Last night I input pricing for the Ford Focus Electric. So, how much more does it cost than a regular gas-powered Focus? And how does its price compare to those of other electric cars?
First, a little background. I haven’t driven one, but Ford claims to have retained the excellent ride and handling of the regular Focus despite a 700-pound weight gain. (Doesn’t seem likely.) The EPA estimates fuel economy at the gas equivalent of 110 MPGe city, 99 MPGe highway, which is a little better than the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF, but not quite as good as the Honda Fit Electric.
Given the car’s $39,600 base price, Ford decided that the best strategy was to make nearly everything available on the regular Focus standard on this one, plus a review camera, xenon headlights, and more sophisticated reconfigurable displays that can provide very detailed driving style feedback. Leather upholstery is the only option, likely out of a realization that some eco-minded people aren’t fans of leather (they’ll get it on the steering wheel regardless).
Add leather ($995) and deduct the $7,500 federal income tax credit (not everyone will qualify), and the net list price is $33,590. A loaded Ford Focus SEL lists for $7,740 less ($25,850). Adjusting for the Focus Electric’s additional features narrows the gap by $1,000.
To bring the Chevrolet Volt to the same level, $4,580 in options must be added, bringing the total (after the tax credit) to $37,075. The Ford still has about $500 in additional features. Adjusting for these leaves the Chevrolet with a $4,500 price disadvantage. Worth it for the additional flexibility provided by the Volt’s gas engine?
You can’t get a 107-horsepower Nissan LEAF with leather. Dropping this from the 143-horsepower Focus Electric cuts its price to $32,100. This is $1,500 more than the LEAF SL, but also includes $2,000 in additional features. Adjust for these, and the Focus Electric is about $500 less than the LEAF. The regular Focus looks much more upscale and drives much better than the LEAF, and the Electric likely does as well. Given the similar pricing, the Ford seems a much better buy–assuming it proves reliable.