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Ford C-Max Becomes America's Most Affordable Plug-In Hybrid

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On: Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 4:37PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford C-Max Becomes America's Most Affordable Plug-In Hybrid

When the Ford C-Max Energi launches this fall, it stands to become America's most affordable plug-in hybrid (just barely, after tax credit). Its solid price combines with a Prius Plug-In-beating 20 miles of all-electric range, making it a solid combination of affordability and eco-friendliness.

The C-Max Energi is a plug-in version of the C-Max Hybrid and is more closely aligned with the Toyota Prius Plug-In than the longer e-range Chevy Volt. The car packs 20 miles of all-electric range and 550 miles of total range into a package that ducks below $30,000 after tax credit.

The C-Max Energi's MSRP of $33,745 is higher than the Prius Plug-In's $32,760. However, Ford's listed federal credit of $3,750 brings it to $29,995, whereas the Prius Plug-In's $2,500 federal tax credit leaves it at $30,260. If you're looking at "plug-in cars" and not just "plug-in hybrids," the Mitsubishi iMiev comes in well under both those options with its combination of $29,125 MSRP and $7,500 federal tax credit.

The C-Max Energi uses a 195-hp combination of 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and battery-powered motor. Owners can charge the battery directly from both 120- and 240-volt charging hardware.

The Prius Plug-In, meanwhile, drives 11 miles under all-electric power. It uses a smaller 1.4-liter four-cylinder and electric motor that combine for up to 134 hp and 540 miles of overall range.

Ford estimates the C-Max Energi's EV mode fuel economy equivalent at the same 95 mpg-e that Toyota lists for the Prius Plug-In. In its recent press release, Ford claims the C-Max Energi's electric-only top speed beats the Prius Plug-in's, but it does not list a specific number.

The C-Max Energi will hit Ford dealers in the coming months. This week, Ford set up a pricing and options site for the new model.


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