Header image alt text


Electric Vehicle information for Atlanta and Georgia

Ford Focus Electric information

On this page I will go into more detail about one of the cars that I’ve owned, the Ford Focus Electric (FFE), and will provide my opinion about it and other similar cars.

Ford Focus ElectricIn short, the FFE is a good car, and I recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable pure electric car. In particular, if you have considered the Leaf and like it on paper, but then don’t like it person, take a look at the FFE. In general, the FFE is nicer looking car than the Leaf, and has a nicer interior. Only a Leaf loaded with options can reasonably be compared to an FFE. When I was selling the car, I made up the fact sheet shown here (click to enlarge), and it really is impressive how many cool amenities Ford managed to pack into this car.

There are two problems with the FFE:

1. The FFE is a compliance car, meaning a car that Ford is really making only to comply with California regulations. There are about a dozen models like this that are offered only in California, but Ford uniquely decided to offer the FFE nationwide.

This means that while it it possible to buy in Georgia, the local Ford dealers don’t make it easy for you. They may not have any in stock for you to test drive or even just look at, and they may try to steer you towards a conventional gas car. If you come across a dealer like this, simply move on to the next one. There are Ford dealers in metro Atlanta that have the FFE and support it.

This also means that I don’t trust Ford to really stand behind the car for the long term, so I discourage people from buying this car. Instead, lease it. Of course, leasing is the smart thing to do with any EV, at least until 2016-2017 when the second generation of cars comes out. Until then we will be on this steep technology curve with much better cars on the horizon, and poor value retention in the older model years.

2. The FFE does not have DC Fast Charging capability. This is the very fast charging technology that allows the cars to be charged in 30 minutes or so, instead of several hours. The Nissan Leaf wins hands down on this point, with both the DCFC capability and charging stations popping up all over metro Atlanta. If you have a long commute (60 miles roundtrip or more) then you need to consider a car that offers DCFC, because come winter the DCFC will likely get you out of pinch. But otherwise, with commutes shorter than 60 miles roundtrip, just charging at home overnight is fine and you won’t really need the DCFC capability.