Improving EV Affordability

The current cost to make plug-in vehicles is substantially higher than that of conventional vehicles, largely due to the cost of batteries. Depending on electricity costs, however, the energy cost to operate an all-electric car is in the range of 3 to 4 cents per mile, compared to about 8 to 16 cents1 per mile for a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle. So, lower operating costs can help to offset the higher initial purchase costs of electric vehicles (EVs).

Automakers will need to invest billions of dollars to develop next-generation electrification technologies and electrified vehicles. Utilities will need to invest to increase electricity generation and transmission capacity, with generally higher costs for green electricity sources. Governments will also need to invest by encouraging and facilitating the development of technology and infrastructure and providing incentives for consumers to buy EVs. Ford is doing what it can to reduce the costs of manufacturing and operating EVs.

Reducing Vehicle Production Costs

We are planning our electric vehicle strategy based on our highest-volume global platforms, which can help to reduce the costs of electric vehicles by creating economies of scale. For example, the Focus Electric, C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid are all based on our global C-platform, which we expect to underpin 2 million vehicles annually.

We are using best-in-class flexible manufacturing technology in our Michigan Assembly Plant, which will produce the Focus Electric, C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi, as well as the gas-powered Focus. Flexible manufacturing allows us to switch production between different vehicles to meet changing customer demand without retooling our plant or assembly lines – a significant cost reduction.

Ford is working with a range of battery suppliers and other partners to develop next-generation battery technologies that will help to bring costs down. Please see Battery Technology for more information on advanced batteries for EVs.

Reducing Vehicle Operation Costs

The fuel costs of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are significantly lower than for gasoline-powered vehicles. We are taking a range of steps to reduce the operating costs of EVs to help offset their higher purchase price.

Through our partnership with Microsoft to deliver Value Charging powered by Microsoft, we are helping EV owners find the most efficient times to charge their vehicles. This system helps customers reduce their electricity costs by taking advantage of off-peak or other reduced utility rates without a complicated setup process.

The MyFord Touch™-based in-vehicle communications systems on our electric vehicles, described in Living the Electric Lifestyle, also help reduce EV operating costs by enabling drivers to maximize their driving efficiency and in-vehicle energy use.

Our BEVs will also have lower maintenance requirements than gas-powered vehicles. The Focus Electric eliminates more than two-dozen mechanical components that would normally require attention during the life of the vehicle. So, for example, drivers won’t have to get oil changes or change oil filters, fuel filters or spark plugs, or worry about a worn-out muffler or serpentine belt. Based on a regular oil change maintenance schedule, Focus Electric owners will save approximately $500 over the 150,000-mile life of the vehicle on oil change costs alone.

  1. Assuming an energy consumption of about 3 to 4 miles/kWh at 12 cents/kWh for the electric vehicle, and a fuel economy of 30–40 miles/gallon at $3–$5/gallon for the gasoline vehicle.