2012 Ford Focus Electric Won’t Be Available Outside NY, CA Until Sept.

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2012 Ford Focus Electric

2012 Ford Focus Electric

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Back in November, we reported that Ford was planning on starting deliveries of its 2012 Ford Focus Electric to customers in New York and California before the end of 2011, with sales in other areas due to follow some time this year. 

In reality, while Ford technically did get all-electric Focuses to customers during 2011, it only managed to deliver 8. 

During January, deliveries weren’t much higher, and now the Detroit automaker is being rather tight-lipped about its future rollout plans after Mike Tinskey -- associate director of Ford’s Global Electric Vehicle Infrastructure -- hinted that Ford wouldn’t be delivering 2012 Ford Focus Electric cars outside of New York and California until September

Speaking two weeks ago, Tinskey told Mlive.com that Ford would continue to slowly roll out the vehicle to customers in New York and California, with other key market areas like Detroit having to wait until September to get a chance to buy the car. 

2012 Ford Focus Electric

2012 Ford Focus Electric

Enlarge Photo

That’s quite different to what we’d initially understood Ford’s plans to be, so we reached out to Ford to make sure we’d understood things correctly. 

Specifically, we asked Ford to give us details on its initial sales numbers, comment on Tinskey’s comments about availability, as well as details of when pre-orders were expected to open outside of new York and California. 

“We are still on track to ramp up Focus Electric retail production and availability in the first half of this year followed by 16 additional markets later this year,” said Ford spokesman Wesley Sherwood in an email last week. “We are not providing specific sales projections but continue to believe all-electric vehicles will be a small portion of the electrified vehicle mix for some time. Our initial orders are in line with this projection.”

What does this tell us? Very little, other than suggest that Ford isn’t keen to talk about its Focus Electric rollout plans at the moment. 

And that leaves us to draw one sad conclusion: For most customers, the wait for a new 2012 Ford Focus Electric might be a little longer than they’d initially hoped. 


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Comments (12)
  1. My "glass half-full" opinion of the Ford Focus EV has now become "half-empty."

    These types of developments tell me that Ford has only been hedging its bets about electric vehicles all along. The Focus EV is merely a wet finger in the air to test which way the wind is blowing.

    This would explain why Ford is using the Focus platform instead of designing a dedicated EV from the ground up. If the wind shifts towards EVs, they'll shove battery packs and motors into the gliders coming down the assembly line. If not... they'll just keep mounting ICEs in them instead.

    Methinks... Carlos Ghosn is rubbing his hands with glee right now. He really has cornered the EV mass market for the time being with his Nissan Leaf.

  2. Yes, Mark, how stupid of Ford to use an existing, popular platform instead of spending a bunch to design a EV-specific platform that would cost billions more in creation and the much higher piece price costs that would follow such a low-volume platform.

    And how stupid again for Ford to limit its losses by keeping volumes low initially. Yes, before a mature EV market and infrastructure even exists, Ford should lose billions so zealots like you can see Ford as somehow more pro-EV.

    Yes, Ghosn is ecstatic; $6 billion in development costs already & the only vehicle he sells will still lose money for the foreseeable future. Wow, he has a non-profitable market to himself, according to you. Mitsubishi, Volt, BMW, Toyota are coming, too, though.

  3. My point is, good for Ford for making a decision that makes much better business and engineering sense. Ford's job isn't to be the Golden Boy of EV makers, it's to make money if I'm not mistaken.

    And Ghosn's alleged advantage is a myth; first to market means about nothing in the end. In 2016, when there are 15-20 EV choices and the market is finally entering profitability, will Nissan somehow get a special advantage because it sold the LEAF first? Doubtful, to be generous. Consumers will buy what they like and nobody will care who was first years ago.

    Release it when it's ready, Ford. Make volumes that make sense. It's really not that complicated in my opinion.

  4. "How stupid"? "Zealot"? Niiiiice. You evidently think Ford's approach "makes better business and engineering sense." Okay. Fine. So we don't see eye-to-eye. But why resort to a sarcastic, belittling tone, laced with insults and derision?

  5. I attacked your reasoning and mocking tone, not you personally. Yeah, Ghosn is laughing at a company which recently, finally, returned to profitability leveraging an already developed and optimized platform that is a big part of Ford's success the last 2-3 years.

    And making a flexible platform that easily allows the insertion of either an ICE or an electric motor... Why exactly would that be worse, either from a business or performance viewpoint? Is the LEAF performance any better with the unique platform than the FFEV will be? We'll see, I guess.

    The fact is, none of us know whose bet will be correct in 2020 or 2030, so again, let's see. Ghosn doesn't have guaranteed market share then, either, so the cockiness is misplaced.

  6. @robok2, why wouldn't ford simply start shipping in what ever volumes they can sell? Surely they can sell more than in this timid plan.

    There are only two reasons I can think of. 1) they are losing money on each unit and want to limit their losses, 2) they don't think their technologies is reliable.

    Personally, I think they would expand the EV market place and for the price they are charging, should be able to at least break even.

  7. @John B. Only Ford knows for sure, of course, but I still see Ford losing money on this. Remember, it's not just the cost of the vehicle, its' the cost to retrofit dealers, train staff, start production of motors in house, etc... In 3-5 years, they (and others) will get pricing down 10-20% and may look at volume then.

    I also think the "let's start with low volumes since we're losing money and can keep the impact of initial quality problems limited" viewpoint comes into play. People want to hate EVs in many cases and like Tesla, Ford will start small.

    I'm not sure they can sell more than that, actually, either. We'll see, though, and I'll consider it myself when the time comes if I haven't gotten something else by then. Just my $.02...

  8. First to market means a lot. Think about the Hybrid market of the last decade. How many hybrids can you name? You can probably name a lot, but the majority of people who don't read Green Car blogs can only name one -the Toyota Prius. Yes, technically the Insight was first, but the original was really only a half effort by Honda (small, two-seat's, limited release, etc.) Toyota was first, and clearly won that market. No one else even comes close to their hybrid sales.

  9. I agree. By the time Focus is out, Nissan will have the van for those of us who will need the second electric. In 2014 LEAF will supposedly have much longer range and lower price (two full time factories opening this year) There's just no substitute for an early entry in what, many believe, will be an exploding market. GM had waited over ten years in China and look at them now... No one can touch them.

  10. I under stand your point, but I also think you're equating first to market with continued technological superiority. There was one hybrid when the Prius came out, there are already several EV/PHEV chocies later this year. If Nissan still has a technological lead in 2015 or 2020, we'll see, but others will easily be able to catch up if they devote resources to a sufficient degree.

    And your overall point seems to overlook the fact that the Prius was released in much lower numbers than the FFE.

    "In 2014 LEAF will supposedly have much longer range and lower price (two full time factories...)". How do factories help in R & D again? Do you think BMW, Toyota, GM, and others aren't working on things now, just because they aren't released yet?

  11. Do we know the EPA's official range for the EV Focus yet? I know that Ford advertises 100 miles, but what the Apples-to-Apples comparison with the Leaf's mid-70's EPA range?

  12. First of all it is not a good news for those who car lover who lives outside new york, california the main reason was that Ford had planned to start deliveries of this car on 2012 for Ford electric customers in New York and California before the end of 2011,with sales in other areas due to follow some time this year.
    but in january,they managed to deliver only 8 cars.Due to which Ford has rollout plans at this moment. For that reason, Ford has decided to declare that Ford Focus Electric won't be available outside NY,CA until the month of september.
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