After owning a Ford Focus EV for a year, I advise consumers to be very skeptical about them. I loved it at first, until the battery died several times at stop lights! We were told it needed a software update to fix the problem. That seemed to work for several months, until the battery died completely again. Having an almost brand new car and then having to deal with towing, figuring out how to get to work with out it, etc., is a tremendous hassle and downside. There are no substitute cars because substitutes won't be able to use the car pool lane. Dealers have very little knowledge about the Focus EV, which also is incredibly frustrating. Overall, a very bad experience with this car.
Purchased the car for under 30k and was a great value. Cost for my 36 mile commute is now 0.50 instead of 3.50 (or the cost of a gallon at the time). It has had a few recalls but when those fixes were applied, no issues and nothing really to maintain. No oil changes or fluids/belts/chains/etc. I love the fact that I never go to gas stations, just plug in nightly like my cellphone and ready to go in a couple of hours (with the 220v wall charger). We have a second car for trips, but I think renting a car for the few long trips of the year would be fine if we didn't have a second vehicle. Overall, I am sold on electric and am likely to stick with all electric for my commute/around town car!
I have had a lot of cars in my time (VW, Honda, Mazda), and this car is definitely the best value for my money that I could ever imagine having. There is one caveat... you have to be able to drive the car within it's range. This probably isn't the car for you if you live in a cold climate, and you need to keep it plugged in if you live in a hot climate. However, I would call this car a luxury car, and to drive a car of this quality every day I would easily spend 3 times as much in overall costs. Range... If you drive this like any other car, then your range will probably be 70 miles on an average day, but only around 45 miles at 32 degrees. The great thing is that traffic actually increases your range. I couldn't imagine a better car in traffic. It is comfortable, quiet, and using the low range mode means you rarely have to touch the brake pedal. Battery... I just tested the battery, and after 2 years I have not had any loss. The car has a cooling system on the battery. Maintenance/Repairs/Warranty... I have had no maintenance costs. The car has been in the shop for 21 days in 2 years for work on the charging system. However, I have a backup car so that has not been an issue. The great thing is that the charging system/battery is warranted for 8 years/100k miles. As long as you can deal with the car being in the shop periodically, then this isn't a problem. Again, I look forward to 8 years of very low maintenance costs. Exterior... I love the exterior. I have the white pearl paint, and the paint quality is very good. I love Mazdas and Hondas, but their paint is notoriously bad and cheap. It's nice to have good paint for a change. Interior... This is one of the nicest cars I have ever had. The leather seats are of high quality, and it feels like a luxury car. It is very quiet, and there is no emissions to breathe in. Cargo space is very small due to the battery placement, but i love the fact that i can put items in the back without them sliding around. Ride... The ride and handling is very good. The car is heavy, so it rides well, and the handling is very good. Performance... The car is very slow off the line up to 5 miles an hour. However, in real world driving most people to take off quickly from the line. The car has a very smooth start. The rest of the time the performance is very good. Acceleration is great once you have started, as the electric motor provides instant torque. It is most impressive while going up a hill. If I need to pass going up a hill, I am around the car in front of me before they have a chance to react (too many people like to speed up when you pass them :) ). Value... I got an amazing deal, as Georgia had the $5000 tax credit. So, my effective price was only around $17500 with all the incentives. I have had no costs at all for the car over two years (no oil changes), and with electricity so inexpensive my only significant cost is depreciation. Depreciation has been steep with gas prices so low now, but the cars depreciation will be negligible over the next 3-4 years. Most people don't realize that the true cost to a car is not it's purchase price, but it's depreciation and repair costs. We had a 2007 Acura TL type S and a 2003 VW Passat. The Passat actually cost us twice as much as the Acura TL due to the poor depreciation of the VW and very high repair costs. The Focus Electric has a high depreciation hit when you first buy it, but it is very low after that. Features... I love the auto start. On a hot day I start it before we get in and it is so much cooler than any of the rest of our cars. The heated seats keep me warm on the days that are 60 degrees, so I don't use the heater that much. I love the low range. I use it often in traffic, coming down hills, or going through traffic lights. It slows you down without having to use the brakes, and the power is reclaimed through regeneration. Things you have to learn how to do... Keep it charged. We have a backup car, so if we forget to charge it, it is not a big deal for us. If you don't have a backup car that could be an issue. Keep it cool. During the hot summer months, heat degrades the battery. So keep it inside or plugged in. You probably will need a level 2 charger installed.