Ford Out-Electrifies GM and Nissan


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ford ( F) says that its electric vehicle charging stations will be about $700 or 32% cheaper than that of competitors.

At a private viewing in New York of Ford's new Focus Electric, Ford's first global "electrified" car, company leaders said that no competitors are offering a charging station with an installation price lower than Ford's at $1,499. Ford estimates that on average, electric vehicle installation costs range from about $2,100 to $2,200.

They said the charging stations would be user-friendly, easily mobile and would allow for tools-free installation that Best Buy's ( BBY) Geek Squad would set up for customers.

Ford says that it's currently working with utilities and municipalities across the U.S. to make electric vehicle charging points more ubiquitous across the country.

On Thursday, Ford unveiled its new Focus Electric both at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and in New York. It is one of five new advanced lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles scheduled to be rolled out in North America and Europe by 2013 and is expected, according to Ford, to offer better miles per gallon usage than GM's ( GM) Chevy Volt and require half the charging time of the Nissan ( NSANY) Leaf.

The Focus Electric will be launched in late 2011. No pricing information has been released yet for the car.

All this is part of Ford's global "electrification" strategy.

"This really is a milestone for Ford," said Ford chairman Bill Ford. "To say something is a milestone in a 107-year-old company is not something that I say lightly."

To keep manufacturing costs low and to allow for the greatest flexibility in accommodating customer choices, Ford isn't building a single-purpose platform for electric vehicles. Instead, with its global electrification plan, the automaker is building electric vehicles on the same line as the highest-volume global platforms already in existence.

Ford's electrification plan makes way for three types of electric vehicles to, as Ford explains it, make it easier for customers to embrace the electric vehicle technology: the hybrid, the plug-in and the all-electric.

"The power of choice is what makes the Ford electrification plan different than others," Nancy Gioia, Ford's director of global electrification, said at the viewing.

All three models will be built under one roof at Ford's factory in Wayne, Michigan.
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-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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