Ford can once again gloat that its C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid beats the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid -- at least when it comes to EPA efficiency ratings. The 2013 C-Max Energi is rated at 100 mpge combined, besting the Prius plug-in's EPA rating of 95 mpge.
The EPA uses the mpge metric, which stands for miles per gallon equivalent, to compare the efficiency of traditional gasoline vehicles and plug-in electric models. The 2013 Ford C-Max Energi can drive for about 20 miles at speeds up to 85 mph on electric power alone. After the 7.6-kWh lithium-ion battery is drained, a 141-hp 2.0-liter inline-four engine takes over to drive the C-Max Energi as a traditional hybrid.
The EPA rating of 100 mpge combined means the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi is more energy efficient than most other plug-in hybrids on the market. The Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid manages 95 mpge combined, the Chevrolet Volt manages 94 mpge, the Fisker Karma achieves only 54 mpge in EPA testing, and Honda predicts its 2014 Accord plug-in hybrid will return at least 100 mpge. In addition, Ford says its C-Max Energi will return 108 mpge in city driving, and will have an overall driving range of 550 miles on a fully charged battery and full tank of gasoline.
The 2013 Ford C-Max Energi goes on sale later this year and will start at $33,745 (after destination), although it's eligible for a $3750 tax credit that could lower its effective price to $29,995.
Ford has also launched the 2013 C-Max Hybrid, which has a smaller battery cannot be plugged in, and thus is slightly less energy efficient overall. It returns 47/47 mpg (city/highway) and costs $25,995 (after destination).