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Florida Family Discovers That Used Electric Vehicles Are a Risk Not Worth Assuming

Early adopters of electric vehicles may have put the money on a dead horse, as a battery replacement costs more than the car itself. A family in Florida discovered this the hard way after buying a used Ford Focus EV.
Florida family discovers that used electric vehicles are a risk not worth assuming 12 photos
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The story is one that we’ve heard countless times before. The car was wonderful, and the family loved it until it stopped working. From then on, chaos prevailed, and the outcome might be that they will never try an electric vehicle ever again. That’s such a shame because electric cars are genuinely great. But for many models launched in the early days of electrification, problems with the battery could send the car to a junkyard.

The Li-Ion battery is the single most expensive component of an electric car. This is why many fear buying an EV. The worst nightmare came true for a Florida family after buying their 17-year-old daughter a used 2014 Ford Focus EV. The Focus is a compact hatchback that started its career in 2011, well before Tesla Model S began production in 2012. Wait, what? That’s right, Ford had a leg in electrification, and the Focus EV wasn’t even the first: the Ranger EV was built between 1997 and 2002.

That didn’t help the Blue Oval build the better EV. While we’ve heard no early adopters of the Tesla EVs complaining about battery life, it was a different story with other brands. Nissan Leaf owners particularly have a grudge against electric vehicles. Now, we can extend this to Ford Focus EV owners. The Florida family says the Ford Focus Electric they bought had 60,000 miles and worked great for about six months. After that, problems mounted.

“It was fine at first,” teenager Avery Siwinski said to KVUE. “I loved it so much. It was small and quiet and cute. And all the sudden it stopped working. The Ford dealership had advised us that we could replace the battery. It would only cost $14,000.”

That’s $3,000 more than they paid for the EV, and the quote did not include the labor costs. It turned out that this is a pretty common problem with the Ford Focus EV. But that’s not even the real problem. Even if the Siwinskis were willing and able to pay the price, there wasn’t any replacement battery available to order.

The Siwinski family’s first encounter with an electric vehicle was an utter disaster. It’s also a stark reminder that a used electric car might not be such a good idea. Once the 8-year/100,000-miles warranty is over, you’re on your own. This often means any problem with the battery will render your great car a junkyard material.


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