Ford Touts Electric Range, Speed of Plug-in C-Max Hybrid
By Dale Jewett
Ford's C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid wagon will be able to hit 85 mph on battery power alone, the automaker said Tuesday.
The C-Max Energi can also travel 20 miles on electric power. The driver can put the powertrain into one of three modes, via a button on the center stack:
-- EV Now, which runs the vehicle on the lithium-ion battery pack until it is depleted. Gauge displays coach the driver to maximize battery-only range.
-- EV Auto, which runs the vehicle on a blend of power from the battery pack and the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. This is the typical hybrid operation mode.
-- EV Later, which puts the power priority on the four-cylinder engine, saving the battery pack for later. Ford says this mode is ideal for highway driving, leaving the battery pack to come into play later during stop-and-go driving.
Ford says the electric-power speed and range stats exceed the vehicle's prime competitor, the plug-in version of the Toyota Prius. Toyota says the plug-in Prius, with a lithium-ion battery pack, can travel up to 15 miles and up to 62 mph on electric power alone.
Ford says the C-Max Energi will have a total range of 550 miles, compared with 540 miles for the plug-in Prius.
The C-Max is based on the same platform used by the Ford Focus. Ford will offer two versions, a conventional hybrid and the plug-in hybrid Energi. Both use the same powertrain--a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 141 hp and an electric motor, for total system output of 188 hp.
The hybrid C-Max Energi goes on sale in 19 markets this fall. The vehicle will be at dealers nationwide in spring 2013.
"The C-Max Energi can also travel 20 miles on electric power." While that's interesting and better than Toyota's statement on the Prius, its still a mnaufactures statistic with no disclosure of how Ford made that determination.
In other words, your mileage may vary....
And how much does the vehicle differ in size and capacities from the Focus?
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