the extra couple of miles worth the extra loot?
Depends on who you ask. Unlike the Leaf, the Focus Electric looks pretty much like any other Focus on the road, minus the exhaust pipe and gas filler. Ford also claims that over five years, the Focus Electric will save drivers about $9,700 in fuel costs (savings will vary with the cost of gas.) Even so, the Focus Electric still carries an over $20,000 price premium compared to conventional gas cars.
However, Ford is also offering for sale alongside the Focus Electric a solar-powered battery charging system. This could help take Focus Electric owners completely off the grid, saving them even more money (though the system will cost around $10,000 or so to purchase and install.) No doubt Ford is aiming for the Leaf, and while the Focus Electric has more range (barely) and a better MPGe rating, it also lacks the Leaf’s Level 3 fast-charging system.
Also, while the Leaf is now on sale nationwide, the Focus Electric will be relegated to just New York and California for the first few months, which is sure to put a damper on sales. Can Ford carve itself a niche with the Focus Electric? We’ll see soon enough.