The Energi would only pay back if one or more of the following.
A. The tax credit, which is an amount taken right off the top of your income, reducing the amount you made for tax purposes, can actually give you back that amount in a refund.
B. your daily drive allows you to use the EV mode for most if not all of your trip for the day, and recharge at night, or have access to a charging station at work.
C. Gas prices go up above $6 a gallon.
D. you are one of those leaf wearing green wackos who are foaming at the mouth and think EV is the only answer.
If I were going from the F350 Diesel, like I did with the Prius, use the EV mode when I was close to my office where its most efficient, then yes it would pay off quickly, but if I go from a car that already gets good MPG, then no, the payoff would never be there.
A tax credit does not reduce your income, that's a tax deduction. A tax credit reduces your taxes owed. Based on married filing jointly that would mean that if you made $30,950 and take the standard deduction you would get the full $3750 back. A couple married filing jointly with no kids would need to make $30,950 before taxes in a year to owe $3750 in income tax. If you paid $3750 you can get $3750 back. If you only paid $3000 then you could only get $3000 back. If you are able to take more than the standard deduction then your before tax income would need to be higher to account for that. That's why they always say to consult your tax professional to see if you would get the full $3750 benefit. Most people will qualify for the full tax credit though because if you can afford to buy a new car your household income is most likely high enough that even with additional deductions for children or business expenses if you own your own business that you would still get the full $3750 back.
Choice B is what they stated in the article. If only getting 20 miles in EV, 1/3 of our commute to work would have to use ICE. No charging station at work, so I guess that'd mean the trip home would be in ICE. Just didn't make sense to me to buy the Energi model.
The issue with those articles is that the writers aren't smart enough to realize that there are feature differences between the Energi and the Hybrid. The C-Max Energi is at the SEL trim level. That means that you can't compare the price of a C-Max Energi SEL to a C-Max SE and talk about price difference. The Fusion Energi comes as SE or Titanium but the Fusion Energi SE is more loaded than the Fusion SE Hybrid. All FFEs have the luxury package already and MFT. Those items are add-ons for the FFH SE. So before you figure out the price difference you need to factor in the feature differences.
For example, for my parents looking at the C-Max Energi the Energi price is $35,440 before the tax credit, or $31,690 after the tax credit. The C-Max Hybrid (with the exact same features) is $31,075 with no tax credit. That means that the difference is $615 based on MSRP. Either car they order they would be able to pay invoice price. C-Max Energi invoice is $32,919. C-Max Hybrid invoice is $29,044. C-Max Energi after tax credit is $29,169. That's a $155 premium for the Energi. That's what makes the Energi such a great deal on the C-Max. The Fusion Energi is priced much higher in comparison with the regular Fusion.
GrayStrider, if you had been looking C-Max Hybrid vs C-Max Energi the Energi might have been worth it even with the long commute. For my parents the C-Max will be their city car. Now that they're both retired they rarely drive more than 20 miles in a day, but they still go places almost every day of the week. I imagine they'll be able to do at least 1500-2000 miles between filling the Energi gas tank since 2/3 to 3/4 of their driving should be from wall charging.
At that price my wife & I would have bought a C-Max Energi if we would've had anywhere to plug it in at our apartment and if she didn't dislike the looks of the C-Max so much
Edited by hybridbear, 07 April 2013 - 08:34 AM.