Ford Focus Electric is headed for dealers

According to Reuters, about 350 Focus Electrics will be sent to 67 dealers in California, New Jersey and New York over the next couple of weeks.

 

Reuters reported that Ford has started shipping the new Focus Electric, although the company has made no official announcement, saying only that “we are still on track to begin shipping the Focus Electric this spring.” According to Reuters, about 350 Focus Electrics will be sent to 67 dealers in California, New Jersey and New York over the next couple of weeks.

And that’s it. Those who aren’t EV fanatics may wonder why this is big news. But when the #2 American automaker tiptoes into the EV ring with Nissan and GM (and don’t forget Mitsubishi), it’s a milestone, whether the company realizes it or not.

For the EV media, however, the real story is the issue of whether Ford is serious about selling EVs at all.

CEO Alan Mulally said in April that he “would not consider it a failure” if Ford sold fewer than 5,000 Focus EVs in its first year. Does this simply mean that Ford has learned from GM’s and Nissan’s mistakes, and plans to do a better job of managing the market’s expectations?

Unlike other automakers, Ford builds gas burners, hybrids, PHEVs and EVs as members of one happy family, on the same assembly line. Is this simply a cautious strategy that allows Ford to save on development costs, and to earn “reasonable margins” on its EVs?

Or is the Focus EV what GreenCarReports’ John Voelcker calls a “compliance car” – a model that Ford created only to satisfy California’s requirement that a percentage of cars made be zero-emission vehicles? If you show up at a Ford dealer next week demanding a Focus EV, will you be steered to an “eco-boost” gas vehicle that gets pretty good mileage, and costs thousands less?

We shall see.

 

Sources: GreenCarReportsReuters
Image: Ford