Ford C-Max Energi May be a Green Plug-In Star
Ford says the new rating means the C-Max Energi may be the most fuel-efficient PHEV on the market. It outperforms the Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid (also a PHEV) combined city and highway rating by 5 MPGe--or 5%--and slips past the Chevrolet Volt by 2 MPGe in full-electric mode.
Ford brought the distinctively styled C-Max crossover to the United States from Europe. When it was announced earlier this year, Ford global marketing chief Jim Farley called the new model "a Prius fighter." Now there are several models with alternative powertrains available--including a 2013 C-Max Hybrid, which went on sale here just last month and retails for less than $26,000. The C-Max hybrid is slated to get 47 mpg. This gasoline/electric hybrid basically replaces the Ford Escape Hybrid, which will no longer be sold, and also surpasses the Escape Hybrid in fuel economy. In September, Ford sold 969 C-Max hybrid vehicles, according to J.D. Power sales figures.*
The new C-Max hybrid and the Energi PHEV feature seating for as many as 5 passengers, according to Ford. Both are built in Wayne, Michigan, at a plant that also makes the Focus and Focus electric compact conventional model--one of the best-selling models in the world. Ford also sells a Transit Connect Electric in the United States.
Ford promotes the model's cost-savings potential and points out that the C-Max Energi could save as much as $7,000 in fuel costs over 5 years, which would be particularly helpful with this year's continuing gas price hikes at the pump--nearing $5 per gallon in some parts of California during the past week, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
Eventually, Ford plans to have between 10% and 25% of its global lineup available with alternative electric powertrains. An electric Focus and Fusion Energi PHEV will be introduced in 2013.
*Sales data is collected and analyzed by J.D. Power's Power Information Network(R) (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive.