Ford C-MAX Energi Plug-In Hybrid Expected to Deliver 550-Mile Range

Written By Thomas Ponco on Friday, July 20, 2012 | 11:00 AM

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Published July 20, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

Ford has just released range data for the Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. This tall wagon is projected to deliver 550 miles of total range, including more than 20 miles in electric-only mode – nearly double the electric-only range of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid, according to Ford.

Ford also announced that the C-MAX Energi is expected to deliver fuel economy that is the equivalent of 95 miles per gallon (MPGe) combined city/highway.

The C-MAX Energi operates just like a traditional hybrid with two key differences – owners must plug in the vehicle using its charge port to get the most out of its electric-only range; and C-MAX Energi has a larger battery pack.

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.”

The design of the C-MAX is not new. 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 the C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid are based on the gasoline- and diesel-powered European version.

The 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 the C-MAX Hybrid, the C-MAX Energi has a 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 – an engine among the most advanced non-turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains Ford has ever offered.

Ford opted to add technological features to differentiate its offerings from other hybrids. For example, the C-MAX Energi offers the latest generation of SmartGauge with EcoGuide; 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.

As first seen on the original Fusion Hybrid, the right cluster features 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 the 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.

Already available for order is the C-MAX Hybrid, with a base price of $25,995, including destination and delivery. Ford has not yet released the price, but expect the C-MAX Energi to be priced above the hybrid version.

The 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. It will be built at Ford’s Wayne, Mich.-based Michigan Assembly Plant alongside the new C-MAX Hybrid, the Focus Electric and other Focus models.

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The C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi are two of five electrified vehicles Ford is rolling out this year. Ford’s other electrified vehicles include:

• The Focus Electric: Production began late 2011: 110 MPGe city; charge time of four hours with the available 240-volt charging station;

• The All-new Fusion Hybrid: Coming this fall; projected 47 mpg;

• The 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.

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