Ford prices C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid at $29,995 after federal tax credit; expects conquest rate of about 50%
Ford is pricing the new C-MAX Energi—expected to offer 15 class-exclusive features, a 550-mile (885 km) total range and more than 20 miles (32 km) of electric-only range (earlier post)—at $33,745. Its eligibility for a $3,750 federal tax credit drops that to $29,995.
Ford is targeting the Prius Plug-In Hybrid (PHV) directly in its positioning of the C-MAX Energi, saying that the C-MAX Energi is less expensive [for some models]; has a longer electric-only range [20 miles vs. 11 (EPA rating)]; 60 more horsepower [projected total system horsepower of 188 with a peak of 195 hp with a fully charged battery, compared to 134 hp for the Prius PHV]; and an electric-only top speed higher than than of the Prius PHV. The base MSRP for the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is $32,000. The Prius Plug-in Hybrid Advanced will have an MSRP of $39,525. Both Prius Plug-in models qualify for a federal tax credit of $2,500.
Expected fuel economy for the C-MAX Energi is the equivalent of 95 miles per gallon (MPGe) combined city/highway—the same as for the Prius PHV. In addition, the C-MAX Energi features technologies such as hands-free liftgate and active park assist for easier parallel parking.
The Ford C-MAX Energi is within financial reach for those who want a hybrid, but is also something customers will want to reach for because of its unique look and amazing value. It offers exceptional fuel economy, better features and a better price tag than a Prius plug-in hybrid, which we think will help make C-MAX Energi one of our most attractive vehicles for import customers.—Michael O’Brien, Ford electrified vehicle marketing manager
Ford expects about half of C-MAX buyers to trade in competitive models— one of the highest conquest rates of any Ford vehicle.
In California, the vehicle is expected to be AT-PZEV-compliant and qualify for much-desired access to the high-occupancy vehicle lanes that typically allow for faster travel. C-MAX Energi also is expected to qualify for additional tax credits up to $1,500 in California.
The C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi figure prominently in Ford’s rollout of five electrified vehicles this year. Ford’s other electrified vehicles include the Focus Electric; all-new Fusion Hybrid; and the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid.
Ford is passing along to customers cost savings that have been achieved through various efficiencies, says Kevin Layden, director, Ford’s Electrification Programs and Engineering. Ford officials have said that the costs of its current hybrid system are 30% less than the costs of Ford’s previous-generation hybrid systems due in large part to those cost-containment efforts.
For example, Ford has cut costs by bringing in-house the development and manufacture of many aspects of vehicles such as C-MAX Energi. The hybrid battery system, hybrid transmission system and software for C-MAX Energi all were developed in-house.
Further, by creating global vehicle platforms, Ford says that it maximizes the use of as many shared parts and components across as many lines as possible to lower overall costs.
Ford’s revamped Michigan Assembly Plant (MAP) is the first capable of building a full array of vehicles—gas-powered, electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid—on the same production line. I.e., C-MAX Energi is being built on the same line as C-MAX Hybrid, Focus, Focus Electric and Focus ST.
Since 2010, more than 144,000 units of the five-passenger C-MAX gasoline and diesel versions have been sold in Europe—where the market is growing for vehicles slightly larger than compacts such as Ford Focus and smaller than SUVs such as Ford Escape. Though Ford is concentrating on hybrid versions of C-MAX in the US, the designs of C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid are based on the gasoline- and diesel-powered European version.