Ford Focus EV Qualifies for Calif. Solo HOV Lane Access
Ford is making the case for electric driving with an emphasis this week on its Focus Electric having just received approval for single occupancy driving in California’s High Occupancy Vehicle lanes.
The $39,995 vehicle is being introduced in California, New York and New Jersey in the first half of this year, with availability in 19 markets by year’s end.
Aiming to receive maximum acceptance in the top EV state of California, Ford says up to $10,000 in tax credits will be available, and HOV lane access is worth more than an $1,464 in wasted fuel plus time for those who commute in and around Los Angeles.
How does it figure? Well, you have up to a $7,500 federal tax credit, $2,500 from a state rebate program, and Ford notes an urban mobility study pegs LA as having the 7th worst congestion in the union. This, the study says, wastes a total of 38 million gallons of fuel from cars idling or rolling slowly – averaged at $1,464 per driver – but HOV lane drivers can bypass a lot of that.
Naturally, an electric car does not use any gasoline, and Ford says the average cost in California to recharge overnight is between $1-2. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s sticker for the Focus EV states electric range is 76 miles – 3 miles more than Nissan’s Leaf.
Ford is quick to observe conservative use can top 100 miles, and the vehicle offers an EPA rated 105 MPGe combined, based on 110 MPGe city, 99 MPGe highway.
The Ford’s on-board 6.6-kw charger cuts recharging to around half the time needed for the $35,200-$37,250 Leaf – four hours when plugged into a 240-volt dedicated charger. Each hour plugged in delivers enough juice to extend driving range an additional 20 miles, for those who can work mid-day charging into their routine.
Ford is quite proud of its EV and points out its competitiveness against the five-passenger Leaf, but nary a mention is made of the
$10,000 less Mitsubishi i. Shoppers who don’t need a five seater may want to check that small electric vehicle out too.
Later this year and next, Ford will seek approval by the California Air Resources Board for more of its electrified vehicles to qualify for the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Program.
These will include the 2013 Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, and 2013 C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid.
All three of these vehicles are being assembled at Ford’s energy efficient Michigan Assembly Plant with capacity for 100,000 electrified vehicles per year estimated for 2013.