U.S. Ford Focus Electric dealers trained and certified

Total of 67 dealers ready to roll with pure-electric Focus

By Gavin Conway on May 3, 2012 3:49 PM

After a fitful start, Ford looks like it is beginning to take the roll-out of its pure-electric 2012 Focus Electric more seriously. The company has announced that 67 dealers have been officially certified to sell the all-electric Focus.

Unsurprisingly, the launch markets for the Focus Electric are on the opposing coasts of the U.S. – California, New York and New Jersey. That’s where the company reckons the sweet spots are for electric car sales.

Just to recap, the 2012 Ford Focus Electric has an official government rating of 110MPGe, 143 horsepower and a top speed of 84mph. Range on a charge is up to 100 miles and Ford says it can be recharged in as little as four hours on a 240-volt system.

The launch markets will start seeing cars arriving at dealerships in the next month or so, with the Focus Electric available in 19 markets nationwide by the end of the summer and then nationwide by Christmas.

Choosing the dealers

Ford has been pretty picky about who gets to sell the Focus Electric, and dealers have had to jump through some hoops to get onboard. Each EV dealer must have at least two onsite charging stations, one in the public customer area and one in the service bay. In additional, each EV dealer will need to have at least one demo vehicle on hand.

Interestingly, Ford seems to have cottoned on to the fact that ignorance about EVs on the part of dealership staff could be a huge obstacle to sales. So it has mandated that 80% of sales and service staff facing customers must be trained up and knowledgeable about EVs.

The company started building the Focus Electric in Michigan last December, and figures for delivered cars so far have barely broken two figures. It’s too early to tell whether those roll-out markets, particularly California, will kick-start sales. Or whether the Focus Electric exists only to give the company a car to sell in those areas where zero emissions zones are mandated.