• 67 Ford dealers are now certified to sell the Focus Electric
  • Certification involves meeting rigorous requirements from Ford
  • The first dealers are in California, New Jersey and New York

Ford is paving the way for its all-electric Focus Electric to go on sale, recently announcing that 67 of its dealers are now certified and ready to sell the car. Those dealers - each located in California, New Jersey and New York - will receive the first models this spring, with the fully-electric hatchback scheduled to go on sale nationwide by the end of the year.

According to Ford, dealers can only become certified to sell the Focus Electric after meeting a series of rigorous guidelines recently established by the automaker. Ford says such requirements include dealership staff participation in specialized electric vehicle training, the installation of at least two charging stations at each dealership, participation in a "Go Green" facility assessment and full-time availability of at least one Focus Electric to be used for demonstrations and events.

Once dealerships meet the guidelines, they will be able to sell and service the Focus Electric when it rolls out later this year. The automaker specifically invited dealers in California, New Jersey and New York to become certified ahead of retailers in other markets, noting that those states account for a large percentage of electrified vehicle sales.

"The amount of hard work and resources dealers put into becoming certified really is a testament to how excited they are, how excited customers are and how excited we are about electric vehicles, starting with Focus Electric," said David Gutman, Ford's field operations manager.

And in the wake of rising gas prices - and increasing EV sales - Ford dealers have a reason to be excited. While the Focus Electric's base price of $39,995 before destination makes it more than $4,000 pricier than its main rival, the Nissan Leaf, Ford's all-electric hatchback offers more power, more standard features and more passenger room. The Focus Electric also offers a faster charging time - up to four hours on 240-volt power - and a slightly higher EPA-rated range of 76 miles compared to the Leaf's 73.
Ford says the Focus Electric will soon be joined in its lineup by a plug-in hybrid version of its midsize Fusion. Dubbed the Fusion Energi, the new model is likely to become the most fuel efficient midsize sedan available thanks to a combined city and highway EPA rating of 105 miles per gallon "equivalent," the agency's rating system for electrified vehicles.

What it means to you: The Focus Electric is only weeks away from reaching its first dealers in California, New Jersey and New York.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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