Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hybrid C-Max was a suprise ? Hardly ...

When Ford annouced plug-in and conventional hybrid variants of C-Max quite a few media outlets were taken by surprise. For eg. CNET wrote that the hybrids were a secret until the announcement. But were the announcements really that surprising ? Not really.

Let us look at some past comments and announcements by Ford.

At the Paris Motor Show, Ford announced that it will be making C-Max Hybrids and PlugIns.
• Ford is on track to produce five hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles for the North American market by 2012 and European markets by 2013
• Ford’s first hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles for Europe will be based on the new Ford C-MAX and be launched in 2013
• C-MAX plug-in hybrid will use the company’s critically acclaimed powersplit architecture with a high-efficiency Atkinson-cycle engine in combination with a high-voltage electric motor generator and a lithium-ion battery system
Dailytech in an interview with Sherif Marakby, Director of Ford's Hybrid and Electric vehicles program in Sep, 2010 got quite a few details.

It seems likely that the PHEV will be the C-Max.  This assumption is based on the expected all-electric range of 30 miles and a juicy tidbit which Mr. Marakby let slip -- that the intended total range was about 700 miles on a full tank and full charge.  The current Kuga has a 12.3 gallon tank, while the C-Max has a 14 gallon tank.  Given that the C-Max gets better gas mileage and still only averages about a 450 mile range in current petrol (gas) variants, it seems very likely that the less efficient Kuga with a smaller tank could meet the 700 mile target.

To recap, Ford in 2012 will unleash its first PHEV.  The PHEV is 
not the Ford Focus and is likely based on the Ford C-Max, or perhaps the Ford Fusion.  Ford feels that its PHEV will be a more compelling offering than series/BEV plug-ins, but will still be lower volume than hybrids.
Ofcourse, we now know, the range will be 500 miles, not 700. This is most likely because th gas tank size has been reduced to accommodate the battery.

Even before that, in May 2010, Ford had announced that it will build C-Max Hybrids & Plugins in Spain.
- Ford's Valencia Plant in Spain will build the company's first hybrid vehicles for European customers
- Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) derivatives of the all-new Ford C-MAX to launch in Europe in 2013
In later blog posts I'll talk about the predecessor of Energi - the Plug-In Ford Escape Hybrid.


1 comment:

  1. Awesome site EVNow.

    Frankly this was a great bit of information you scooped here. I was thinking there just wasn't anything known about the C-Max Energi.

    There's the range in EV mode, 30 miles, which is about double what "drag their feet to the plug in party" Toyota is planning for the Prius Plug In. It'll be interesting to see if Ford sticks with that number, since they could change it to reduce the price (a big temptation), I hope they stick with this 30 mile range.

    I already am planning to buy a C-Max Energi (assuming it comes out without big issues), can't wait in fact, as the perfect plug in replacement for the Mazda 5 I love.