Author Topic: Ford Focus Electric  (Read 4727 times)

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Ford Focus Electric
« on: April 25, 2016, 01:24:31 PM »
I'm considering replacing our 2010 Honda Fit base with an electric Ford Focus. It seems to not have had the battery degradation issues of the Leaf, and I like the body style better. I would however have to pay around $1500 to get a charging station installed due to the way my on-lot parking is set up. We drive around 6000 miles a year and I had been looking to replace the Fit because it does not have ESC (there have been a big set of threads about this). A family member who doesn't drive much has said he'd be willing to trade cars with us for a few days if we needed to go somewhere far.

Am I nuts? Has anybody on here had experience with these cars?

Miss Piggy

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2016, 02:11:49 PM »
How far do you generally need to drive? I see on the Ford site that the range for the Focus Electric is about 76 miles per charge. That's going to be best-case scenario. In the winter, you can cut that by 1/3 to 1/2 if you live in a cold climate.

I have a Ford C-Max Energi, which is a plug-in hybrid. The electric range for my car is published as 21 miles. In the summer, I get about 25, and in the winter, I get about 14 miles range, after which, the car becomes a hybrid with unlimited "range."

One piece of advice I have for anyone shopping for a newer Ford: take a good look and spend some time playing with the "infotainment" system to see if you like it. Compare it to other brands. I never really paid much attention to that sort of thing before I got this car, and while I love the car overall, I think the Sync system sucks. It's not all that creative or intuitive, and the stinking mapping/GPS function is such a pain in the a$$ that I usually just say screw it and use my phone's navigation app instead.

sol

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2016, 02:50:09 PM »
At 6000 miles/year and $1500 up front for charging, I think you're better off sticking with a regular old gasoline powered car. 

If you get 35 mpg out of your Honda Fit, you're only paying ~$500/year in gas so it would take you over three years just to break even on the cost of the charger, even if the car was free.  Is the new car free?

You're nuts.  Are you seriously going to spend $30,000 on a new car in order to save $500/year?  You'd be better off leaving the $30k invested in a bond fund because even at 2% interest it would earn more than $500/year.  And please tell me you weren't considering financing a new Ford Focus, because you'd pay way more in interest than you're currently paying for gas.  That would be the ultimate form of stupid.

If you want an electric car for personal reasons and can afford it without delaying your retirement date or other financial goals, then I'm not one to judge.  But on the face of it, this purchase appears to make exactly zero financial sense.

russianswinga

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 04:53:41 PM »
I just went through this scenario - I considered picking up a Leaf, but my condo has a carport that is not attached to it but is a shared carport (20 cars) about 200 feet away.

I ran this by a contractor and the HOA board about getting a charger installed. When the numbers were crunched, digging a cable trench, re-doing a common concrete path, etc, to get a charging station put in and attached to a meter, plus insurance on the work, would run close to $5K.

I ended up buying a 2011 Mazda 3 for $6500 instead.

Bottom line - if you do not have an enclosed garage physically attached to a house that you own, the costs of putting in a charger are not in your favor. Get a high-MPG gasoline or diesel car and be happy.

MgoSam

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2016, 05:44:37 PM »
I'm seriously considering a Tesla Model 3. I'm not pulling the trigger on a pre-order because my 2005 Toyota Camry only has 150k miles and so I know I can get at least 10 more years out of it assuming ordinary driving conditions. I may re-consider in a few years though, we'll see.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2016, 06:22:50 PM »
I posted this in the wrong forum, so, whoops. I would not buy it new. Aiming for a price of $13,000 or lower. We don't think that the range would be a problem at all.

mwulff

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2016, 11:38:28 PM »
I would recommend staying away from the Ford Focus Electric. It's one of these badly supported compliance cars that several motor companies offer.

If I were to buy an electric car today I would pick a company with a track record / commitment to electric cars. Possible options being:

1. Tesla
2. Nissan
3. Renault (Zoe)

And distant seconds:

4. VW e-Golf/Up
5. BMW I3.

All that being said the battery problem on Leafs only really occur in warm climates, so depending on your location it might not be a problem.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2016, 03:43:36 AM »
Why do you feel it's badly supported? Unlike the eGolf, I can get it serviced locally.

mwulff

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2016, 10:08:18 AM »
it has little to do with the car itself, more with Ford the company. They have ignored and resisted ev's for an eternity and the Focus electric is just a compliance-car so they could continue selling in California.

I would be suprised if spare-parts for the car (besides the normal focus stuff) is available for very long. Also battery replacements and software updates may be lacking.

If you get a Leaf at least you can be reasonably sure that you can get a new battery eventually.

Jack

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2016, 10:16:23 AM »
We drive around 6000 miles a year and I had been looking to replace the Fit because it does not have ESC (there have been a big set of threads about this).

...

Am I nuts?

Yes, you're nuts.

gaja

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2016, 10:21:57 AM »
I have driven it, it is a comfortable car. But I would never buy it. It is one of the only electric cars out there today that can't be quick charged. That might not be a big issue in your day to day life, but you sure will regret it the day you want to drive a little bit longer than the range.

Most of the battery issues for the Leaf was fixed in the 2013 version (and onward). Kia has one of the best battery size/price ratios, and a very good battery warranty. Or you could get a Volkswagen eGolf; I have yet to hear a complaint from someone driving that.

In countries with 400V power systems, Renault Zoe is also a decent option. Just stay away from the battery lease scam.

mwulff

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2016, 10:35:25 AM »
I wouldn't worry about installing ev charging equipment, most people get by with a regular 110 outlet or a dryer outlet.

If you don't drive much a 110 outlet will do fine. Especially if you have easy access to a public quickcharger (chademo and/or CCS) as a backup. Of course you need a car that can accept quick charging (not the focus).

I would go for a Leaf or if you are a closet billionaire then have a Tesla ;)

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2016, 01:09:28 PM »
Well, I drove one and honestly it just kinda felt crappy. Weird rattling sounds, and the wipers didn't seem to be working quite right. I didn't like the arrangement of the back windshield either. If I'm making an unmustachian "because it's awesome" gimmick car choice, it's going to be a car I like.

mwulff

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2016, 11:25:05 PM »
You must have driven a lemon. A normal well cared for Leaf shouldn't rattle or make weird wiper-noises. It should be almost dead silent.

Well then, off to try an e-Golf or a Kia Soul EV.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2016, 04:15:42 AM »
It was an FFE, not a Leaf.

I checked, and unlike Ford, Volkswagen dealerships outside compliance states can't service the eGolf. I'd have to go to New Jersey to get any repairs.

mwulff

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2016, 05:27:12 AM »
Ohh my bad. Sorry about that. And I'm sorry to hear that FFE was a rattly experience.

Well, can you get the Kia Soul EV?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2016, 05:48:48 AM »
I have a Hyundai now while Honda waits for new airbags for my Fit, and the interface is maddening. I hadn't really considered the Soul EV. I think if I were going for a plugin it would have to be a PHEV like the C-Max.

Sensibly, my wife has told me to record for a month how much I drive, figuring that we'll probably see that she gets to decide what our car is.

forummm

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2016, 09:02:14 AM »
Before getting the Leafs, I looked into the FFE. It wasn't really available in my state. But I would have gone with the Leafs anyway in part because Nissan is really committed to EVs and Ford isn't yet. I want there to be a market for my car if I decide to sell it and to be able to get replacement parts and support and service, etc.

I don't know what you could get for your Fit. But if it was a few grand extra to upgrade to the newer car, and which you would probably have more fun driving, then it could be cost neutral or savings depending. But look into a used Leaf if you want a used EV. You could get one for about $8k perhaps. Probably less than you could sell your Fit for.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2016, 09:27:19 AM »
I really think that Ford is supporting the FFEs. They'll charge them for free at any Ford dealer that sells the C-Max or Fusion Energi, and they'll also service them. I'm not sure why they have this reputation.

That said, I have no interest in buying the one I drove yesterday - engine was fine, the rest of the car seemed meh.

forummm

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2016, 09:34:24 AM »
I really think that Ford is supporting the FFEs. They'll charge them for free at any Ford dealer that sells the C-Max or Fusion Energi, and they'll also service them. I'm not sure why they have this reputation.

Because they only sell them in compliance states.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Ford Focus Electric
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2016, 10:12:06 AM »
I really think that Ford is supporting the FFEs. They'll charge them for free at any Ford dealer that sells the C-Max or Fusion Energi, and they'll also service them. I'm not sure why they have this reputation.

Because they only sell them in compliance states.

Seems like you can order them through a dealer anywhere, though. The one I test drove yesterday was leased to a tech at the local dealership, through that dealership.