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2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid is pretty affordable after tax credits

With the Escape PHEV's large battery onboard, the federal tax credit will shave $6,843 off the price.

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Under $30,000 for a PHEV crossover sounds nice.

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Federal tax credits for electric cars and plug-in hybrids become very generous when automakers plop in larger batteries. With a starting credit of $2,500, the feds will dish out another $417 for every 5 kilowatt hours of battery capacity an electrified car houses.

Thanks to the 2020 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid's 14.4-kWh battery, buyers will be in for a tax credit of $6,843 -- or nearly the full $7,500 tax credit EVs take advantage of. Ford spokesperson Mike Levine confirmed the tax credit and pricing news via Twitter last Friday, and it helps make the SUV pretty darn affordable.

Taking the $6,843 into consideration, the price before destination, taxes and other add-ons is just $26,197. Keep in mind, the nearly $7,000 isn't taken off the purchase price, but bundled as part of a buyer's tax return when filing. So, yes, you'll need to actually pay the $33,040 suggested retail price at first. Also, lessees don't get to partake in the tax credit it since you don't actually own the car -- a financial institution does.

The Escape PHEV should go 37 miles on a fully charged battery, according to EPA estimates. All the while, drivers will return an estimated 100 miles per gallon equivalent, which isn't too shabby at all. Of course, paying a little more money can put you into a 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime, which will go an estimated 42 miles and return 94 MPGe. Its larger 18.1-kWh battery pack also means the SUV is eligible for the full $7,500 tax credit. And if you need something quicker, this is the better choice, since there's 302 horsepower on tap. The Escape PHEV makes do with just 165 hp. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.

The Escape PHEV will reach dealers in the coming months and could provide a home for Chevrolet Volt owners seeking a new PHEV. With the Volt out, longer-range plug-in hybrid vehicles have been harder to come by.

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