Did Ford wait too long in the UK?


Way back in 2009, the Ford Focus Electric concept vehicle was unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. At the show, Ford announced a consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy and University of Strathclyde would use a fleet of 15 Ford Focus Electric vehicles and a charging infrastructure in and around the London Borough of Hillingdon starting in early 2010.

European launch was always scheduled for late 2012, after the North American launch in early 2012.European Ford Focus Electric

The Ford Focus Electric began deliveries to fleet customers in the US in December of 2011, and to retail customers in March 2012. Sales number in the US reach 685 units, and a total of 714 Focus Electric vehicles counting the January 2013 sales. The slow sales were possibly due to the limited 19 market rollout that Ford had planned for the US.

Now, into the year 2013, Ford still has not reported any sales of the Ford Focus Electric in the UK or other European countries. That’s not to say there weren’t any, but there weren’t any reported. And a quick look at the Focus Electric Forums and Electric Vehicle forums on the internet, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone in the UK that has purchased one.

As for the Focus Electric’s competitors, 3000 electric and plug-in vehicles have sold so far in the UK. Most of those are Nissan Leafs, followed by the Vauxhall Ampera, Renault Twizy, Renault Kangoo ZE, Mitsubishi i-Miev, and Puegoet iOn. The Ampera and Twizy are expected to pass the Leaf in sales numbers sometime soon.

Could it be that Ford has changed its mind on the Focus Electric in Europe? Have they waited too long, missed the initial rush of plug-in vehicle sales, and decided not to throw their hat into the ring? It’s too soon to tell for sure. The Ford Focus is one of the best selling mid-size sedans in the UK, so one would assume the Focus Electric would have some buyer interest.

In the meantime, if you live in UK or elsewhere in Europe, you’re limited to other electric vehicle options.

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  • Mark says:

    The Problem in Europe is mainly sales tax or VAT. In the U.K or Ireland this is around 23% on top of the new car price and that’s after import duties have been added.

    The Nissan Leaf in the U.S can be got around 10,000 USD cheaper, so if it were available for the same as the U.S price it would sell a hell of a lot better.

    Europe also has one of the highest fuel prices in the world, (tax) so electric cars offer European drivers the greatest savings in the world, but they are just too expensive and the range a little too short.

    As far as I’m aware the Focus Electric doesn’t have fast charging and that’s an instant turn off for me. Battery thermal management or not. No fast charging no buy!

    What we need form the car manufacturers are ultra fast charging batteries, (30 mins is too slow) and longer lasting batteries and a battery program where the car manufacturers take your spent battery and sell it to power companies for power storage and give you a much cheaper brand new battery. Nissan have stated that they will only repair the Leaf’s battery to give you around 75% capacity once it drops to 70%. Not good enough.

    also we don’t need 300 mile range cars but faster charging and longer lasting batteries, why carry a big heavy expensive battery when you might use it once or twice a year ?

    Governments need to offer subsidies for work place chargers and only allow those who need to charge to get home should be allowed use them that way you cut the cost of installing so many chargers when a lot of people don’t even need them.

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