• Focus EV offers $249 per month lease
  • Down payment is $2,138 at signing
  • Offers likely due to slow sales

The all-new Ford Focus EV may be a recent arrival to the market, but it's already available with heavy incentives. Ford is now offering the all-electric hatchback with 5-figure lease deals in some areas, bringing monthly payments to a level on par with the standard Focus.

Throughout February, lease deals on the Focus Electric start from $249 per month for 36 months after $2,138 at lease signing. If that seems like a great deal, that's because it is: A typical lease on a Focus SE sedan starts just $60 per month less with a similar down payment. But the base price difference on the two cars is much larger, with the Focus SE starting around $18,000, and the Focus Electric more like $40,000.

So why isn't the lease rate more than twice that of the Focus SE? One reason is a federal tax credit meant to spur EV sales. When shoppers lease an EV, a financing company gets the tax credit. The company then passes along the credit in the EV's lease payments. That's one reason why the Nissan Leaf has made headlines for lease rates as low as $199 per month.

But another reason the Focus Electric doesn't command a higher price is demand. Sales of rival EVs are falling, and Ford is anxious for customers to experience the latest entry into the EV segment. That leads to low lease rates like this one, which Ford says will save average customers more than $10,000 over their lease term.

While the low lease rates may sway some shoppers, still others will remain unconvinced about EV technology. One argument in favor of EVs like the Focus Electric is that drivers will never again have to visit a gas station. Another comes in the form of less maintenance. No more oil changes, for example, may sway drivers who just want to drive their car without giving it constant attention.

The Focus Electric also may capture buyers thanks to its 100-mile range and EPA-estimated 110 miles per gallon equivalent. But it may never sell in the kind of numbers Ford has hoped, meaning incentives could remain a very real part of the hatchback's strategy in the coming years.

What it means to you: Don't lease a Ford Focus Electric without taking advantage of a good deal. And don't buy the hatchback unless you first consider leasing.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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