What is the fuel savings switching from a Toyota FJ to a C-Max Energi?

My wife is confused by MPG, MPGe, and what it costs to drive the C-Max Energi assuming one is using electricity.  This morning I decided to estimate how many miles one could drive a C-Max Energi for the cost of one gallon of gasoline.

We drive primarily in Highland and St George Utah.  The national average for one kWh is 12.07 cents and in Utah it is 8.8 cents according to the Rocky Mountain Power’s web site.  The cost for one kWh in St George Utah is 7 cents. The battery on the C-Max Energi is 7.6 kWh and one can travel 21 miles per charge according to the EPA.  Today, gasoline in Highland Utah is about $3.59 per gallon.  One could travel about 112 miles for $3.59 at Rocky Mountain Power rates.  In St George, the cost of gasoline is about $3.79.  One could travel about 150 miles for $3.79 at St George City power rates.  According to the EPA, our 2008 Toyota FJ gets 16 MPG city but it does use premium gas.  It gets 20 MPG on the highway.  When we drive around Highland, our fuel costs should drop about 85%.  When we drive near St George, our fuel costs should drop about 90%.  When we drive between them, our costs should drop about 53%.  (These estimates assume that less expensive regular gasoline is used on the FJ.  It’s not possible to transfer a kWh from the house to the car without some energy loss.  I don’t know what that loss is, so I’ll stick with the above estimates for fuel savings and assume these two factors cancel each other out.)

Ford C-MAX Energi

2013 Ford C-MAX Energi


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Ordering a C-Max Energi

We’ve spent a lot of time looking at a variety of small SUVs during the summer.  On August 13th, 2012, I contacted a Denver dealer that I obtained via the Ford website, Jason Russell at Lakewood Fordland.  I told him I was interested in the C-Max Energi.  He said they were a dealer designated to sell the Energi.  He thought they would receive them late in 2012, perhaps November but most likely by December.  He said they would discount it off MSRP between $200 and $1000.  He expected the Energi to be a high demand vehicle and they could easily sell it if we didn’t take delivery.  He said my deposit would be returned if we didn’t want the C-Max Energi after we were able to see and drive it.  The next day, I sent him an email telling him that we were interested, depending on the discount.

On August 21st, I still hadn’t heard from Jason.  I decided to see if the Costco Auto Program listed the C-Max Energi.  It did.  The dealer was Larry H Miller Super Ford in Salt Lake City.  Le Kinh from the dealership contacted me.  My wife and I made an appointment for the following day, August 22nd.  Le said he saw a presentation from a Ford rep recently.  They didn’t have a C-Max hybrid to show them.  He really didn’t know much about the vehicle.  They told us they would discount it by about $1000 off MSRP and return the deposit, as the Denver dealer allowed, if we didn’t want to take delivery.  We made an appointment to finish the paperwork on August 27th.

On the 27th, we ordered a C-Max Energi SEL with Option Package 303A and the Panoramic Roof.  MSRP was $37435.  Our price was $36,426.  Cody, Le’s supervisor, said the dealership isn’t allowed to order a C-Max Energi for their own inventory.  They can only order it for a customer.  Cody said they don’t mind letting us out of the contract because they will be able to sell the C-Max Energi for more than MSRP when it arrives.

I suspect this will be one of the earliest C-Max Energi’s shipped to Utah, but because Utah is not one of the early locations to get the Energi and the dealers are not yet EV certified, I don’t expect it to be delivered until well into 2013.

There are two C-Max videos by TFLcar.com at YouTube here and here.

Update 21 January 2013: A photo of the C-Max Energi we ordered is shown below.  We decided not to buy the C-Max Energi.

C-Max Energi Passenger-side Full View

The Ford C-Max Energi we ordered in August was delivered in January.


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