By on March 31, 2016

2015 Ford Focus Electric

If you live in California and your demographics are right, your electric car dream is within reach. Yes, even you, baristas and struggling actors!

The website Leasehackr stumbled upon a killer deal for lower-income Californians (assuming they live near charging stations), and spelled out how leftover 2015 Ford Focus Electrics can be leased for essentially nothing.

If your personal life aligns with Ford’s customer incentives and California’s revamped EV rebate program, it can be done.

First, you have to make less than $35,600 a year, or be a member of a household of four with a combined income of $72,900 or less. If you’re able to check that box, just hope you’re also a recent college grad or military member (or first responder), as well as a first-time buyer.

Leasehackr sought out the cheapest dealer-sold 2015 Focus Electric to run the numbers on. The least-expensive model found was $27,200.

Factoring in every possible incentive, including the $12,750 in combined Red Carpet Lease Customer Cash and bonus cash thrown at California Ford buyers, the cost to get into the Focus is essentially halved.

Entering into a 36-month, 10,500 mile per year lease (with a 40 percent residual value) would see the lessee roll off the lot after paying $1,495 in registration, fees, first month’s payment and applicable taxes.

The only cost after that, besides your insurance and electricity, would be an $81 monthly payment. But that’s where California steps in to make your life even more envious.

The state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) was recently revamped to give lower-income residents $4,000 for the purchase of a battery electric vehicle. Applied for after the purchase, the $4,000 in state cash would virtually erase the $4,055 total cost of the lease.

It’s like winning the lifestyle lottery!

Even if you’re closing in on middle class (or already there), the upper-level CVRP rebate of $2,500 would still make the Focus Electric such a great deal your friends would have to start ignoring your self-congratulatory phone calls.

The deal is dependent on a dwindling supply of 2015 model year Electrics, and Leasehackr points out that Ford’s current lease program ends on April 4. Who knows how that will change the day after.

On your bikes, people.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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38 Comments on “Act Fast, and Get a Ford Focus Electric for Pennies...”

  • avatar

    “Yes, even you, baristas and struggling actors!”

    Wait, are we the Best and Baristas? Dang, I was giving us too much credit. Who wants a latte?

  • avatar

    Gahhh, if only I was more impoverished!

    • 0 avatar

      Are the incentives based on taxable income? You could start a business venture or become very charitable…

    • 0 avatar

      I’m tired. I work hard. I pay my bills. I don’t take handouts. I pay a lot in taxes. Tax brakes avoid me. I volunteer several hundred hours per year.

      I believe in helping others. I’m just tired of it being forced upon me.

      • 0 avatar

        Up until the beginning of this year, you (assuming you live in California) were subsidizing all of those poor tired not so hard working rich folks who were buying Teslas. This should be an improvement from your perspective, as I doubt many poor folks will manage to take advantage of this.

  • avatar

    Evil awful government and California hatred in 3, 2, 1…

  • avatar
    volvo driver

    I’ve seen 2013 EV focus with 20-30k miles for $8k.

  • avatar

    If my commute were less than 60 miles round trip I’d be all over this.

  • avatar

    At least this incentive works to get lower income people into electric cars instead of giving freebies to rich guys buying Teslas. Of course, it’s a lease so you need to have good credit also. So there’s that..

  • avatar

    So is this a fine example of corporate and social welfare at the expense of the taxpayer or just corporate welfare at your expense? Could this be the emergence of the Obamacar?

    Additional: Sh*tbags aside, this is a nice deal for newly enlisted military members as E1 only pays 18K and California has several installations. If we’re going to play welfare games I am glad the *members* of the military can benefit as opposed to only the MIC they serve being the sole beneficiary (as is typical).

    • 0 avatar

      More likely A combination of Ford wanting to unload overstocked models along with needing to make the CA mandatory EV sales quota.

    • 0 avatar

      Unless this Focus EV has its own generator/charger on board, the unfettered distance you can travel is rather limited, as meefer pointed out.

      • 0 avatar


        This occurred to me, but California is also kicking in some money (2,500 to 4000) in addition the the Federal tax credit of I think 10K. So while Ford is giving up to 12,750 for California buyers and some other smaller bonuses, they are also getting up to $14K for a car they can’t sell from Uncle Sugar, while FMCC still ends up owning the car at the end which will promptly be dumped for if I had to guess 10-12K on the block.

        “As for incentives, there’s $9,750 in Red Carpet Lease (RCL) Customer Cash and $3,000 Bonus Customer Cash, available to all California lessees.”

        “The following targeted incentives are also available: $500 Recent Grad/Military/First Responders Incentive, $250 Competitive Lease Conquest Cash, $250 RCL Renewal, or $750 First Time Buyer. Targeted incentives cannot be stacked.”


        Imagine if you were stationed at USN San Diego, distance isn’t always an issue for a runabout like this.

        • 0 avatar

          The Cali cash is if you BUY the car. You don’t get it for a lease. What happens is the dealer claims the rebate and applies it towards the alleged purchase price for calculating lease price,

          • 0 avatar


            Leasehacker wasn’t clear on that, but between all of the incentives you might be out 15K on a brand new car albeit it with limited range. Not a horrible proposition.

        • 0 avatar

          28-Cars-Later, yes, I understand that it can work for some people.

          However, for many others, it would necessitate having a second car around that “can go the distance” this EV cannot.

          You can pile up more than 60 miles real quick just driving around San Diego and the North County. Real quick.

          If this program is aimed at lower-income people, now we’re talking TWO auto insurance premiums, maybe a second car payment on the car that can go the distance, and pretty soon the attractiveness of this EV does not shine as brilliant any more because there is no more money left over for food and rent.

          • 0 avatar


            The more that I think about it, this is more about Ford unloading these as quickly as possible which is what jpolicke pointed out. We are halfway through MY16 and these are MY15s which are depreciating by the day. Ford will not get anywhere close to sticker on the block because they aged out, but through this program they will get $14K Yellenbux and even with the incentives they give, might break even (or mitigate the loss) on the unsold cars. I doubt Ford delved into the socioeconomic aspect of their offer much.

          • 0 avatar

            28CL, I agree. In my neck of the woods, dealers of all brands still have many 2015 models on their back lots that they’ll make someone an “unadvertised” great deal on.

            But EVs? Now there is a special niche since the vast majority of drivers still opt for ye olde gasoline ICE.

  • avatar

    The lower your income the less likely you are to be a homeowner. Apartment living may make charging these cars difficult.

  • avatar

    Bernie Sanders would love this. Give the poor free stuff, and somehow expect everyone to actually believe that someone else isn’t actually paying for it. Typical liberal/socialist crap.

  • avatar

    Don’t these have a real world range of less than 70 miles?

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, at least in my experience closer to 60 than 70 miles range.

      I believe 70+ is possible, IF you keep freeway speed to 60 or below and you keep the car in a heated garage (so it does not need to use a lot of power on the battery heater when you set off in the morning).

      • 0 avatar

        And this is why they are useless. And I believe its a great ‘mirror’ into why Tesla succeeds and the rest of the industry falters… Ford makes an EV with 70 mile range and cant give them away.

        And then there’s the Model 3 which is the iphone of cars.

        You can imagine how hard it is selling a Focus EV. You ask the salesman have long it drives for. “70 miles”. And then you walk out and go to the Prius dealer.

        • 0 avatar

          Tesla “succeeds” at losing money.

          The reason that other automakers don’t take the big battery approach is that it won’t return a profit. The batteries cost too much.

          • 0 avatar

            The Focus Electric’s problem isn’t Tesla, it’s the C-Max Energi across the showroom. Plug in hybrid, but with conventional ICE backup. Zero range anxiety.

            Both are $12K for a 2013 with minimal miles or haggling.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          This has to be looked at with regards to an entire product lineup for Ford. Let’s be honest, they aren’t selling these to make a profit. California says they have to sell some electrics to do business in the state. They sell them so that they can sell F150s to all the farmers in the state. As a strategy Ford made like 8.5 billion last year so I wouldn’t knock it.

  • avatar

    All Foci handle great, and the electric one is well equipped and very nice inside. It is also the shortest range mainstream EV and one of the slowest. They really ought to offer the same deal on the ’16, because AFAIK it’s mechanically identical to the 2015, which is to say, uncompetitive. The Focus EV won’t really be competitive until the 2017 arrives, with 100 mile range and DC quick charging…but oops, by then the Chevy Bolt will be out, rendering the Focus uncompetitive again, so perhaps they should keep the deal going in ’17 too…

  • avatar

    American’s get all the auto deals…. Up in the Great While North (Canada), we simply do not see anything like that. Sure, we get cheaper micro cars that don’t seem to land on US shores… but Canadian still pay a premium for cars – even those manufactured right here IN CANADA… so how is that fair?

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