The EPA rated the company's C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid at 100 miles per gallon equivalent Thursday, making it the most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid offered to Amercan consumers by the auto industry.
The rating is officially 108 mpge in the city and 92 on the highway, which puts it ahead of its main competition, the hot-selling Toyota Prius plug-in, which gets 95 MPGe combined. The Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid also gets 98 MPGe.
Electricity cannot be measured in gallons, so EPA officials use a formula to convert the number into a measurement – the MPGe – that consumers find familiar.
The base model C-Max Energi is on sale for $29,995 after a federal tax credit. Pricing for the plug-in hybrid, which goes on sale nationwide next year, has not yet been announced.
With California in the midst of a gas-price crisis, Ford wasted no time Thursday in capitalizing on the EPA news. In a written release, the company said that a Californian paying $5 per gallon of gasoline right now would, in a car that averaged 23 miles per gallon, would pay $1.25 to travel the same distance.
Over five years in the same scenario, Ford says the average consumer would save $7,000.
"Ford is giving customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy, regardless of what type of vehicle or powertrain technology they choose," said John Davis, chief nameplate engineer of the C-Max Energi.