With electric cars becoming more and more mainstream, it comes as no surprise that automakers are introducing brand new or electric versions of existing models. While not cheap, these EV’s often come with various tax benefits that vary from state to state, with the idea being that the long-term savings in fuel will mitigate the up-front cost.
Take for example the new 2012 Ford Focus Electric. Ford’s latest EV will cost you $39,200 before state and federal incentives including an additional $795 in destination charges. The EV Focus features a permanent-magnet electric motor producing 123 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. The engine is powered by a 23 kwh lithium-ion battery system and mated to a single-speed transmission. Charge time varies, with a full charge taking 18-20 hours using a common 120v outlet or 3-4 hours using a special 240v charging source.
By contrast, the 2012 Nissan Leaf has a base price of $35,200 with an additional $850 in destination charges – and once incentives are taking into account, the Nissan Leaf still ends up costing almost $4000 less than its American counterpart.
Of course, it remains to be seen how well the 2012 Ford Focus Electric will fair against cars like the Nissan Leaf or Toyota’s legion of new Prius models, and with its somewhat prohibitive starting price, we can’t exactly say it’s starting in pole-position.