Ford cuts price of Focus Electric again

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

For the second time in two years, Ford Motor Co. has cut the price of its Focus Electric car in the hopes of boosting sales.

The starting price for the vehicle has dropped $6,000 to $29,995, including shipping and delivery. The new price went into effect Oct. 13 for all remaining 2014 model-year Focus Electrics, as well as upcoming 2015 model-year cars, the Dearborn automaker said. Ford reduced its price by $4,000 last year.

“We hope by reducing the price we’re giving customers another reason to consider the Focus,” said spokesman Aaron Miller, adding it puts the electric car at a “very competitive price point.”

Focus Electric represents a small fraction of total Focus sales.

Through September, Ford sold a little more than 1,500 Focus Electrics and is on pace to have its best-selling sales year, Miller said. Total Focus sales through September were 176,156, down 6.6 percent from a year ago, according to Autodata. By comparison, Chevrolet Volt sales were 14,540 and Nissan Leaf sales were 28,822 through the first nine months of the year.

The Volt starts at $26,670 and the Leaf starts at $21,510 after federal tax credits.

The 2015 Focus Electric is powered by a lithium-ion battery and offers an EPA estimated all-electric driving range of 76 miles on a single charge. A full charge takes 3.5 hours on a 240-volt charging station. senior analyst Michelle Krebs said Tuesday automakers will need to do more than lower prices to get drivers behind the wheel.

“I think what’s hurting electric car sales most is dropping gas prices and the fact that vehicles with gasoline engines are getting so much better fuel economy,” she said. “There needs to be thought to what consumers are really buying and really want. It’s been pretty clear...(electric cars) are just not winning over consumers.”

Ford executive chairman Bill Ford said at an event about the future of automobiles in Detroit last month that “electric is probably the way to go,” but there needs to be a national discussion on how automakers can build out a power grid to serve those types of vehicles.

The Dearborn automaker has six electric vehicles, including the C-Max Hybrid, C-Max Energi, Fusion Hybrid, Fusion Energi, Focus Electric and MKZ Hybrid. Forecasting firm LMC Auotmotive expects Ford to introduce a unique 2019 model-year hybrid that would compete directly with the Toyota Prius.

The Focus Electric is made at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne.

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