Ford CEO Alan Mulally is confident that even if the initial sales of the new battery-powered Focus hatchback begin at a pace that’s slower than anticipated, it will still be able to more than double deliveries of electric-drive autos with no stalling. This month, Ford Motor Co. will sell the $39,200 electric Focus that averages 76 miles (122 kilometers) per charge, without offering a volume target.
On the first full year, 9,674 units of Nissan Motor Co.'s Leaf hatchback were sold. This vehicle has a base price of $35,200 and average 73 miles per charge. Last Monday, Mulally told reporters in Laguna Niguel, Calif. that if it sells fewer than 5,000 Focus EVs in the first year, it won’t be considered a failure.
At a conference that Fortune magazine hosted, Mulally said that there will be more electric vehicles with the drop in battery prices and as the company aims to produce electricity cleanly. He said that the growth is continuous and that this journey is a “long-term” one. Bloomberg New Energy Finance said that as production capacity surpassed the demand, there was a 14% drop in the average price of lithium-ion battery packs for electric vehicles in the past year.
In a statement, the London-based research company said that batteries cost $689 a kilowatt-hour in the first quarter of 2012, lower than the past year of $800. Ford’s rivals in this young market of vehicles that are either powered partly or wholly by electricity include Nissan, General Motors Co., Toyota Motor Corp., Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and startups Tesla Motors Inc. and closely held Fisker Automotive Inc. Ford anticipates that by 2020, about 25% of its new-vehicle sales will be made up of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars. The largest share of sales will still go to conventional hybrids though. [source: Autonews]