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Automakers Cut Battery-Car Prices to Boost Limp Sales

/ Source: The Detroit Bureau

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With battery-car sales lagging expectations, automakers have been slashing prices in a bid to spur demand. The latest to announce a big discount is Ford Motor Co., which said it will trim the MSRP on its Focus Electric model by $6,000.

That’s on top of the $4,000 discount the Detroit maker took on the compact battery-electric vehicle a year ago. Originally introduced in January 2011 at $39,995, buyers now can plug in a Ford Focus Electric for just $29,995 – plus delivery charges and the usual fees and taxes. Automakers have been cutting prices of both plug-in and pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, models in a bid to boost sluggish sales. And with gas prices now near or below $3 a gallon in much of the U.S., industry analysts suggest it will be even more difficult to convince buyers to opt for vehicles that plug in rather than tank up. With less than 100 miles of range, even in the most optimum of conditions, the lithium-ion powered Focus Electric generated only about 1,500 sales during the first nine months of this year, less than 1 percent of the 176,156 Focus models Ford sold in the U.S.

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