News Column

Ford C-Max Energi Battery Range Outpaces Prius

July 23, 2012

Alisa Priddle

Ford C-Max Energi

Ford said the C-Max Energi, which will be its first plug-in hybrid when it hits showrooms later this year, can run slightly more than 20 miles on electricity alone.

That is more than the 13-mile battery-only range of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid. Ford said the C-Max Energi extends its range to 550 miles when the gasoline engine kicks in.

The five-passenger C-Max Energi has been certified at the equivalent of 95 m.p.g. in combined city/highway driving. Pricing has not been announced.

Ford will also offer a $25,995 C-Max hybrid with a smaller battery pack that is not a plug-in.

Sales of plug-in hybrids have been slow, particularly in recent months as gasoline prices have fallen from early spring highs. Chevrolet has sold 8,817 of its extended-range electric Volt in the first half of the year. Toyota has sold 4,333 of its new plug-in Prius in the same period.

But cars like that are selling much better than pure-electric vehicles because they have gasoline-fueled generators or engines that kick in when the battery is depleted.

Sales of Nissan's battery-only Leaf have dropped 19% through the first half of this year. Ford has sold only 97 Focus Electrics in the same period.

The C-Max will be built in Wayne at the Michigan Assembly Plant that makes the Ford Focus and the Focus Electric. The C-Max hybrid goes on sale this fall and is expected to get 47 m.p.g. in city driving.

The new Fusion midsize sedan, coming this fall, will include a hybrid and later this year, Ford will add an Energi plug-in hybrid as well.

Ford will offer five vehicles with some degree of electrification this year.

"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," said Kevin Layden, Ford director of electrification programs and engineering, in a statement.

Source: (c)2012 the Detroit Free Press Distributed by MCT Information Services

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