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Ford has cranked the numbers on its all-new 2012 Ford Focus Electric to reveal that savings in servicing costs alone will lead to an extra $1171 in the pockets of its owners.

The calculation was made comparing the 2012 Focus Electric with a standard petrol-powered 2012 Focus over the total life of the vehicles (240,000km), highlighting all of the servicing areas that do not apply to electric vehicles:

  • 15 oil and filter changes at $29.95 each – $449.25
  • Five air filter replacements at $24.95 each – $124.75
  • Two cooling system flushes at $109 each – $218
  • One transmission service – $179
  • One drive belt replacement – $130
  • One new set of spark plugs and installation – $69.95

The total saving of $1170.95 almost covers the cost of Ford’s fast charging home system, which will be sold separately for around $1499. (This also assumes that there are no servicing costs associated with the battery pack or any of the EV-specific components.)

Of course, these figures overlook the biggest vehicle running cost – fuel – and the vast savings that EVs achieve by plugging into the wall rather than filling up at a petrol station.

Ford says, with its range of 160km, it will cost between $2 and $3 to fully recharge the Focus Electric, at an average cost of $0.10 per kWh. Over the 240,000km life of the vehicle, that works out to be just $3750 in electricity.

Ford says the standard petrol Focus will get around 40mpg (5.88 litres/100km) on the combined cycle. If we say unleaded fuel costs an average of $1.50 per litre over the life of the vehicle, that works out to be $21,168 in fuel.

Ford is yet to announce the pricing of the Focus Electric, but (based on the above calculations) if it is less than $17,400 more expensive than the petrol Focus, it could be a good value proposition for those who plan to keep it for its entire life.

Without a conventional piston engine or an automatic or manual transmission, Ford’s director of electrification programs and engineering, Sherif Marakby, said the Focus Electric eliminates more than two dozen mechanical components that would normally require attention during the life of the vehicle.

“When you have moving parts, such as the gears in a transmission or the pistons in an engine, you have maintenance,” Mr Marakby said.

“With an electric drive, there are very few moving parts. And in the Focus Electric, the only moving parts are the motor and the wheels.”

He said the Focus Electric would be the most maintenance free and easiest to own vehicle Ford Motor Co has ever produced.

“About all the driver will have to do is charge up the battery pack and go.”

  • mark

    I would be tempted to get this car if it was a good price, and if you could sell(or upgrade) the charging station along with the car

  • Smithy

    CA is this an Australian or USA story? That knowledge would help to clarify some of the numbers here….
    When is this car scheduled to be sold in Australia, anytime soon?

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au Tim Beissmann


      Service and recharge prices are US (but comparative to Aus), fuel prices are Australian. Ford Australia says it is too early to know when we will get the Focus Electric but is very interested in it. Don’t expect it here before 2013.

  • F1MOtoGP

    I like electric cars. Every year they improving but we need more power stations soon!!

  • ElecEng

    Can you clarify the “160km” range? Is it with just a single driver? What would be the range if you have a passenger and 2 children at the back?

    What if you park the vehicle outdoor during work, would cold temperatures diminish the battery life? (I know we live in a sun burnt country, but still)

    • Shak

      As always quited range and fuel consumption is an estimate according to tests done in a lab. Range will always be less due to unforeseen circumstances such as having passengers, the climate, traffic etc. Its the same as your conventional car, an estimate of 6.5l/100km is a round figure of what you can hope for if you drive normally in average circumstances.

  • Sam 300TD

    Aston Martin Called, they want their grille back.

  • Bold

    Is this correct? No service cost for all new EV parts?

    (This also assumes that there are no servicing costs associated with the battery pack or any of the EV-specific components.)

  • laurie

    “About all the driver will have to do is charge up the battery pack and go.”

    As always no price for battery replacement so is Ford avoiding telling us or do they think batteries will not fail!

    • MattW

      The assumption is batteries won’t need replacement. Even if they did need replacement after say 8 years, the cost of a new battery pack will have dropped a lot by then

  • Aquahead

    As much as I hate to admit it, the Prius has proven to be extremely reliable with it’s battery pack not showing signs of failure. I read somewhere that a fellow has 240,000km on his Prius and hadn’t had a problem with the battery pack. And Toyota extended the warranty last year to 5 years if I remember correctly.

    I’m hoping that Ford will bring this car to Australia and we get a chance to experience proper all electric drive soon. 160km is a little short for my needs but I’m sure there are those out there that never venture out of the city, so range will never be an issue.

    • MeestaNob

      If he’s done that sort of distance in his Prius then chances are it’s rarely running on the battery at all (freeway use will often, if not always, use the petrol engine). The actual amount of work the battery is doing will not be that great.

      That said, if they can make the Focus electric do 250km in future models I’d certainly be interested, but I’d want to at least be able to get from Melbourne->Kyneton and back without worry about detours potentially seeing me run out of power.

  • Lazybones

    Nice car,

    But lots of holes in this report. 240k for an average Australian is about 16 years. So that about $112 per year. Doesn’t even cover my coffee bill!! Good luck hoping petrol is only $1.50 even 5 years from now.

    Personally i’d expect the service intervals to be further apart on an EV. Also the labour cost should be less, brake pads should last longer with regen braking. The battery pack and motor are largely maintenance free.

    Price will be an interesting one, can’t wait to see that

    • Ray

      Even regenerative braking requires maintenance. Where there is friction involved e.g. conversion of kinetic energy into another form, there is maintenance involved. Same goes for batteries (notice degradation of the lithiums in your phone for example?) and motors. What’s the total projected servicing cost for this vehicle over 10 years, compared to a regular gas guzzling focus?

  • carl

    If cost to produce and maintain electric car is much cheaper, manufacturer will put on more advance technology on these car, such as carbon fibre body to keep the cost similar to the current petrol powered cars.

  • Andrew M

    I had to laugh at 10c per KWh.
    People musnt read their power bills if they believe that.
    try doubling that, and a more realistic petrol price at the moment would be $1.35.

    They have been saying for years petrol is about to hit 2 bucks, and the times where it hits 1.50 it comes back to earth pretty quick.

    Petrol goes from 1.20 – 1.35 on a usual year, it only hits 1.50 if they have a riot to blame it on.

    Re do the sums with realistic unleaded and electricity prices then come back to us.
    10 cents per kw ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Other than the false economics of EV’s, this looks to have a great interior, a massive step from the previous Focus’s interior.

    • MF

      10c per KWh in the US maybe. Everything in Australia now is just so overpriced. If the salary doesnt rise soon i am moving out.

      • Andrew M

        Im not sure what a KWH is worth in the states, but if it is 10cents, why the hell has the reviewer mixed costings as they have declared some rates are based on Aussie prices.

        Either way the inconsistent rates paint a picture in favour of EV’s.

        On the other subject, I’d like to know what this “everything” is that is so overpriced…

        Sure we may have high taxes etc (compared to some), but I would still rather live here and benefit from our much better facilities and quality of life.
        Our salaries here are also very large in coparison.

        Go ask the average American what their salary is, its not as big as many think

        • Greg

          Also for proper comparisons: It is very unlikely the regular Focus will AVERAGE 40 mpg as stated in the article. For the US version, it looks like only one engine/trim will break 40 mpg, and that will be for hwy only. City driving will still be in the 30s. Maybe Ford has different plans for other markets, but for the US, I don’t expect it to be above 33 or 34 combined.

    • Torque

      Yes, one KWh costs the average aussie around 19 + cents and the petrol engine servicing costs quoted appear inaccurate. If the plug in charger was say 500 Watts it could cost about 10 cents per hour to operate.