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2014 Ford Fusion Energi Hybrid: Live (a little) better electrically

When a 2014 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid arrived for a test drive, we expected it to be even more efficient than the impressive 41 mpg we’ve registered in the standard Fusion Hybrid. And it was. A little. But Energi’s efficiency improvement requires compromises.

For starters, Energi, which can run on pure electric power or as a gas/electric hybrid, has limited electric range. The EPA says it’s as high as 21 miles, depending on ambient temperature and driving habits, but we never did better than 14.

Second, the trunk is tiny — 8.2 cubic feet, compared to 12 in a standard Fusion Hybrid.

Finally, it’s more expensive. Subtracting the $4,007 federal tax rebate that EPA’s website lists for Energi, its base price is $30,488. That’s about $3,500 more than a standard Fusion Hybrid, which does not qualify for a tax break.

With that background, here’s how our six days with the Energi plug-in hybrid went:

We drove 249.1 miles, using a total of 5.1 gallons of gas. That means we got 49 miles per gallon, right? Nope. That assumes charging the car is free. It isn’t.

It takes 7.6 kWh to charge Energi. At Ameren’s current winter residential rates of 8 cents a kWh, it costs about 61 cents to fully charge Energi. Multiply that by the five times we charged Energi overnight, and it comes to $3.04 worth of electricity. Add that to the $16 worth of gas we used (5.1 gallons at $3.15 per gallon) and the total cost to run Energi for 249 miles was $19.10.


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