Estimating the Annual Cost of Commuting with a Ford C-Max Energi

EVExplorer by UC Davis

EVExplorer by UC Davis

Have you considered buying a Ford C-Max Energi to save on fuel costs?  There is a useful tool, the EVExplorer created by the University of California Davis to estimate the fuel cost of commuting.  The web application uses the U.S. government’s fueleconomy.gov website.  You can compare four vehicles.  After giving the application your home address, work address, cost of electricity, cost of gasoline, how many days you commute and charging option at work, it estimates the annual cost of commuting.  Commuting isn’t all we do, but EVExplorer is useful to decide whether fuel cost savings should play a significant role in your purchasing decision for a plug-in hybrid, all-electric, or traditional gasoline-fueled vehicle.

CMaxChat.com thanks follower Dianne Carlson for the tip on EVExplorer.

It’s a Great Time to Buy a C-Max Energi; Here’s How to Get a Bargain

Last month, I wrote an article on deals for the C-Max Energi in California.  Those were based on government incentives in California.  How can the rest of us get a deal on a Ford C-Max Energi.  My son’s interested in buying a Ford C-Max Energi.  I’m searching for a deal for him.  I decided to write a blog that might be helpful to others.

If you follow all of this advice, you can get an exceptional discount on the Ford C-Max Energi, $14,000 or more off MSRP and additional tax credits and incentives depending on your state and city.

I enjoy finding bargains.  This is a good time to shop for a 2013 Energi.  The 2014 and 2013 models are the same, but Ford and dealers need to clear out old inventory.  Many 2013 models have been sitting on dealer lots for a long time.  The weather in much of the country didn’t encourage car shopping lately either.  It’s a great time for a car buyer.

There are two metrics that determine how desperate manufacturers and dealers are to sell their vehicles.  One is how much inventory is available for sale.  A 60 to 70 day supply (assembly line to sale) is considered normal.  The other is days to turn, or the time it takes to sell a car from the day it is delivered to the dealer.  Right now, it is 64.9 days according to TrueCar, which is quite long and up 23% from one year ago.

Here’s another metric, related to those above, to indicate regions where dealers should be most competitive.  For some time, I’ve kept track of dealer inventory in different metropolitan regions.  Using Edmunds.com, one can get the inventory of 2013 and 2014 vehicles within 50 miles of a zip code.  The ratio of 2013 inventory to total inventory is the metric I’m using.  In other words, what is the percent of unsold vehicles that are the 2013 model year.  It’s also important that inventory is high.  In other words, if there was only one 2013 Energi in the region that normally has 15, it wouldn’t be an area to get the best price – inventory is too low in the region.  Regions with a large percent of unsold 2013’s will be our best markets to get a deal.

Some metro areas stand out for bargain shopping for the Ford C-Max Energi.  Raleigh-Durham (zip code 27713) inventory is at 104% of the next highest month of inventory, on February 3rd, 69% of the inventory was 2013’s and on March 9th, 79% of the inventory was 2013’s.  Washington D.C. (zip code 20011) inventory is at 74% of the highest month of inventory (August 2013), on February 3rd, 87% of the inventory was 2013’s and on March 9th, 76% of the inventory was 2013’s.   Atlanta (zip code 30301) inventory is at 83% of the highest month of inventory (August 2013), on February 3rd, 94% of the inventory was 2013’s and on March 9th, 62% of the inventory was 2013’s. Austin (zip code 73301) inventory is at 73% of the highest month of inventory (November 2013), on February 3rd, 50% of the inventory was 2013’s and on March 9th, 50% of the inventory was 2013’s.  Even though my son and I live in Utah, we’re considering a trip to one of these areas where the price on a new Energi is far below invoice.

Here’s another suggestion: examine the days to turn for the vehicles that you’re interested in buying.  Use Ford.com to find dealers in the market of interest.  Search each dealer’s website for 2013 Energis.  If you find one of interest, display the window sticker.  It’s normally available at the dealer’s website.  Examine the top edge of the window sticker. You’ll see a section on the top edge that looks like the image below.  This car was built on March 19th, 2013.  The format is Year – Month – Date.  It’s on the left side of the image.

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 4.08.00 PM

 

 

Although the dealer didn’t receive the car on this date, it gives you a good idea of how long it’s been sitting on the lot.  In this case, a very long time.

Finally, there may be incentives (tax credits, free parking, HOV lane access, etc.) in your state, region or city.  These will be available where the vehicle is registered, not where it’s purchased.  State and local incentives can be found at the U.S. Department of Energy’s website.  There is also a tax credit of $4007 from the Federal Government.

In addition, Ford has several incentives that may depend on the region where the Energi is purchased.  In most cases, you can get a rebate of $3,000 plus 0% for up to 72 months on the loan this month.  Finally, this can be combined with a competitive lease offer of $1000.  If you lease a vehicle now (or its ended very recently), ask the dealer if your vehicle qualifies for the additional $1000 rebate from Ford.

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Who Leads Plug-in Electric Vehicle Sales in the U.S.? Nissan? Tesla? No, Ford

I’ve been surprised that the Ford C-Max Energi hasn’t sold better since it was introduced.  There have been many rough edges to the start up of plug-in vehicles for Ford.  However, it’s often overlooked that Ford is doing quite well as a competitor in the new electric vehicle market.  Ford has three plug-in vehicles today, the Fusion Energi, C-Max Energi and Focus Electric.  There are rumors that a Focus Energi will be introduced soon.  It is also expected Ford will introduce Energi drivetrains in other models during the coming years.  In the U.S., Ford was the top seller of plug-in vehicles last month of those releasing sales.  Tesla doesn’t release sales data on a monthly basis.  Tesla estimates cover a broad range and they may have sold more Model S sedans than Ford.  Autobloggreen estimates Tesla sales as 2300.  CleanTechnia estimates sales as 1267.  There were 1,425 Nissan Leafs sold, the top selling model.  Ford had combined sales of 1,460 for the three models, a 239% increase from 2013 when just 611 vehicles were sold for the three models in February.

I doubt if the average person even knows Ford sells plug-in vehicles.  In my opinion, the Energi drivetrain is the way Ford can exceed government CAFE standards.  Because of CAFE, I think Ford will introduce Energi drivetrains in many vehicles which can offset CAFE requirements for trucks through credit trading.  The North American truck market for Ford is 250% larger than the car market.  Because of CAFE trading, Ford should have a big incentive to sell Energi vehicles, such as the Fusion and C-Max too.  This is a good deal for those interested in the Ford C-Max Energi.  It wouldn’t surprise me if lease deals and rebates on the Fusion and C-Max Energi become very aggressive in the coming years.

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