Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What will C-Max Energi's EPA Fuel Economy Label Look Like

New EPA label for PHEVs

A few months back EPA released a few ideas on new Fuel Economy Labels. One set had letter grades from A to F and some others showed Miles Per Gallon prominently. After taking input from the general puplic, environmental groups and the industry.

EPA has decided on the final label and released them recently. As expected, the letter grades which clearly shows how bad the traditional gas powered cars are, has been dropped because of industry pressure. Still, there are some welcome changes.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ford Identifies Optimal Location for Electric Vehicle Charge Ports

Ford has determined the optimal location for the charging port on their line of PlugIn cars - including the C-Max Energi.

Ford considered various options and tradeoffs before determining the location. Currently, the PlugIn vehicles on the road use a variety of locations for their charge port. Nissan Leaf uses the front, just under the hood. GM Volt has the port on the left side fender. Tesla Roadster has it on the left side at the back but hasn't disclosed the location of the charge port on Model S.

So, what did Ford decide ?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Will Energi have an "Electric Mode" button ?

As we know, the idea of plug-in hybrids is to run the vehicle on electric power as much as possible - and yet make those long trips possible on fossil fuel. This is a stop-gap measure until the batteries become cheap and fast charge infrastructure ubiquotous, so that we can finally get rid of the fossil fuels for good.

One intriguing feature of plug-in vehicles is the "electric only mode" i.e. you click on a button that can make the car move in only electric (or only gas) mode. Chevrolet Volt has a gas-only button but only in Europe. Volt doesn't have this button in the US. 2010 onwards Prius has an EV only button.

Will C-Max Energi have this button ?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bill Ford : An All-Electric Version of C-MAX Planned

Bill Ford
Bill Ford is the chairman of Ford Inc and the great-grandson of Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Inc and credited with having inventing assembly line mass manufacturing. Today Bill Ford wrote an article in Fortune about the inevitable electrification of the aumobile industry. After Nissan's Ghosn, Bill Ford is perhaps the most vocal supporter of plug-in vehicles among auto majors.

There are several interesting topics that Bill Ford touches upon, we will look at the most interesting aspect of ot for us, though the full article is worth a read.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How much energy can you capture using Regenerative Braking ?

Ford has been more or less mum about the upcoming Ford Focus EV after unvieling it beginning of this year. But recently Ford opened a microsite for Focus EV.

One interesting part of the site talks about regenerative braking. When you step on the brake to slow down the car, part of the mechanical energy is captured by the generator that is linked to the wheels and converted to electricity. This electricity is stored back in the battery. That is what we mean by regenerative braking.