Slow and Steady: Mulally Says Ford Focus EV Sales Will See Gradual Growth

Ford's chief Alan Mulally has modest goals for the automaker's first EV, according to Bloomberg. Mulally expects initial sales of the 2012 Ford Focus Electric to ramp up later in its production cycle.

Mulally's modest expectations seem to be grounded in reality: Chevy and Nissan noted lower-than-expected sales during their EVs' first model years, before noting a significant sales increase during the second model year.

Perhaps learning a lesson from his peers at GM and Nissan, Mulally won't even set a sales target for the Focus Electric. Mulally said to Bloomberg that even if Ford sold less than 5000 Focus Electrics during its first year, he still wouldn't consider it a failure. "We believe that the electrification of vehicles is going to continue as the battery cost comes down," Mulally said. "We see this as continually growing. This is a long-term journey."

As more electric vehicles hit the road, the price of lithium-ion battery packs is expected to drop. The average price of lithium-ion battery packs has decreased 14 percent in the past year alone, Bloomberg reports. Batteries now cost roughly $689 per kilowatt-hour, as opposed to $800 per kilowatt-hour last year.

Chevy and Nissan had high expectations for their green halo cars when they debuted last year; Chevy initially planned on selling 10,000 Volts last year, but actually only sold 7671. Nissan initially expected selling 20,000 Leafs in 2011, before revising its target to 10,000 to 12,000 Leafs. Nissan only managed to sell 9674 Leafs last year. It's worth noting that sales of the Volt and Leaf have both shot up this year.

Mitsubishi expects to sell 25,000 of its $29,125 i EV globally this year. The fourth major entrant in the growing EV field, the Honda Fit EV, will roll out on the West Coast this summer. Honda's sales target for the $37,395 Fit EV is unknown.

The Focus Electric is slated to start at $39,995, and will have an EPA-estimated 76-mile range.

Source: Bloomberg

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