The price of the Ford Focus EV car has been cut US$4000 ($4400) – 10 per cent of its former price – in response to sluggish sales.

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Initially projected to sell upwards of 5000 units annually, Ford sold just 900 Focus EVs in the past year through June.

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The price reduction follows Nissan’s move to cut the cost of its Leaf EV in January by up to 18 per cent, as well as Chevrolet’s price-cut of it plug-in hybrid, sold here in Australia as the Holden Volt.

Sales of electric vehicles in the US are subsidised by federal and state governments. With the US$7500 federal tax credit, the Focus EV’s base price is now US$28,495 ($31,100), or $25,995 ($28,400) in California, where buyers also receive a US$2500 state tax credit.

California is the largest US market for alternative-fuel vehicles due to its superior infrastructure compared with other states. It was also the only market to receive the limited run of Honda’s hydrogen-powered, zero-emission FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle. In January, the Toyota Prius became the best-selling car in the state.