Ford's CEO Reveals Focus Electric's True Battery Cost

During a speech at Fortune magazine’s Brainstorm Green conference in California earlier this week, Ford CEO Alan Mulally spilled the beans on what it costs for a battery in the company’s Focus Electric, which is between $12,000 and $15,000.

“When you move into an all-electric vehicle, the battery size moves up to around 23 kilowatt hours,” he said. “It weighs 600 to 700 pounds and they’re around $12,000 to $15,000 for a car [in conventional gasoline form] that normally sells around $22,000. So you can see why the economics are what they are.”

Based on the information Ford’s CEO provided, the automaker pays somewhere between $552 and $650 per kilowatt-hour for EVs like the Focus Electric, which is currently priced at $39,200.

Although the U.S. Department of Energy has set a target of lowering the cost of batteries to around $300 per kilowatt-hour, in Ford’s case the idea of realizing significant production volumes for cars like the Focus Electric isn’t a high priority, at least for now.

Because the EV version is based on the conventional gasoline-engine Focus, which sells in high volume, Ford says it can afford to distribute the EV in relatively small numbers. Late last year, just 10 examples were sold to fleet customers, though more Focus Electric models are now rolling off the Wayne, Michigan assembly line, alongside their gasoline counterparts.

Although priced slightly higher than the $35,200 Nissan Leaf , Ford says the Focus Electric can go a distance of 76 miles before needing a charge, a scooch further that the Leaf’s declared real world range of 73. Furthermore, by using a 240-volt charger, the Ford’s battery pack can replenished in just 3.5 hours compared to the Leaf ‘s present 6-7 hour recharge time with a 240-volt charger.

Wall Street Journal


  • MrEnergyCzar

    The Ford charging twice as fast as the Leaf is a reasonable blow to the Leaf, it would have been much bigger if the price was the same…

    MrEnergyCzar

  • Chris C.

    And the impact of that faster charger would have been a lot greater if Ford had gotten the FFE out on the schedule they promised last year. As it stands, they will hit volume production and deliveries near the end of the year, just as Nissan starts producing their 2013 Leafs, which match the charging rate!

  • dutchinchicago

    And Ford will not have a fast charger while it is standard on the Leaf.

  • crut

    Wouldn’t be surprised if the delay was intentional. After all they won’t be making any money on this so why would they want to push production along? Probably more to appease the government than for any true desire to drive sales volumes.

  • Max Reid

    Battery cost has gone down by 14% in last 1 year. Expect it to go down further. Even if battery costs $15 K, the motor should be much cheaper than engine and should reduce the cost.

  • greg45

    The cost is definitely way out of control. Unsure what to think about this at all. I am hoping these costs will come down in the future. music lessons

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