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Guest Message by DevFuse

Get you C-MAX Energi Registered in the official Ford Authorized Registry. More here.


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Buy or Bolt (literally)?


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34 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Jonathan Ezor

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 11:55 AM

So, my 2015's lease is up in June, and I'll be over the allowed miles by....quite a bit. (The first two years of driving including going 67 miles *each way* to work 3-4 days per week). I can either buy the car outright for around $16,500, or pay the few thousand dollars in mile overage and get something else. Now, in the ideal world, given that my driving is much less than it was, I would swap the 2015 Energi for a new one, upgrading to Sync 3, Android Auto and whatever other features have improved since 2015. Sadly, though, the cessation of production makes that a non-option, since there are already very few C-MAX Energis around, and those that are in stock at dealers are generally the lower-end models so I'd be trading *down* in features. Also, now that we have a Pacifica Hybrid, we have the efficient vehicle which can still do long-range trips, so that need is largely taken care of. Finally, my C-MAX, at about 52,000 miles, is already beginning to lose a bit of hybrid battery capacity (it's charging to 5.9 kwH instead of the 6+ I used to get), and I know that will only get worse over time.

 

So.

 

I'm seeking advice: do I just buy my Energi and drive it until it no longer charges at all (or I can afford a replacement battery), or take advantage of my reduced commute (with high-speed chargers still available on both ends) and go for a lease or purchase of a full-electric car, specifically the Chevy Bolt? I like the Bolt's range, its features, its form factor (similar to the C-MAX), and most of all its actual availability at a reasonable price (unlike the Tesla Model 3). (Granted, I haven't actually test driven one, but I can fairly easily, also unlike the Model 3.) If I go with a lease, I'm not locked into today's electric car tech, while a purchase means I can take advantage of another set of Federal and state tax credits and rebates.

 

I'd appreciate your feedback, and thanks. {Jonathan}









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#2 OFFLINE   ShoulderThingThatGoesUP

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 01:28 PM

Have you sat in a Bolt? The cabin interior of the Premier I sat in felt like a big downgrade from the C-Max - all the materials looked and felt chintzy. Maybe that's not important.

 

Since you have the Pacifica for long trips, can you get away with a cheaper used BEV for your commute? VW eGolf, Focus Electric, maybe a 500e that's been imported as a CPO from the West Coast? Everything I've read says those are a blast but I have only even seen one in real life a single time.


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#3 OFFLINE   spirilis

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 01:36 PM

2017 Focus Electric is all I'd consider for that car... it's what I have, and it has DC Fast charging plus 33.5kWh battery (vs 23kWh on the old one and no DCFC option)

Liquid cooled/heated battery too for all years, reportedly not much battery degradation from at least 1 example I've read where a user did over 50K.
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#4 OFFLINE   Jonathan Ezor

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:34 PM

2017 Focus Electric is all I'd consider for that car... it's what I have, and it has DC Fast charging plus 33.5kWh battery (vs 23kWh on the old one and no DCFC option)

Liquid cooled/heated battery too for all years, reportedly not much battery degradation from at least 1 example I've read where a user did over 50K.

 

A few problems for me with the Focus Electric. First, its range is reported as up to 100 miles; that means I can't go round trip to my NJ office without being *sure* I can charge on both ends. The Bolt's 230 mile range solves that problem. Also, I'm 6 feet tall, and when I've driven a Focus in the past, I've found it a tad small for comfort. I haven't sat in a Bolt myself, but 6'4" Doug DeMuro's review suggests he had plenty of head/leg room when he did.

Still, thanks. {Jonathan}



#5 OFFLINE   Jonathan Ezor

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 03:36 PM

Have you sat in a Bolt? The cabin interior of the Premier I sat in felt like a big downgrade from the C-Max - all the materials looked and felt chintzy. Maybe that's not important.

 

Since you have the Pacifica for long trips, can you get away with a cheaper used BEV for your commute? VW eGolf, Focus Electric, maybe a 500e that's been imported as a CPO from the West Coast? Everything I've read says those are a blast but I have only even seen one in real life a single time.

 

I need a car that can make it 67 miles each way on a single charge, in case I have an issue charging at my NJ office. None of the others out there will do that, and besides, if I'm okay with driving an EV with an older battery, I can keep my C-MAX. {Jonathan}



#6 OFFLINE   spirilis

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:12 PM

Yup skip the Focus Electric... it's around 120-130mi in milder weather and around 70-80 in sub-20F temps as I've seen. Definitely need a Bolt at least if you want to go BEV.

I am 5'11" and it's quite comfortable for me fwiw, except my wife demands the seat as high as possible so the sun visor does feel a bit too low. But with the seat bottom down, it's perfect.

Edited by spirilis, 03 January 2018 - 04:15 PM.


#7 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:21 PM

The bolt is very nice, I drove one I liked the way it felt and drove, but its not as nice on the interior as the Cmax, I agree with that.  It has alot of room though for tall people like us, and good visibility.

 

You're stuck in the glorified rental policy, where you went over on the miles and if you pay for the miles its a lose lose situation.  I never liked leases because if this, I hear too many stories of a) people going over and having to pay, and/or b) of people not taking trips because they don't have any miles left or they are getting close to being over.

 

If money was no object, I would upgrade from the Cmax to the Bolt, or a new Cmax which actually gets even better MPG numbers than the earlier models.  If you have an issue with money, since you just bought the expensive pacifica, then buy the Cmax you have and that way you're excused from paying money (miles penalty) and giving it back.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 03 January 2018 - 04:47 PM.


#8 ONLINE   komondor

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 05:50 PM

buy this CMAX

 

2017 Ford C-Max Energi Titanium
$19,990 3,025 mi. USED
 
  • Exterior Color: Gray
  • Interior Color: Ebony
  • Transmission:Automatic CVT
  • Drivetrain: FWD
  •  
  •  

Lucas Ford

     (5) 6 reviews

81 mi. from 11101

Check Availability


#9 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 05:51 AM

I need a car that can make it 67 miles each way on a single charge, in case I have an issue charging at my NJ office. None of the others out there will do that, and besides, if I'm okay with driving an EV with an older battery, I can keep my C-MAX. {Jonathan}

Yeah, that's a pretty good distance for EV.  Even the Bolt.  I mean, I'd say you *should* be fine, BUT...  You get a nice cold winter day and want the heat on(and I'm not sure what the Bolt does for potential energy usage to warm the battery on it's own?) and you're plowing through some snow...

It's possible you'd be cutting it a bit close.  Especially if the battery degrades a bit as the years go on...

 

Again.  I *think* you should be fine, but when relying on EV only I'm realizing twice the needed range is kinda the absolute minimum for safety and that's still potentially a bit iffy under the right(wrong) conditions...



#10 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 07:25 AM

The bolt is nice but they are expensive, its like 40 grand for the base model, and its a car with no engine.  They are charging alot for those batteries, I'm sure they are not worth as much as they charge for them, certainly in the overpriced category right now, but I believe they charge this much because there is a fed tax rebate.  I bet you if that wasn't available, the car companies would lower their price by that rebate and it would be hard pressed to sell them for that much in my opinion.

 

-=>Raja.


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#11 OFFLINE   ShoulderThingThatGoesUP

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 11:28 AM

It's not quite that expensive; they're knocking several grand off of the price of new ones and the base model starts at $35k before tax incentives.

 

One more idea to think on though the difference versus the C-Max you already have is marginal - an i3 with REX? They are pretty inexpensive used, about the same as a C-Max really, and they have a much greater electric range.



#12 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 11:31 AM

I like that i3-Rex idea...  I keep an eye on those as well.  Just awfully concerned on the reliability front and the cost of repairs without warranty...



#13 OFFLINE   spirilis

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 11:55 AM

i3 with Rex is something like 180 miles, basically 115 miles (similar to my Focus Electric) plus a motorcycle engine mated to a generator with a tiny gas tank (due to some regulations BMW was trying to cook, if I read correctly, whereby the gasoline stage had to have less range than the all-electric mode), the problem is it's limited in torque/HP when it's running in REX mode.  Also I seem to recall every single one of them were recalled recently due to some safety issue - https://www.consumer...ver-crash-test/



#14 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 12:07 PM

i3 with Rex is something like 180 miles, basically 115 miles (similar to my Focus Electric) plus a motorcycle engine mated to a generator with a tiny gas tank (due to some regulations BMW was trying to cook, if I read correctly, whereby the gasoline stage had to have less range than the all-electric mode), the problem is it's limited in torque/HP when it's running in REX mode.  Also I seem to recall every single one of them were recalled recently due to some safety issue - https://www.consumer...ver-crash-test/

Yeah, it has a 2.4 gallon gas tank but in the US the software only allows it to use 1.9 gallons.  Apparently for something along the lines of regulations stating that the car has to have more electric than gas range to be considered an EV. 

But you can re-"Code" the car to use the full 2.4 gallons.

 

I don't think it's so much that the rex mode is limited overall, the problem is depending on how you use it.  Basically there's only an issue if you've completely run the thing out of battery power and then want to do 75mph or climb a steep hill with just the generator.  It doesn't have that much power by itself so you might end up only being able to go 45mph up that hill.    However, if you plan accordingly you can use the generator before the battery runs out to keep the battery at a higher charge level so there isn't an issue(again, some of this can  involve some re-coding in the US to get back functionality that was removed when it came from Europe for whatever reason).

 

If I remember correctly running on Rex can do something like 65mph, but if you keep it at 70MPH+ you have to use some battery at the same time to maintain it.  So, it can be used for longer ranges, but it definitely requires more frequent stops, like every 100 miles to get another couple gallons of gas, and after a while you might have to keep your speeds down to 65mph if you've run out of battery from keeping the speed over 70mph for long enough.



#15 OFFLINE   ShoulderThingThatGoesUP

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 02:05 PM

The Rex thing seems perfect for the OP's situation, where the vast majority of the time he can charge on both ends but can't quite be confident enough to go with a 2017 FFE or e-Golf.

 

But the existing C-Max is also pretty good for it so who knows.



#16 OFFLINE   spirilis

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 05:31 PM

Agreed. BMW i3 is just hideously expensive...

#17 OFFLINE   ShoulderThingThatGoesUP

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 03:53 AM

New the price is a joke, but there's a 2014 with Rex for sale for $16,750 in Philadelphia.



#18 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 06:39 AM

Yeah, used ones are plausible.  Again, the question is how many times will it need to go to the "spa"(apparently what i3 owners sometimes call the dealership) and out of warranty just how much will it cost you?

 

Seems just a bit more riskier than other options.
 



#19 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 08:19 AM

For all intent and purposes, the Bolt EV is, right now, pretty much the only game in town for a "reasonably" affordable long range EV.   By June it could be a different story with M3 production (finally?) starting in meaningful numbers and the improved 2018 Leaf out.  Plus the latest rumors of a $35k, bigger battery, 235+ mile Leaf with BMS! coming in 2019.  This additional market competition might chill Bolt sales that pricing/leasing terms might be much favorable by then.  Just a guess.

 

I'm surprised two other choices haven't been mentioned yet.  The Prime is very, very similar to the CMax Energi in drivetrain and range while the Volt has tremendous EV range but a very small back seat (like the Focus).  I really liked my Gen1 Volt as a single commuter (original intent) but it was not good as a family car (hatch is better than the Energi) and reluctantly traded in for the CMax.

 

I don't know if Jonathon has experience (Pacifica?) with ACC (advanced cruise control) but I now consider this a must have feature on any new vehicle purchase and darn near mandatory if living/driving in heavy traffic area (I think Long Island would qualify LOL).   IIRC, right now the M3, Leaf, i3, Prime and Volt have ACC included or available.  

 

Personally, I would never consider a used BMW for long term ownership.


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#20 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 08:25 AM

Yeah, the Prime and Volt would both likely be cheaper to drive than the Energi for different reasons.  The Prime will have much better gas mileage and the Volt will have much more EV range.










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