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Ford CEO: Battery packs in Focus Electric run $12-15,000 each

Ford says that the battery packs alone in its new EV sedan cost $12-15,000 apiece.

Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally has revealed one of the most closely-guarded secrets in the auto industry: The cost of the batteries in the automaker's new Ford Focus Electric.

Mulally spilled the beans at a green technology forum, where he said that the batteries run between $12,000 and $15,000 each.

Automakers have long been reluctant to release information about the specific costs involved in creating battery-powered electric cars, but Mulally was trying to explain to the crowd just why the Focus Electric is priced at nearly $40,000.

They're around $12,000 to $15,000 [a battery]," Mulally said, according to Fox News. "So, you can see why the economics are what they are."

That means that Ford pays in the neighborhood of $550 to $650 a kilowatt hour for its batteries, which analysts suggest is toward the low end for the industry. While battery prices are declining as a result of a significantly increased capacity, Ford's price is still well under average. That's still well above the $300 per kilowatt hour the United States Department of Energy hopes to see next year, however.

Ford's Focus Electric is officially for sale, although the Dearborn automaker has only delivered about a dozen commercial fleet vehicles and retail models are just now trickling into dealers.