Los Angeles Times: C-Max Energi Is Fuel Car with Best Mileage, Lowest Price

Ford C-MAX Energi

Ford C-MAX Energi is very fuel-efficient for the price

The Los Angeles Times published an article on March 12th, 2013 for the “Top 10 cars: best gas mileage, lowest sticker price”.  To create the list, they divided the car’s base price by its EPA rating for combined fuel economy.  Electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf were excluded from the list.  That gave plug-in electric vehicles (PHEV) the upper hand, because the MPGe combined was used for them rather than MPG used for all the other cars on the list. The Ford C-Max Energi was top on the list with a cost per MPGe of $329.50.  That doesn’t take into account the $3751 federal tax credit or tax rebates in states that lower the cost even more.  [The IRS has now stated that the tax credit is $4,007.  It was previously listed at $3751 and stated by Ford as $3750.]  Although one can argue that using both MPGe and MPG gave PHEVs an unfair advantage, I think it is very clear that if you can drive your Ford C-Max Energi largely on electricity, it hits the sweet spot for base price versus fuel economy.

This blog was updated September 27, 2013.

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Scott Monty, Ford’s Head of Social Media, Responds to a Blog Comment

The website Mashable showed the new Fusion YouTube video that mentions the estimated 100 MPGe for the Fusion Energi.  Matthew Foscarini commented, “People who think cars can fly are in the same segment of the people who accept Ford’s claims that this car can do 100 miles per gallon.”  The C-Max Energi is 92 city, 108 highway, 100 combined MPGe.  It’s expected that the Fusion Energi will have similar EPA MPGe.  Scott Monty, Ford’s Head of Social Media, responded directly,  “Matthew, if you would care to take a look at the specs for the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, you’ll see that is based on the same technology as Ford’s C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, which the EPA recently certified at 108 MPGe: http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=37343 We hope you’ll be a little less dismissive and more open-minded when the car hits the market early next year.”

C-Max Energi Charge Port

Ford C-Max Energi Charge Port – The Energi is rated for 108 MPGe for city driving by the EPA.

 

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The cost of gasoline and the success of the C-Max Energi

2013 Ford C-Max Energi

2013 Ford C-Max Energi

It’s clear that the incentive to buy a C-Max Energi with an EPA city rating of 108 MPGe will increase with increasing gasoline prices.  The current California average price for regular is $4.623 per gallon.  The national average price is $3.756.  California has stringent gasoline requirements.  A Chevron refinery fire and routine scheduled maintenance on Tesoro and Exxon refineries combined with stringent California gasoline requirements that prevented gasoline transported across state lines led to the high prices in California.  In January 2009, less than four years ago, the national price was just $1.84.  How high will the price go?  What else is behind the substantial inflation in prices?  How much will this accelerate the adoption of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV)?  Regardless, the current prices significantly shorten the time required for a payback on the added cost of the C-Max Energi over the C-Max.  The difference between the two vehicles after the tax credit is applied is roughly $1000 (this was on the fully equipped SEL that we ordered last August).  In some states, the price may be lower.  According to CleanEnergyResourceTeams.org, the cost of electric fuel per mile is about 2.5 cents per mile versus 20 cents per mile for gasoline.  The fuel-saving advantage of the Energi is well worth the wait.

 

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