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GE to Purchase Ford C-Max EV Plug-in Hybrids

11/21/2012
Ford Motor Co. got a sales boost from General Electric (GE) this week. As part of its plan to convert half of its global fleet to alternative-fuel vehicles, GE, the producer of ubiquitous light bulbs as well as turbines for jet aircraft and power plants, including those used for wind power, this week purchased 2,000 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid (PHEV) compact MPVs (multi-purpose vehicles) for its corporate fleet.

GE, the sixth-ranked company on the 2011 Fortune 500 list of companies (based on gross revenue), now owns a total of more than 5,000 vehicles with alternative powertrains. GE's goal is to build its corporate fleet to a total of 25,000 alternative-fuel vehicles. GE is also part of Ford's EV equation since it makes the GE WattStation EV charger, which uses smartgrid technology and comes with an app to help customers more easily locate electricity charging sources. Media reports say that Ford will also help in jointly marketing GE's charging stations.

Ford officials said that the automaker will work with GE and researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology to study how GE employees drive these new PHEVs and also to study their charging habits. The companies and the college hope to come up with new ways to improve all-electric driving and charging performance. The Ford C-Max Energi is the most fuel-efficient PHEV, with an EPA estimate of 100 MPGe (mpg equivalent) combined city/highway rating.

The researchers plan to use Ford's MyFord Mobile app with real-time battery charge status that automatically recharges at off-peak electricity rates that are cheaper. The C-Max Energi is expected to have a starting suggested retail price after federal tax credits are included of just under $30,000. These Ford compact PHEVs will be available in U.S. dealerships this fall.

Ford's stable of six EVs will also include: the Fusion Energi PHEV; Fusion Hybrid; Focus Electric; and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. In its first 2 months on the market, Ford has delivered 4,151 C-Max units in the United States, according to data from J.D. Power and Associates' Power Information Network(R) (PIN).

2013 Ford C-Max Energi Summary, Photos & Specs
Ford Car & Truck Ratings

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