Ford says it's prepared for slow initial sales of Focus Electric

Ford won't panic if its new Focus EV doesn't fly off dealer lots.

Ford says it will not be deterred if sales of its all-new Focus Electric don't take off as expected. Ford's $39,200 Focus Electric is currently trickling onto dealer lots across the country.

The Nissan Leaf - which retails for $4,000 less than the Focus Electric - recorded 9,674 sales during its first full-year in the U.S. market, but Ford CEO Alan Mulally says the project won't be considered a failure if the Focus EV only manages about half of that volume during its first 12 months.

"No, because we believe that the electrification of vehicles is going to continue as the battery cost comes down, as we move to generate electricity cleanly," Mulally told Bloomberg. "We see this as continually growing. This is a long-term journey."

Ford predicts hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles will make up about 25 percent of its total vehicle sales by 2020, but most of that volume will be attributed to hybrid models. Nissan, however, expects pure electric vehicles like the Leaf to account for 10 percent of its total vehicle sales by 2020.