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After Price Cut, Will More Choose 2014 Focus Electric Over C-Max Energi?

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If you've been considering an electric car but have been deterred by pricing, it might be worth another try—or at least another look at the numbers.

This past week, Ford dropped the price of the 2014 Focus Electric to $35,995; that's about a 10-percent cut from the 2013 sticker price of $39,995.

This past week, we caught up with Ford's Focus Electric Marketing Manager Chad D'Arcy, on the matter. While D'Arcy wouldn't speculate on what is or isn't happening in the electric-car market, he did say that keeping pace with the market is a chief concern.

“The biggest thing is that we wanted to remain competitive...and we're going to continue to monitor the competitive environment,” said D'Arcy.

Downward pricing pressure

It's rare to see a price adjustment of this magnitude in the auto industry (although Nissan did effectively cut the price of the Leaf by about this much going into 2013 after it shifted production from Japan to the U.S.).

More importantly, perhaps, at the Ford lot it adds up to a final effective price to consumers that's virtually the same as that of the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid.

Considering the $7,500 tax credit, for the 2014 Focus Electric, that cuts the effective price to $28,495.

D'Arcy says that Ford sent advance notification to all its dealerships the week before last, and the automaker will make sure that remaining 2013 models don't end up costing more than 2014 models in dealership lots.

“We'll support the '13 with various incentives so it's not out of pace with the '14,” he said.

Considering market price, more of a reality check

Yet the price drop isn't quite as dramatic as it might sound—more of a further nudge downward on the transaction price. According to Edmunds, the 2013 Focus Electric is already selling for more than $2,000 below sticker—and a current Ford incentive drops that another $1,000, to a True Market Value of $36,679, or $29,179 after considering the credit.

2013 Ford C-Max Energi - Driven, June 2013

2013 Ford C-Max Energi - Driven, June 2013

Enlarge Photo

On the other hand, the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi has a base sticker price of $33,745, and the $3,751 federal tax credit that applies to it drops the price to $29,994. Edmunds also notes a True Market Value well below MSRP—$30,975, considering the $1,000 current incentive, or $27,524 with the tax credit.

The important message to take away, in our opinion is that with the post-credit price of the 2014 Focus Electric at $28,495 and the post-credit price of the 2013 C-Max Energi $27,524, there's now less than a $1,000 net price difference between these two plug-ins.

Two very different plug-in products, now around the same price

They're very different cars, of course. While the Ford Focus Electric has no internal combustion engine under the hood—and an EPA-rated range of 76 miles—the Ford C-Max Energi has an EPA-rated electric range of 21 miles, but its gasoline-electric hybrid system assures a total range of up to 620 miles.

While you'll find transaction prices dipping down to the new net price, don't hold out for an even better lease deal.

“We feel very confident where we were on that one,” D'Arcy said of the current Ford-subsidized lease of $229 a month with $1,999 down.

Calendar year to date, Ford has sold just over 900 Focus Electrics. And unlike some all-electric models, the Focus Electric is now available in 49 states—not just California-emissions states.

So if you like Ford's plug-in products, now the question really becomes: For about the same money, would you buy a Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, or would you buy a Ford Focus Electric?

Tell us which you'd pick and why in the Comments below.

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Comments (23)
  1. Personally, I love to have one of each.
    The Ford Focus EV would work for me 95% of the time and the days that it didn't, I could swap with my wife. She could drive the C-Max Energi daily and we could use it for longer trips.
     
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  2. I would love to get a CMAX Energi for both city driving and longer trips. However, with two of us and two medium dogs, there would be virtually no room for luggage for any possible longer trips. The space in the back is cut in about 1/3 because of additional room needed for the battery pack. The concept of having the automatic foot activated pop-hatch feature for an additional 2k or so doesn't make sense once that hatch opens and you find yourself not having much functional room in front of you. Once the battery technology becomes more compact and efficient, they'll re-allocate that room for luggage in the back and this option would be more logical to opt for.
     
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  3. No need for batteries to hold more energy per liter, Ford just needs to design the car from the ground up and put the batteries under the floor like every other good EV/PHEV.
     
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  4. The drawback I have is that the Focus EV has a known issue of many drivers being hit with a loss of power issue (the "pull over now" problem). Has that been fixed? Seems the car has a history of this.
     
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  5. isnt it still a compliance car ?
     
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  6. Not if you term "compliance car" to mean a car in limited numbers. Ford will make as many as they sell, and not a single car more. And they sell the Focus Electric in 49 states, so that isn't just for compliance.

    Now, do they advertise it and push the Focus EV? Nope.
     
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  7. I've just been through this decision and settled on the Focus. I preferred the feel and room of the C-Max, but the combination of the pure electric drivetrain and the lower lease price of the Focus made the decision easy for me. I think the perfect choice would be a C-Max Electric. Are you listening Ford?
     
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  8. The Focus is great as a second car for getting around town and short trips. But the C-max is like two cars in one. EV in town and hybrid on trips. For a one-car family, the C-max is the obvious choice.
     
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  9. It's a pity that "second car" is used to describe EVs. Most people who buy them use them almost every day for their commute, which is most of their driving. The EVs is generally the first car and the gas car is the second, or backup car, for occasional long trips. It's just a semantics thing, but it unnecessarily degrades EVs.
     
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  10. Yep, gas cars make great "second cars". EVs make great "primary cars". Once you get a plug-in, you drive it as much as possible.
     
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  11. Good point! In my case, the Focus Electric averages 1600 miles/month, and the ICE vehicles are now down to less than 600 miles/month combined.
     
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  12. We just went through this & the C-Max Energi fit the bill. We can drive on sunshine, (our roof is covered w/solar panels), for short trips & be able to do long trips also. We like the design of the C-Max but do NOT like the Focus. Ford come up with a full electric that doesn't look dorky.
     
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  13. I am a wimefor dower and so a C-Max would be better.
     
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  14. Depending on the need, if it is one car family, then C-Max Energi makes sense. If it is multi-car family with a well defined commute need, then Focus EV makes sense.

    The downside of FFE is that it doesn't have quick charging and it doesn't have battery capacity warranty but it does come with liquid cooling.
     
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  15. I love the idea of the C-Max Energi (and the extra electric range vs the Prius) but the reduced efficiency in hybrid mode (only 41mpg highway) has me turned off for the moment.

    So I'd have to say in the current state I'd go with the Focus EV and keep our regular Prius for the long road trips. But they both seem like good cars.
     
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  16. There is a penalty to pay in the gas mode efficiency with the plugins.

    PIP has the least EV miles but the best MPG.
    Energi models has better EV miles but worse MPG.
    Volt has the highest EV miles but even worse MPG (slightly) than the Energi models.

    The upcoming i3 with REx will even the longest EV mode, but it is projected to have even worse MPG in the gas mode than the Volt...

    So, the weight and size of the battery is definitely a penalty on cost, interior space and "extended range mpg".
     
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  17. Yep, no perfect solution.
    I find the PiP attractive because it retains 50 mpg, but find its 6 mile EV range depressing for my 20 mile per day commute.

    On the other hand, the Energi could cover my daily EV miles and then perhaps I shouldn't worry so much about the 41 mpg.
     
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  18. total up your expected electric and gas miles in each, then divide by the number of gallons needed to give you a total mpg. The one with the biggest number wins your wallet.
     
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  19. That is the limit of battery technology today.

    However, if you already have a Prius and is willing to keep it longer, then getting a BEV will work for you as an addtional commuter.

    And if your commuting miles dominate your total miles per year, then the extended range mpg doesn't really matter. That is probably what BMW is thinking with its i3 and extender.
     
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  20. I just bought a 13 Focus EV and I love it! It's my only car and I use it for commuting. I looked at both the Leaf and Volt but there was something that did not seem right with them. (Leaf ugly Volt oil changes) I got a great deal on mine. $184 a month lease for 3 years 10.5k miles a year. $750 down. The fit and finish are amazing on this Ford and all the standard features are amazing. Only option is leather and mine has the leather. The car is so solid and I get so many complements on it. I wish Ford would be behind it more and promo it more but it's fun have a more rare car you don't see them all over the road. Fun to drive! Lets go!!
     
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  21. I got a new CMax Energi a month ago and I am so happy. It's the perfect fit for me although of course not for everyone. I work at home and make a number of short trips during the day and evening. I park the car in the garage and plug it into household current. Thus I run almost exclusively on electricity, yet I have the gas hybrid engine for longer trips. The car is gorgeous with a fantastic sound system and just very nice to drive. Yes, I wish the battery didn't take so much space, but I can fold down one of the back seats and fit in 2 passengers plus a lot of camping equipment. Oh, and the automatic parallel parking and the automatic trunk lift are quite cool and I appreciate having them. All in all, I am a happy owner.
     
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  22. Why Ford C-Max Hybrids are getting low MPGs analysis.

    I have posted my report here: http://www.winonarenewableenergy.com/blog.html

    My math substantiates my test condition findings.  Should I have made a mathematical error, please let me know.   I reiterate, the C Max should be getting around 61 mpg at 60 mph...the math proves it.  Ford...if your reading this...please lower my engine RPMs in the next CVT firmware release!  I will also volunteer to test your beta version for free.  Thanks in advance!
     
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  23. The 2014 Electric Focus doesn't do quick charging, so I bought a 2013 Leaf.

    I was close to getting the Energi--really love that car except the battery placement (design the car folks, would you?), but it has this problem: it burns gas, which requires thousands more parts (like 20,000?) than an electric.

    And I'll continue to drool over Teslas at a distance...
     
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