Why a C-Max Energi is a better buy than the C-Max

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Ford C-Max Energi

The C-Max Energi has a 7.6kWh battery.  What’s the cost of this battery pack to Ford?  I do not think it’s been reported.  It has been stated that Ford makes the battery for the C-Max Energi.  Tesla‘s Elon Musk has stated that the cost per kWh will fall “below $200, in the not-too-distant future.”  A Department of Energy post by Dan Leistikow states that the current cost is about $470 per kWh (my estimate based on battery with 100 mile range at $17,000) and will drop to about $280 per kWh (battery with 100 mile range at $10,000) by 2015.  Lux research states that the price per kWh will still be about $400 in 2020.  Another optimistic projection is by McKinsey & Company, which predicts that prices will fall to $200 by 2020 from a current cost of about $500 to $600 per kWh.  Let’s assume that Ford’s cost is $600 per kWh.  That means that the C-Max Energi’s 7.6 kWh battery costs Ford $4560.  With the Federal Tax credit of $3750 [$3750 was Ford’s original conservative interpretation of the law, the IRS has now stated that the tax credit is $4,007], the cost of the battery which is most of the added cost of making the C-Max, is less than $1000.  Interestingly, $1000 is also about the difference in price we were quoted for a C-Max Hybrid SEL and the C-Max Energi SEL we ordered when taking the Federal Tax Credit off the price of the Energi.  In California, there is an additional $1500 tax credit.  In essence, in California the government (state and federal), will pay you about $500 to buy a C-Max Energi rather than a C-Max.  It’s for this reason that I think the popularity of the C-Max will be short lived.  The C-Max Energi will be more popular as long as the tax credits are available.

Updated September 27, 2013.

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