Ford Focus Electric Launch Delayed to 2012, Solar Panel Option Also Available

It would seem that the latest trend in automakers is a selective rollout of green vehicles in the most appealing markets. Ford, which has limited initial sales of the Focus Electric to 19 states and metropolitan areas, has pushed back the rollout until Spring of 2012. Unless you live in New York or California, that is.

Those two states will be the first areas of the country where the Focus Electric will go on sale this fall. The other 17 areas have to wait until next Spring to get their mitts on this electrified Focus. Ford could be doing this after watching the struggles of Nissan and Chevy to get their high tech cars, the Leaf and Volt respectively, out to its customers, many of whom are still waiting.

There is some good news to temper this delay with, however. Ford plans to offer its customers the option to purchase a solar array from partner SunPower through Ford’s own dealerships. Depending on how sunny the locale is where you live, the 2.5 kilowatt solar panels could provide enough electricity to “offset” up to 1,000 milesof driving in the Focus Electric per month. I’m sure some clever engineer types will figure out how to feed the solar power right into their Focus Electric though.

Even after federal tax credits, the solar system will still cost around $10,000 in addition to the cost of a Focus Electric. Local and state tax credits could bring that number down even further though.

While waiting a year has allowed Fordto study and (hopefully) avoid their competitors pitfalls for rolling out such a different kind of vehicle, they are also unlikely to enjoy the same level of media and consumer interest that GM and Nissan had last fall. How that translates for sales of the Focus Electric, we’ll have to wait and see. Lets hope this is the last delay though.

Source: AutoWeek | USAToday

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.