2012 ford focus electric

So far this year (through the end of May), Ford sold 723 Focus Electrics in the US. Not a whole lot – especially compared to Nissan, which sold more than ten times that many Leafs (7,614). What’s interesting is that Ford isn’t going to immediately make a bunch of changes for the 2014 model year to try and push that number up. Not according to a report in The Detroit News, anyway.

Nancy Gioia, Ford’s director of Global Electrification, told the News that Ford is happy with sales of the Focus EV. This makes sense, since company representatives have long said they never expected to sell many of them. Specifically, Gioia told the News, “We still see battery electric as niche. We think that by focusing on the plug-ins and that awareness, we actually end up benefiting both the hybrids and the plug-ins.”

Despite the “niche” aspect, Ford isn’t going to ignore the EV. To that end, Ford is also going to add more production capacity of its only EV, this time in Europe. The company announced today that it has started making the car in Saarlouis, Germany.

There are two main reasons the Leaf sales increased this year: local production (which resulted in a big price drop) and 2013 model year updates. Direct comparisons are difficult, since the Focus EV and the Leaf are on different parts in their lifecycles and we can expect improvements to the Focus down the road, but it’ll be interesting to see if just adding one of those two factors will be enough to boost sales.

Read our Focus EV First Drive here and see the Saarlouis announcement below.

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By Sebastian Blanco