Monday, July 25, 2011

New information on Focus Electric


Ford Focus Electric
 Yes, this is a blog about Energi - but I keep a close watch on Focus Electric, the first plug-in that Ford is selling.

There is some new information about Focus Electric (no, they no longer want to call it Focus EV) that Ford’s marketing manager for the vehicle, Dave Finnegan, gave out in an interview with Care2.com.

Information like battery warranty, standard equipment and waiting list !
Here is net new information from the interview.
How long is the battery pack warranty?

Battery pack warranties for the Focus Electric haven’t been announced yet – but we are looking at a similar warranty as our hybrids – which is 10 yr./150,000 miles. Of course, we are building our batteries to last longer than that.
I'd be surprised if this is actually the case. Managing an EV battery to last for 150K miles is not simple - that means Ford can only use smaller portions of the battery which means lower range. Both GM Volt and Nissan Leaf come with 8 year / 100 K miles warranty.

Is the electric Focus available to buy or to lease?

The Focus Electric will be available for purchase and lease starting in late 2011.
This is a nice confirmation that Focus Electric can be bought. Also it will be available this year. There is some web chatter that Focus Electric may be delayed.

Is there a waiting list currently to purchase one, like the Leaf has?

Ford will have a sign up list starting later this year. People interested in being one of our early hand raisers for the vehicle should keep an eye on our Facebook page for details over the next couple months at facebook.com/fordelectrifiedvehicles
This one doesn't make too much sense. Why would any one have to wait for months to signup ? Doesn't it make sense to open that list earlier, rather than later ? Anyway, this is the first time I've seen something about a list mentioned. So keep watching that Focus Facebook page.
What features will be standard on the Focus Electric?

Like its gas-powered twin, the car features an array of standard power-operated accessories including Hands-free SYNC® telephone connectivity, Electronic traction control, MyKey®, AM/FM/CD/MP3 Sony audio with nine speakers, SIRIUS® Satellite Radio, HD Radio™ and Voice-activated Navigation System
Nothing very surprising here, but good to see confirmation of navigation as a std feature. In 2011 model both Nissan Leaf & GM Volt has Nav as a std feature. In 2012 model GM removed the navigation and made it an expensive option. Nissan has kept the feature as a std.

While the new information  here is welcome, we still wait for the big news about price. The fact that it is taking so long for Ford to announce it doesn't bode too well. Nissan announced the price on April 1st (no joke), for a car delivered starting in December. GM announced the price late, and it was high. Now that Ford is delaying the price announcement, is that an indication that it is headed towards Volt region rather than Leaf's ?

2 comments:

  1. With 2012 Leaf prices going up a good bit (the slightly higher end SL is now $37k with the base at $35k I believe), Ford will get plenty of breathing room on their Focus Electric pricing.

    Nissan is in a pinch since the Japanese Yen has appreciated significantly compared to the US dollar since they announced prices for the 2011 Leaf. But all of a sudden the current crop of plug-ins are in the $35k - $39k range and I'd bet Ford will feel good there with the Focus.

    It'll be interesting to see where Ford goes.

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  2. "Managing an EV battery to last for 150K miles is not simple - that means Ford can only use smaller portions of the battery which means lower range."

    150K miles on a 100 mile pack means 1500 cycles, well within range of LiFePO4. I don't know what chemistry Ford will be using or how much range their pack will give, but since most driving will use much less than 80% anyway that should extend cycle life significantly. If they limit the pack to 90% of capacity and give it a little more range than the LEAF it shouldn't be a problem.

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