I've speculated on likely electric only range a couple of times. But now we have official word from Ford in a video that Fusion Energi has 20 to 21 miles of electric only range. It would be very surprising if C-Max Energi had a different range. So, what does that mean in terms of battery capacity, price and tax credit ?
Before we attempt to answer the question, we need to first figure out what kind of Electric Range is Ford refering to ? Is it the "100 miles" Nissan Leaf range (based on LA4 cycle), 40 miles range of Volt (based on, not really sure what), 160 mile range of 40 kWh Model S (based on 55 mph speed) or is it the likely EPA combined range ? The EPA combined range is about 30% lower for Leaf and 10% lower for Volt than their advertised range - 73 & 35 respectively.
So, what does the 20 mile range of Energi refer to ? If it is the unadjusted number, then the EPA range may come to be about 17 miles - going by what Volt achieved in the EPA tests. If it is the EPA number itself - like the mpg numbers Ford has been talking about - then the unadjusted number for Energi would be higher.
So, here are my estimates, taking these two scenarios into consideration. Secnario A assumes the 20 miles is the EPA range, which means the battery needs to be a little larger than if the EPA range is 17.
I've used Volt's 16 kWh for 40 miles to estimate the capacity of the battery that Energi will have. Using other vehicles like Leaf will yield slightly different results. But for estimating, this should suffice. With this method we get 8 or 9 kWh of battery capacity, which looks very likely. This would allow about 5 or 6 kWh of the battery to be actually used which would prolong the battery life.
The tax credit is calculated using this method I had quoted in an earlier blog post.
The basic credit, regardless of the cost of the EV, starts with a flat $2,500. From there, if the car is powered by a battery with a capacity of at least 5 kWh (kilowatt hours), you can add $417 to start, plus another $417 for each addition kWh of battery capacity above the 5 kWh base. However, the extra credit for battery capacity cannot exceed $5,000, so the maximum possible tax credit for an EV is $7,500.I've used a simple method to guess the price this time. Take the C-Max Hybrid's estimated price - $26,000 - to keep it competitive with Prius v. Add $1,000 for each kWh of battery capacity. This is a very generous "value" for each kWh of battery I'm attaching and I've also not taken into account the 1.5 kWh or so of the battery the hybrid would already have. This would get us a post tax credit price around $30,000. If Ford is looking at this kind of price, it is likely to keep it just below $30,000, instead of just above it, for sure.
If Ford does price Energi at $30,000 - it will have a very strong position in the market and can possibly outsell all other plug-ins like GM Volt, Toyota Plug In Prius and Nissan Leaf.
Can Ford pull this off ?