First 2012 Ford Focus Electric Delivered To Retail Buyer, Very Quietly

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2012 Ford Focus Electric launch, New York City, January 2011 - Nancy Gioia

2012 Ford Focus Electric launch, New York City, January 2011 - Nancy Gioia

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If reader response is any guide, there's a lot of interest in the 2012 Ford Focus Electric--which logged 12 sales last December and January but hasn't been heard from since.

Now, it appears that the first retail customer has taken delivery of Ford's new all-electric compact hatchback.

Very, very quietly.

According to the forum, a buyer from Charlotte, North Carolina, was so eager to get a Focus Electric that he drove to Long Island, outside New York City, to take delivery.

Ford is initially selling Focus Electrics only in California and New York, but engineer Whit Gallman picked up his car at Hassett Ford in Wantagh, New York.

He drove the 650 miles from his home to sign the paperwork, arranging to have the car shipped down to North Carolina.

In photos posted on the forum, the white Focus Electric hatchback bears the words "Out of Gas And LOVING IT!"

Given the long hiatus in Focus Electric deliveries, we would have expected some sort of publicity event around the first retail delivery of Ford's first-ever production electric car.

That would have followed the model set for the first Nissan Leaf and the first Chevrolet Volt (both delivered in December 2010) and the first Mitsubishi 'i' (delivered last December)--not to mention the handover of a manufacturer prototype Fisker Karma in a simulated delivery last July.

2012 Ford Focus Electric, New York City, April 2012

2012 Ford Focus Electric, New York City, April 2012

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But thus far, Ford has been curiously silent about the sale.

We have asked Ford to confirm that this is the first retail delivery, but we had not received a response at the time this article was published.

[UPDATE: A day and a half after this article appeared, Ford spokesperson Wes Sherwood responded: "We do not have the specific order of sales but this is certainly one of the first."]

Ford has announced plans to roll out the Focus Electric nationwide, which it says will have happened by next year.

By fall 2012, Ford says the Focus Electric will be available in Atlanta; Austin and Houston, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; Los Angeles; San Francisco; San Diego; New York; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.

Ford has flatly declined to say how many Focus Electrics it hopes to sell.

Whether the 2012 Ford Focus Electric is a serious production model or merely a "compliance car" to meet California zero-emission vehicle mandates remains unclear.

The electric car is built on the same assembly line in Wayne, Michigan, as gasoline versions of the Focus compact.

[hat tip: Michael Szostak]


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Comments (12)
  1. I was hoping that Ford wouldn't play the same stupid compliance and outlandish price game GM played with the Volt, but here they are following the same old path. I'm surprised they got that one sale in NC. You would think that Ford would realize if a person was willing to go all the way to NY to buy their car, they could sell a bushel load of them if they brought them out in every state at the same time. I hope Tesla doesn't pull this BS with their Model S and we see that electric in every state when they start rolling off the production line.

  2. The Volt won't serve so well as a compliance car, being it has a gas engine. See Chevrolet's Spark EV for any sense of compliance engineering. My crystal ball is on the fritz, but perhaps your insights are beyond the capability of the crystal ball anyhow.

  3. P.S., I forgot to say, did anyone notice that when you turn the Focus sideways, it looks like the Volt and you can hardly tell the two apart?

  4. Considering the abysmal sales of those "non-compliance" cars, the Leaf and Volt, Ford is smart in not making exaggerated sales demand claims are calling attention to themselves and making themselves look bad, as is the case with the other guys. They have no valid reason for assuming that their EV will fare any better - it has the same economics.

  5. "But thus far, Ford has been curiously silent about the sale."

    Not surprising. All the "Certified EV" dealers are listed in Ford's Focus Electric website. Call the handful that are in the NY and/or California area where they're suppose to be sold and you're more than likely be greeted by the sound of chirping crickets.

    Ford corporate (and local dealerships) do NOT want to sell these vehicles. And it shows.

  6. No need for publicity for a car that Ford has no intention of selling in any serious numbers.

    This is a compliance car, a keep-the-government-happy car, a hedge-your-bets car, but not a we-saw-the-future-and-it-was electric car.

  7. True, Its apparent that Ford doesn't want the Focus EV to succeed. Maybe some day Tesla will become a big automaker because of their powerful and practical and sexy EV’s and Ford and the rest of the other I hate EV’s automakers will become as antiquated as buggy whips are now.

  8. This car is nothing more than a compliance car and also a rip off car from the "green loans" that Ford got from the Federal Government.

  9. I think that if they (Detroit) are going to receive and use taxpayer money to build an EV it better be a great EV and not some lukewarm compliance car. The taxpayer should be getting their monies worth and not a compliance car. Tesla’s very future is riding on building the best EV’s in the world and I feel that they will succeed even though they are expensive because they will become the I got to have me one of these for the semi wealthy clients since they cost $77,000 for the signature versions. I hope they then can make some money off the Model S platform and they can successfully come out with a great $30,000 Bluestar EV that people will want to buy.

  10. The big automakers certainly do not have it in their hearts to make a nice EV. Look at what GM did to the EV1 after the lease expired they took it away from the celebrities who drove it and immediately destroyed it. This is were Tesla can show the big automakers that a practical EV can be made and even though it cost $57,000 to $77,000 it has a 300KW motor which is equivalent to about 400Hp and can go 300 miles on a single charge with the 85KWh battery pack. Tesla has lots riding on this being a success the automakers simply want to produce a uninspired product to get the government off their backs without any intents on selling them. I hope Tesla sells the Model S like hotcakes and shows Detroit that a stylish and practical EV can succeed.

  11. @Mark: It's your friendly moderator here. I note that this is a direct copy-and-paste of a comment you posted on another story, which our commenting system flags as potential spam. Could I ask that you not do that in the future?

    I also note that you've added five comments in a row on three articles that boil down to: Big automakers bad, Tesla good. Got it.

  12. I am a Tesla fan and certainly applaud their efforts. But Nissan's LEAF, and GM's Volt are NOT compliance cars. GM spent 5 years and $1B developing the Volt. Don't know what Ford spent but they only spent money on software. They purchased Magna engineered parts and installed according to Magna's instructions. Basically Magna supplies a kit conversion to Ford. I am actually surprised that Ford is selling the Focus EV in any States outside of those whom require it.

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