DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. will launch its first electric vehicle in 19 metropolitan markets, mainly on the coasts and in the Sun Belt, in the first salvo of its multivehicle EV strategy.
The first deliveries of the Focus Electric will take place the first half of next year, in New York and California.
Dealers are taking orders, and the car is being built at Ford's Wayne, Mich., plant. The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf also were launched in a few markets; the Volt now is sold nationwide.
One hundred fifty-four dealers have signed up to sell and service the Ford Focus Electric, an electric hatchback Ford says will achieve the equivalent of more than 100 mpg. Two other electrified vehicles will follow in mid-2012.
The Focus Electric is priced at $39,995, including freight -- about the same as the Volt and more expensive than the Leaf, which is $36,050. All three qualify for a $7,500 federal energy tax credit.
Other Ford hybrids and plug-ins are on the way in 2012, including the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid and the C-Max Hybrid. Ford plans three more electrified vehicles for 2012, but has not said what they are.
The 19 launch markets: Austin and Houston, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; Los Angeles; San Francisco; San Diego; New York City; northern New Jersey; Orlando; Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.
To sell the Focus Electric, dealerships must have one salesperson and one service technician trained in electric vehicles. Dealerships also must install two electric charging stations supplied by Leviton Manufacturing Co. of Melville, N.Y.
Leviton also will supply Ford with 240-volt home charging stations, which customers can buy at dealerships for $1,499, which includes installation. Ford has signed a partnership with electronics retailer Best Buy, whose Geek Squad technicians will install the charging stations.
Mike Tinskey, Ford's associate director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure, said the company believes 70 percent of customers will buy the home charging station, which will charge the car in just over three hours.
Ford is also offering customers a solar-power charging option. Customers will pay $10,000 for a 2.5-kilowatt roof solar panel system, which will be sold and installed by Sunpower Corp. of San Jose, Calif.
Wes Sherwood, a Ford spokesman, said a typical Focus Electric buyer who drives 12,000 miles a year will recoup the $10,000 in seven or eight years, depending on the market and local climate.