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Ford Focus Electric "vs" Tesla Model S: What I Learned at the Ford Dealership

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by MSEV, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. MSEV

    MSEV Member

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    I just got my S85D a couple days ago and ended up at one of the nearby Ford Dealerships yesterday. First a list of a number of things I learned:
    The dealer was a very nice, pleasant person.
    I got free energy there (J1772 adapter worked well).
    I am welcome back for free energy 24/7.
    I might be able to get a charge at any Ford dealership that has a charging station (I would guess they all use J1772 and that the Ford Focus EV does because that is what they had available).
    Ford trucks are very big in Nebraska (I really knew that but I say that after actually looking at the inventory).
    Ford does not have a car or truck near the price range of a Tesla.
    Ford is for the masses.
    The dealer was well aware of Tesla Model S.
    Though both I and my friend said the word "Tesla" multiple times, the dealer said the word "Telsa" every time (my friend and I are polite and didn't see any reason to correct him, and when he kept doing it, there was an interesting subtextual issue going on, in my mind, with the issue "why would someone keep saying Telsa when two others nearby are saying Tesla?")
    The dealer praised many times the technology of Tesla.
    The dealer said, at least a couple times, that electric cars are the future.
    He has not sold or ordered a Focus EV.
    When I moved in that direction a couple times, indicating that I liked the Focus, that I didn't need the Focus to go that far because I had a Tesla to do that, he mad no attempts to sell me an EV.
    He was honest about the limited range of the Ford EV and did not sound like he would really like to sell one to anyone because of the "70 miles" it could travel.

    I think those are the main things.
    My opinion: he says that EVs are the future on the one hand and is doing very little to go in that direction, even stopping it by not wanting to sell EVs.
    My opinion: there are two kinds of EVs, in general: Teslas, a practical albiet expensive, EVs and commuter cars that are inexpensive and not very practical and do not do much to promote EVs. I don't mean to put them down--I have looked at many and wanted one but held back buying/leasing one because I can't drive to the next town and back with one.
    My opinion, based on limited experience: Tesla is the only company in reality (some others might be doing so behind the scenes that I am not aware of, take Apple, as an example) that is committed to EVs.
     
  2. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Member

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    I agree that Tesla is the only EV on the market which can be an all-around car solution, while other EVs are only useful for in-city use, such as commute to work, shopping, running various errands. However, there are many families with at least 2 cars and all those would only need 1 long range car for trips. So it would perfectly fit the average family to have 1 long-range car + 1 city-EV. I have been using that setup (i-Miev+ICE) for 2 years before getting my Model S, now we have 3 cars (for 3 daily drivers): an ICE, an i-Miev and the S. The fact is, the ICE is only used for local commute now, so it could be replaced with another city-EV.
     
  3. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    It's funny you say that. In our house, whoever has the longer ride any given day gets to take the Tesla. When I tell people, they always assume it's the other way around.
     
  4. MSEV

    MSEV Member

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    I am learning you have to think about how to use a limited range (non-Tesla) EV, and I am not real good at it yet. It is my way of thinking but also my needs: I want to be able to drive about 100 round trip (so I can visit my family and friends in the next town over and go to the football games there) and I can't do that safely or easily with the current crop of non-Tesla EVs. The next Leaf, with, let's say 125 to 150 miles, a great lease (so I can get out of it when the Model 3 comes out) and I will have two EVs. But I think a Leaf would be perfect for my teenage niece: limited range, not too fast, no need to go to a gas station. I have been trying to talk my brother into that.
     
  5. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    This is the point. Average includes those who commute by train or bus but drive a car on weekends. 250/7 gives an average trip of 36 miles. Using that to justify making a 70 mile car isn't going to work for a large number of people. As a second commuting-only car it works, but few purchase a second commuting car new, usually it's the former first car that's used.
     
  6. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    #6 ItsNotAboutTheMoney, Mar 22, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
    (So people know I accidentally posted annincomplete post, so he didn't cut off my post).

    I was going to say that the problem is that those numbers don't say how income skews it, and that it doesn't take that many longer trips per year to make rental an expensive pain. Then there's range variation due to weather and degradation. Plus, the very fact that average trip length works against lowering comparative TCO. Basically, there are lots of factors that make expensive short-range BEVs undesirable.

    But, that average is a good indicator that a short-range BEV could have more miles on it than the gasser in a 2-car household. The problem is that to get to the point where short-range BEV is ubiquitous, you'll have to sell lots of PEV so you can bring the price down and that doesn't look like it can happen for at least 10 years.

    With a long-range BEV like a Tesla, and more precisely, a long-distance BEV like a Tesla with Superchargers you have a solution where the range is well into the 1%, so it can truly be considered a primary car, and then there's a realistic trade-off question in relation to travel time v preferred vehicle. There is still a problem of cost, but I think utility is a bigger barrier in a path to growth. It's why I watch Tesla and GM's work with more interest than Nissan's. It's also why I'm concerned that the Bolt concept still seemed to be stuck in the suburban mentality rather than being a long-distance BEV.

    I do think that people have perception issues when it comes to need, so I'm not surprised at the surprise people would have if told that a BEV is the high mileage car. The perception problems are overcome with education and familiarity, which woukd lead to favorable locations having sales much higher than less favorable areas, and there being a tipping point at which sales could accelerate.
     
  7. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    My Smart ED is perfect for the short commute I drive on city streets.
    I pay for 100% renewable electricity, so my commute is 0 CO2.
    And that it only seats two is also good, as my son who will be driving soon, less people for him to jam into the car. l-)

    My wife's Mercedes GLK 4Matic is poor on efficiency, but outstanding for the out of town trips we take every weekend in the winter.
    If we average the cars together, it would be like driving two Prius' (Prii?) in terms of efficiency.

    Looking forward to a Tesla in our future, but will wait for lower prices on used/inventory/loaner when X hits the streets.
     
  8. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    The Mercury brand is gone, and Lincoln appears to be the new Mercury. That makes me sad.

    As for Tesla being the only company really committed to EVs... I'm sure Nissan is highly committed to EVs. However, they've taken a different strategy, mired in the conventional thinking about EVs as penny-pinching, small, short-ranged "city cars". They were already committed to that strategy before the first Tesla Roadster was shipped, and they haven't yet felt compelled to change it.

    GM is perhaps a more interesting case, since they've long had factions inside the company that were for EVs and factions against them, and that internal struggle has played out in various sometimes-surprising ways.
     
  9. eloder

    eloder Member

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    I plan to use a smart EV as a sole driver once it arrives next month. The general consensus in the lower EV communities is that they work perfectly fine, as long as it A) Fits your commute, and B) Mostly fits or completely fits your max daily driving needs.

    I only take a longer trip maybe once a year. I can always rent then. And I could always use my partner's car if absolutely necessary.

    I plan to have a Tesla as well (most likely Model 3 later), or a very efficient ICE like an Elio, but that's not going to be my daily driver. Having a tiny, efficient, easy to park car is absolutely fantastic for normal day to day use if you live anywhere in or near a city.
     
  10. sefs

    sefs 2012 Ford Focus Electric

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    I have a Ford Focus Electric and it is my primary vehicle. The key to the car is mobile charging. I have a Tesla UMC converted to J1772 and am able to charge off of just about any source. This has really made the car for me. Without mobile charging, I would not be nearly as satisfied as I am with the car today. Ironically, I believe the need for mobile charging is greater with the lower range EV's than it is with the Model S.
     
  11. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    Ditto!! The ICE does get the nod, however, whenever we drive to Chicago. That is, until there are enough Superchargers between FL and there.
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    "Might" is the right word.

    • Many dealers have turned away cars sold by other dealers, even from the same manufacturer. This is of course fundamentally short-sighted, because people usually need to charge when they are not at home near their own dealer. If you want the cars to be practical, you have to be able to travel elsewhere. The "might" not be realized unless the manufacturer somehow mandates it.
    • Usually the chargers are inaccessible outside business hours
    • Usually the service center has first access
    • Often the chargers are blocked by other cars, and the dealer often won't go out of his way to move it for you
    • Some will simply refuse to let customers charge saying it is for service only
     
  13. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    There's also the dynamic I experienced on the road trip I went on - I only considered charging at 1 Nissan dealership for an overnight charging option, and ended up using a public charger. It's right there in the language that I just used - charging at the Nissan dealership, even without talking to them and finding the charger, felt like imposing on a private party (admittedly a business), where connecting to the public / West Coast Electric Highway J1772 charger was completely expected and reasonable. Unless the dealership makes a point of putting the charger in an approachable space that can be reached 24x7 without going through a fence or guard or other security, then it isn't really a public / mobile charging source that can be reliably used as part of a charging network.

    It's really just a plug that's there for Service to use to charge up cars that they're working on - an imminently reasonable and useful resource for the Service department to have, but not something I'm going to put into my travel planning, and definitely not something I'm going to just assume will be there in whatever town I happen to be driving through when I need a charge.

    Tesla's Superchargers have it exactly right - the presence of a Tesla showroom or service center at a Supercharger is a happy accident, and not something I expect. I expect to find bathroom, restaurant / food, and maybe a park or place to walkabout for a few minutes to stretch my legs; maybe a mall to do some shopping (though that's iffy - that turns 15-30 minute charging needs into 1-2 hour parking times, and at a busy charger, that's not cool).

    Oh - and they're on the major highways (interstates) rather than "in town" along busy commercial streets, so more accessible while traveling.
     
  14. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

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    I test drove an 85D yesterday. Besides the obvious thoughts as to the features and feel of the car, I left with a feelings of anger/sadness/horror. Why?

    Because one guy, with what was relatively minimal start up capital for an undertaking of the size and complexity of a ground-up car, pulled it off. Even after proving the concept works, building out the SuperCharger network etc... the 'competition' (and I use that term very loosely) have only managed to make some token EV efforts by marketing electric 'Cozy Coupes'! With the budget GM/Toyota/BMW and all the others apparently have to hold focus groups for the design of cup holders, Elon built an entire car.

    Frankly, it blows my mind...
    littletikescoupe.jpg
     
  15. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    In a way, you've also just articulated the investment thesis for many of the long term investors in the company. Though your way makes for a much more entertaining story. The history of the tech industry is that this is how innovation and disruption comes to an industry - it doesn't arrive via the established incumbents focus grouping their way to a new paradigm.
     
  16. Takumi

    Takumi Member

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    Yeah, I agree on that charger being by a mall being iffy. I did that once and I ended up spending 2 hrs and $2k+. Not cool!
     
  17. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    The very popular F-250 truck can be optioned past $70k. Then there are the F-350 and F-450 SuperDuty trucks.

    2015 F-250 PLATINUM

    Pricing Summary

    • BASE MSRP S1
      $64,025
    • Total of Options S4
      $6,235
    • Destination Charges
      $1,195
    • Subtotal
      $71,455
    • Available Incentives S3

      -$1,000
    • NET PRICE S5
      $70,455
    http://bp3.ford.com/2015-Ford-SuperDuty?branding=1&lang=en&fmccmp=lp-trucks-mid-bp-super-duty#/MakeItYours/Config%5B%7CFord%7CSuperDuty%7C2015%7C1%7C1.%7C608A.W2B.156.RR...VAC3Z-17N004-A.8C3Z-99286A40-C.VAC3Z-9900038-CA.CC3Z-16C900-B.VAC3Z-99000A64-B.VBL2Z-10E947-A.CBB.68D.473.17X.CRW.NFLEET.99T.4X4.44W.PLA.16S.965.90R.53W.41H.87C.87T.76C.41A.66S.592.~F-250.SRW.%5D






    vehicle.png
     
  18. ZachShahan

    ZachShahan Member

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    As some of you know, I read through these threads obsessively (it's part of my job, + very interesting). I'm the director of CleanTechnica.com and the founder/director of EVObsession.com. I'm just putting this in the intro to note that I have been reading and writing about EVs as my job for several years.

    Now, to the point... The thing that really irritates me about these discussions is when blanket statements about "what works" for people. To be more specific, blanket statements that lower-range EVs don't work for people, aren't practical, etc. (with the implication generally being that they are a lesser option "across the board"). Lower-range EVs like the current Nissan LEAF *do* work for a lot of people, and are even more practical for a lot of people. Hundreds of thousands of people drive these cars -- perhaps even >1 million now. And from anecdotal evidence and studies (which, yes, do contain limitations), many of these drivers are happier with these EVs than any car they've ever had (unless they also own a Model S). These cars work for a lot of people.

    Going on... It's been awhile since I've seen research on this topic, but a while back, only 31% of Americans in a nationwide poll were "familiar with" a Nissan LEAF (I take "familiar with" to essentially mean they had heard of it). Many respondents made elementary errors when it comes to the differences between a LEAF and a Prius -- in other words, had no clue what a plug-in car was. If LEAFs and similar EVs work for hundreds of thousands of people, while the large majority of the population doesn't have a clue what a LEAF is, imagine how many more people might be in the same shoes as these early adopters if they had a little hands-on experience.

    Yes, it's obvious, ~60 or 70 miles of real-world range doesn't work for many people. Just as it's obvious that $70,000+ is too much for most people to spend on a car. But a current LEAF or other on-the-market and non-Tesla EV would probably be the best vehicle a person could buy for the price it costs for tens of millions (my est.) of Americans and hundreds of millions (my est.) people worldwide. The top two barriers to adoption, imho, are 1) lack of knowledge/experience (I guess that's 2 in one, but calling it 1 :D), and 2) anti-EV hype that convinces people they need 5 times more range than they actually need.

    Others have already made some of these points in their own ways (i-MiEV & Focus Electric owners, for example), but it's an issue that really gets to me, as you can probably tell.

    I think there's little debate that Tesla took the best approach to EVs, but Renault-Nissan certainly seemed to have a legitimate interest in leading the way in this market, and by some standards it has. It would be good if Nissan learned a bit from Tesla (I imagine it has), and surprises us with some great and varied EV offerings soon (we'll see...). But I also think it would be good if Tesla spokespeople (including the totally awesome Elon Musk, who I think nails it on 99% of matters) and supporters didn't play into counterproductive and I would say factually incorrect blanket statements about "what works," "what a real car is," "what a practical car is," etc. These are rather subjective matters.

    Battery prices are coming down, and we'll have long-range *and* affordable electric cars in short order, but there's a lot of room to improve how we get there and how fast we get there.

    I have more to add regarding Elon's recent statements regarding the Model 3, but I'm going to hold off, turn this comment into an article, and go a bit further in a forthcoming CleanTechnica.com article... :D
     
  19. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Member

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    I agree, the lack of knowledge / experience is a major problem for wider adoption of EVs. However, you also have to note, that car companies who are selling these EVs are also to blame in that. When I was shopping around for my first EV back in 2012, I knew very well what was available in my area (Leaf, Volt, i-Miev) and it was still hard to get a test drive at some of the dealerships. Even if I went in with the specific intention to look at EV only, the dealers were trying to push me towards buying an ICE instead. So, not only do they not inform people about the EVs who do not know about them, they even try to discourage buyers looking for EVs.

    So even though, Nissan spent significant money to advertise the Leaf, when you go into a local dealership, the local dealers do not seem to want to sell them. GM and Mitsubishi are even worse than Nissan in that aspect. This is a major obstacle to adoption.
     
  20. saladman

    saladman Member

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    +1. Even with the Nissan Leaf in our house. Gas car sits for months, even a year, at a time.
     

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