European Reviews Arrive: Ford Focus Electric Is A Winner, But It’s Too Darn Expensive
For the US electric vehicle buyer, we have become fairly accustomed to the Ford Focus Electric; we know what it is, and what it can do.
In the United States, the electric Focus averages about 150-175 sales per month, while Nissan’s LEAF (from $28,800) routinely sells more than 2,000 per month; and just last month set a new BEV record with 2,420 sold.
Our own Lyle Dennis did a review (which you can read here) on one of the very first to be put on sale in the US and found the car to be more than capable, and offered in a pretty nice packaged compared to other EVs on the market…in fact he bought it himself:
“The Focus has a very nice design. It is a medium sized hatchback with European flair. It is low to the ground with large-looking tires and wheels, is wide stanced and taut. It has a graceful and aggressive aesthetic and doesn’t have a dorky green-car look. Though low to the ground I found it never scrapes in locations where my Volt front wind-foil always does. The grill is interesting and futuristic. There is ample visibility both front and rear.
The Ford Focus Electric is a well-conceived and well-executed pure electric vehicle. It is sleek, fun to drive, and full of the latest technology. Its 76 mile range is real world and will easily be even better for feather-footed hypermilers. The price of $39,995 (Editor’s note: the car is now priced at $35,200+dest) is steep when considering the fact that an identical-shelled Focus gas version is only $18,300. Buyers at this point in time will still pay heavily for the privilege of driving on electricity.”
For Europeans, they seem to mostly agree with Lyle’s conclusions; but even more so on the MSRP which is significantly higher in Europe despite the car now being produced “locally” in Germany.
This is a portion of Autocar’s take away on the vehicle itself:
“The Focus is one of our favourite hatchbacks and the Electric version packs all the dynamic appeal of the conventionally powered versions, which means beautifully weighted steering and a composed chassis with a fine balance between ride and agility…like its rivals the Focus Electric’s powerpack is smooth and refined. In fact in conventionally powered cars you’d have to pay north of £100k and step into luxury limo territory to experience cabin serenity like this.”
Autocar finds just about everything pleasant on the car, including a “surprising turn of speed at lower speeds,” that is until the Focus EV reaches 60 mph and the car hits the performance wall that effects all entry level plug-ins not named the Spark EV.
But then there is the price. Ford says they only expect to sell about 25 in the UK next year, and Autocar’s reaction to the price underlines the fact that Ford seems to know its market fairly well.
“Priced from £33,500 ($52,300USD), which drops to £28,580 ($44,700 US) when the government’s plug-in car grant is deducted, the Focus Electric is considerably more expensive than a Renault Fluence ZE, which lists at £21,495, reduced to £17,495 by the grant and a Nissan Leaf, which starts from £16k.”
…given the rather optimistic pricing, it would be a very, very keen driver who ignored the vastly cheaper opposition, particularly since the role of an EV is urban pottering about. Ford isn’t too bothered about pricing, because the bulk of deliveries will be absorbed into fleet contracts where the list price is only part of the deal equation.”
So like here in the US, the Focus Electric is indeed appealing to a wide segment of the EV-buying population…but not so much to their wallets.
Check out Autocar’s full review here.