When New York Times reviewed the new Ford Focus Electric in 2012, its headline tells it all -- "The Battery-Driven Car Just Got a Lot More Normal." Bradley Berman, the one who wrote the review, said the conventional and normal versions of the Focus have looks that are nearly identical, noting that the only visible indication that a model is the EV variant is the small 'Electric' badge.
Otherwise, the seats inside the Focus Electric were also “oh-so normal," Berman wrote. Since Ford commenced selling the Focus Electric, the figures were not so encouraging. In fact, Ford sold just 1,738 units last year – paling in comparison to Nissan’s Leaf EV.
Slow sales of the Focus Electric has taught Ford a good lesson, that customer don’t want their EVs look like just normal cars. The Nissan Leaf has its own body style distinct from Nissan’s conventional vehicles, and it has seen its sales linger at 21,822 units in the first nine months of 2014.
On the other hand, the Ford Focus Electric with normal looks has delivered 1,534 units in the same period, on pace to top the full-year sales in 2013. The slow sales of Focus Electric already prompted Ford to discount the model by $4,000 in July 2013.
Ford looks further to increase the demand for the Focus Electric by recently slashing its price by $6,000. This means that the model could be availed at $29,995, including shipping. With the $7,500 federal tax credit is accounted, a Focus Electric can be driven home for just $22,495.
Ford revealed that the Focus Electric was developed so that customers will get to experience not only exceptional energy efficiency but also reliable operation. As such, the Focus Electric was designed as well to be able to offer what can only be described as genuine driving enjoyment. The steering, braking, and even handing, feel of this new model is similar to fuel-powered, agile, and sporty Focus models it is based on.
This implies that the Focus Electric is truly a dynamic driver’s car. However since there is no gasoline engine, or even a diesel version, plus add in the fact that it has excellent aerodynamics it results in a comfortable and truly quiet in-car experience. As mentioned, the Focus Electric is not just about providing reliable operation and energy efficient. It is also able to offer real driving enjoyment.
Its all-electric powertrain, when paired with the single-speed transmission, allows for smooth acceleration and immediate responsiveness especially when the driver presses down on the accelerator. The Focus Electric can reach maximum speed of 136 km/h (84 mph). Standard features offered for North American customers of the Focus Electric include the rather unique execution of the brand’s very own driver connect technology known as MyFord Touch.
Other features included are the 60/40 split rear bench seat, Sirius Satellite Radio with Travel Link, HD Radio, AM/FM/CD/MP3 Sony Audio with nine speakers, push button start, voice-activated Navigation System, and the aluminum 17-inch 15-spoke wheels. The Focus Electric also comes with a wide range of safety and security features fitted as standard. There is for example the electronic traction control and six airbags.
For North America it will also have MyKey and hands-free SYNC telephone connectivity. Meanwhile the use of eco-friendly materials is clearly extensive like recycled fabrics and the seat cushions made of bio-foam.
According to Sherif Marakby, who is Ford’s Director of Electrification Programs and Engineering, shared that compared to other electric vehicles available on the market, the Focus Electric remains to have the quality of driving and dynamics of a traditional vehicle. He added that it has many of the same premium parts and features present in the gas-powered version. At the same time, he continued, the Focus Electric is able to offer unique efficiencies as well as an exciting driving experience.