Ford C-MAX Energi will have an electric-only range of 20 miles

Article by Christian A., on July 22, 2012

Set to arrive soon in the U.S. market is Ford’s C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, which is expected to run on 20 miles on purely electricity. Ford said that it has a 550-mile overall range, which gives it the only hybrid that could be driven from Sacramento to San Diego with just one tank of fuel. Ford claims that the C-MAX Energi can achieve a 95 MPGe combined rating.

It has a starting price of $25,995, undercutting the Prius V (its biggest rival) by $1,300. It is powered by a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, which when combined with a battery-driven electric motor, gives the car 188hp. This makes it boast of 50p more than the Prius plug-in hybrid. In Europe, over 144,000 C-MAX (both gas and diesel powered) have been sold.

The model has been available there since 2010. Kevin Layden, the director of Ford electrification programs and engineering, said that C-MAX Energi doesn’t only offer leading efficiency. It also offers more power and features class-exclusive technologies like the hands-free liftgate and active park assist that makes parallel parking easier.

Though the design and technology of the C-MAX Energi is already well-known is a number of areas around the world. In Europe for example, since the later part of 2010, it is estimated that at least 144,000 units have been sold of this five-passenger model, whether the gas-powered version or the diesel one. It will be the first time thought that this nameplate will enter the U.S. market. According to Ford, for the U.S. market it is currently focusing on coming up with hybrid variants of the C-MAX based on its Europe counterparts.

Thus, the C-MAX Hybrid is inspired by the diesel version while the C-MAX Energi is based on the gas version. The C-MAX Energi is backed by innovation and research going back two decades. This is responsible for the excellent hardware and software technology. The C-MAX Energi is said to utilize around 500 patents that Ford holds as it relates to hybrid technology. A good example of this is the powersplit technology, which ensures that the vehicle is operating efficiently. This technology alone carries at least 200 patents. It is not just the patents that make the C-MAX Energi a cut above the rest of the hybrids.

The C-MAX Energi is fitted with the newest version of the SmartGauge that has the EcoGuide. What the system does is to make sure that drivers are able to get the most out of the vehicle. For example it shows the fuel economy in real-time as it’s displayed on a 4.2-inch LCD screen, one of two anyway. With this information, the driver will be able to make the necessary adjustments in order to optimize the efficiency.

In terms of output, the C-MAX Energi is similar to the C-MAX Hybrid in that both can offer 188 hp. For the C-MAX Energi, power comes from a gas engine combined with an electric motor that is driven by a battery. Using gasoline, this model uses the four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter engine. In terms of power and fuel efficiency, this is considered as one of Ford’s highly advanced four-cylinder powertrain that is not turbocharged.

Meanwhile the lithium-ion battery allows this vehicle to experience increased electric mode and a longer total range. Aside from simply plugging it in order to charge, the batteries are more powerful, efficiency, and lighter, when compared to the nickel-metal hydride batteries put inside the first generation vehicle hybrids. It also allows for charging times that are clearly faster.

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.

Press Release

Ford C-MAX Energi Plug-In Hybrid Expected to Deliver 550-Mile Range and Nearly Double Electric-Only Range of Prius

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.

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."

Maximizing experience

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.


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