DEARBORN – The new Ford C-MAX Energi is expected to achieve more than 20 miles of electric-only range – nearly double the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid – and a 550-mile overall range to become the first hybrid vehicle ever that can be driven from Sacramento to San Diego on a single tank of gas and make the average American commute without gasoline.
With a maximum electric-only speed projected to top that of Prius plug-in, C-MAX Energi drivers might be able to reach wherever they’re going a little faster, too.
Topping it off, C-MAX Energi delivers fuel economy that is the equivalent of 95 miles per gallon (MPGe) combined city/highway.
John Davis, chief nameplate engineer for Ford’s compact cars and utility vehicles, said it’s all designed to improve the driving experience: from making the 550-mile trek down Highway 99 from Sacramento to San Diego to the daily 20-mile one-way trip to work – the distance some reports suggest the average American commutes.
“We are proud C-MAX Energi is the first plug-in hybrid that can deliver a 550-mile overall range and more than 20 miles of electric range as it gives customers great flexibility to commute to work, then take off for a road trip while passing many gas stations along the way,” says Davis. “C-MAX Energi is a great symbol for the leading fuel economy we’re delivering across our lineup to give customers the power of choice to save money at the pump.”
C-MAX Energi is part of Ford’s first dedicated line of hybrid vehicles in North America and will soon be available for order at Ford’s certified electric-vehicle dealerships. C-MAX Energi operates just like a traditional hybrid with two key differences – owners must plug in the vehicle using its charge port and C-MAX Energi has a larger battery pack.
Power of choice
Already available for order is C-MAX Hybrid – expected to be America’s most affordable hybrid utility vehicle with a base price of $25,995, including destination and delivery – with a cost that is $1,300 lower than Toyota Prius v.
C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi figure prominently in Ford’s rollout of five electrified vehicles this year. Ford’s other electrified vehicles include:
• Focus Electric: Production began late 2011; America’s most fuel-efficient compact with 110 MPGe city; charge time of four hours with the available 240-volt charging station – nearly half the time as Nissan Leaf
• C-MAX Hybrid: Coming this fall; projected 47 mpg city, 3 mpg better than Toyota Prius v
• All-new Fusion Hybrid: Coming this fall; projected 47 mpg expected to beat Toyota Camry Hybrid by 5 mpg highway
• Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid: Will begin production by the end of this year; aiming to be the most fuel-efficient midsize car in the world with more than 100 MPGe
“Ford’s electrified vehicles offer a great combination of efficiency, performance, technology and affordability that we believe will help spur adoption of these advanced vehicles,” says Kevin Layden, director, Ford Electrification Programs and Engineering. “C-MAX Energi not only offers leading efficiency, it has 50 more horsepower than the Prius plug-in hybrid along with class-exclusive technologies such as our hands-free liftgate and active park assist for easier parallel parking.”
While the C-MAX Energi nameplate is new to the U.S. market, the technology and design has proven itself already in other ways and in other places.
More than 144,000 units of the five-passenger C-MAX gasoline and diesel versions have been sold in Europe since late 2010. Though Ford is concentrating on hybrid versions of C-MAX in the U.S., the designs of C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid are based on the gasoline- and diesel-powered European version.
C-MAX Energi also benefits from 20 years of research and innovation behind the software and hardware technology it offers, incorporating many of the nearly 500 patents Ford holds in the area of hybrid technology. The car’s powersplit technology – which allows for more efficient operation of the vehicle – consists of more than 200 patents alone.
Like C-MAX Hybrid, C-MAX Energi has projected total system horsepower of 188 that stems from the combination of a gasoline engine and a battery-driven electric motor. When powered by gasoline, the C-MAX Energi uses the all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine – powerful and fuel efficient and among the most advanced non-turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains Ford has ever offered.
Because owners plug in to charge the advanced lithium-ion battery in C-MAX Energi, the vehicle is able to achieve increased electric mode and total range. Lithium-ion batteries are lighter, more efficient and more powerful than nickel-metal hydride batteries used in first-generation hybrids. They also promote faster charging times.
C-MAX Energi sets itself apart from other hybrids in other ways, too. For example, it offers the latest generation of SmartGauge® with EcoGuide. Designed to help drivers get the most from C-MAX, information such as instantaneous fuel economy can be displayed on one of two 4.2-inch LCD screens, helping drivers more closely monitor how their driving behavior affects the vehicle’s efficiency.
In the right cluster, redesigned imagery of green leaves shows overall driving efficiency. The left cluster shows Brake Coach, a feature that helps drivers optimize their use of the regenerative braking system so that driving range can be enhanced through proper braking techniques.
Available for C-MAX Energi is the MyFord® Mobile smartphone application that allows users to monitor charging, receive alerts, find charge stations, plan trips and do more from their smartphones or computers for an effortless transition to an electrified vehicle lifestyle.
C-MAX Energi will be produced at Ford’s Wayne, Mich.-based Michigan Assembly Plant alongside the new C-MAX Hybrid, Focus, Focus Electric and Focus ST. More information about MAP can be found online here