Why Ford Fusion Energi Sales Are Surging

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Ford Fusion Energi in Joshua Tree, California in April 2016 | Eric Schaal/Autos Cheat Sheet

Four months into 2016, Ford Fusion Energi sits in third place on U.S. plug-in sales charts, far ahead of the much-hyped Tesla Model X as well as the historically dominant Nissan Leaf. After an April that had Fusion Energi showing 87% gains, we looked into the reasons behind its success so late in the model cycle. What we see is a combination of solid inventory across the country and incentives that make it a steal in many states.

Fusion Energi sold 1,331 units in April, outpacing the Tesla Model S and every other vehicle besides the Chevy Volt. That performance not only blew away the midsize plug-in’s 2015 total (711); it was the third-best month since Ford introduced it in February 2013. With the refreshed 2017 edition making it to U.S. dealerships this summer, the motivation to move the current model year is clear.

Eric Schaal/Autos Cheat Sheet
Fusion Energi recharges fully in 2.5 hours at Level 2 stations | Eric Schaal/Autos Cheat Sheet

Looking at Fusion Energi SE ($33,900) and Energi Titanium ($35,730) online, shoppers find $10,007 incentives on the table through July 4. This total seems to include the $4,007 federal tax credit along with Ford’s $4,000 cash back offer that went into effect at the start of April. As a result, the net price falls below $24,000 for the base model and $26,000 for a more plush Titanium edition. State incentives may further sweeten the pot.

This value proposition was successful last month following a winning March total of 1,238 sales. Unlike other plug-in models that have struggled to sell more than a few hundred copies a month, Ford appears to have bulked up on Fusion Energi inventory ahead of this late-model sale.

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Black Fusion Energi charging | Source: Ford

According to InsideEVs, Ford had 5,000 models of its midsize plug-in hybrid stocked in dealerships around the country, which is a stunning mark for any electric vehicle. As the 2017 Fusion Energi heads to market, we are seeing the end of the model featuring the chrome grille preferred by some consumers in the segment.

Of course, this plug-in is the car of choice for those who want a greener sedan without any identifiers that scream “low emissions,” other than the HOV lane sticker. Electric range is capped to 19 miles, second only to the Hyundai Sonata PHEV (27 miles) in the sparsely populated segment. Charging time is 2.5 hours when using a Level 2 station or about eight hours on a regular household (120-volt) outlet.

Fuel economy in a Fusion Energi, set at an EPA-estimated 88 miles per gallon equivalent, consistently returned better numbers throughout a one-week test by Autos Cheat Sheet in April 2016. Likewise, the quoted single-tank range of 550 miles can be tossed out the window when charging the battery occasionally. We got well over 700 miles on a single tank of gas.

So is this car worth around $25,000 with a few extras? EV shoppers are answering in the affirmative in 2016. We’ll see if these incentives can move the remaining inventory in the coming months.

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