Auto Show Coverage focus-ev_main

Published on February 8th, 2014 | by Jo Borras

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Ford Shows Electric Focus at 2014 Chicago Auto Show

Ford Focus Electric

This year’s Chicago Auto Show marked the first time I got to poke around one of Ford’s still rare electric Focus models. These EVs have been on the market since 2011, but haven’t had the same kind of success that the better-known, conceptually superior Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt have had in the last year. Part of that has to do with the Electric Focus’ higher price and another part of that has to do with the Electric Focus’ recalls. Mostly, though, it’s stuff like what you see in the trunk of the little car.

The trunk of the 2014 Ford Focus electric, by the way, looks like this …

Ford-Focus-EV_14

… which compares very poorly to the flat, open trunks you get in said Leafs, Volts, Teslas, etc. That might be forgivable if the electric Focus played in the same pond as the $15,000 cheaper Mitusbishi iMiEV, but becomes downright laughable when you consider that Ford’s brass actually thought the electric Focus was going to out-sell the Chevy Volt.

It’s really too bad Ford did such a half-a**ed job on their EV entry, too. Looking beyond the trunk and the utter lack of practicality teased by the car’s hatchback body, the Focus is a dynamically competent, good-looking, and right-sized entry into the ever-more crowded field of electric commuter cars. With Ford’s fan base and dealer network, it really could have been a success. As it is, your EV dollars are definitely best spent elsewhere, and you don’t need a test drive to see that.

 

Original content from Gas 2.




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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



  • Mark Dzmura

    Yikes! Dude, you really know NOTHING about this car, do you?

    You correctly point out a few of the car’s downsides (high price, non-existent trunk), but beyond that your summary is just completely off base.

    Do your readers a favor – take some time to interview some owners of the Ford Focus Electric – or perhaps one or two of the MANY automotive journalists who know a lot more about this car than you do. Find out how highly regarded this car is by its owners before you use your platform to spread misinformation.

    Another important point – since the Nissan Leaf is the closest competitor to the Focus Electric, a closer comparison is deserved. You’ll find out about the battery problems that folks have been having in hot weather – some of which can be attributed to the lack of a battery temperature management system in the Leaf (the Focus has sophisticated battery temperature management including heating and cooling).

    The reasons that the Focus Electric is not selling are very simple – (a) Ford has done ZERO advertising of this car: the vast majority of car buyers do not even know it exists, and those who do usually won’t find one on the dealer’s lot. (b) For folks who manage to find out about it, it has often not really been cost competitive even after the price cut in 2013.

    However, Ford has been slowly responding to the price issue – reasonable leases in the low-to-mid-$200’s / month have been available for over a year, and a new $6000 price cut on purchases brings the car price into the $20k’s for many buyers.

    Mark Dzmura

    • Unplugged

      Actually, the price of the Focus Electric is not more expensive than the comparably equipped Leaf SL. The Focus with leather sells at $36,990 and the Leaf sells for $36,910. And the lease deals available on the Focus Electric are much, much better than on the Leaf SL.

      As Car & Driver’s comparison points out, the Focus Electric is “The Tesla Model S for the rest of us….” On the other hand, the 4th ranked Leaf was dismissed with, “The real problem with us is that the Leaf isn’t as composed as the Focus or the Fit, and it isn’t much fun to drive.”

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  • Unplugged

    Further, even the complaint about the trunk is WRONG. The total usable trunk space is THE SAME as the Leaf, of which there are apparently no complaints about space. Look up the EPA measurements 90 cubic feet versus 92 for the Leaf. Review the Car & Driver EV comparo in March 2014 which states the rear trunk space is THE SAME and the space behind the front seats is LARGER in the Focus Electric.

    In fact, read the comparo where the Leaf ranked number 4 and the Focus Electric ranked second. Yeah, it hurts, doesn’t it?

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