Do people respond to extended range plug-in vehicles under $30,000? You bet they do.
The Ford C-Max Energi, with an EPA rated 21 miles of electric range and starting at $29,995 (after $3,750 federal credit) sold an amazing 1,259 cars in November, after managing to see 144 in the last couple of days that it went on sale in October.
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That figure represents only 260 less than the cross-town rival GM's Volt, and may be part of the reason Chevrolet suffered an almost 50% drop in sales during November (2,961 Oct vs. 1,519).
Like Toyota with the plug-in Prius, Ford's C-Max Energi is based off the C-Max hybrid, which combined for the month sold 4,848 copies. It is this shared platform architecture that Ford says allows the Energi to be priced so cheaply.
Besides the 21 miles of all electric range from the 7.6 kWh on board lithium battery, the car also achieves an impressive 43 MPG in extended range mode (although we can find no one who has actually been able to achieve this level for an extended period of time). The C-Max Energi is also rated at a combined 100 MPGe.
Making the result even more interesting, the C-Max Energi was rolled out first in the north-east United States, with few being sold during the month in the state of California, the largest market for plug-ins. The C-Max Energi also qualifies for an additional $1,500 off the MSRP through the CVRP program (Clean Vehicle Rebate Program), making the effective price $28,495.
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Ford C-Max Interior