Ford C-Max Energi News
Volkswagen will introduce a new electric car—about the size of the Golf and able to go more than 200 miles on a single charge—by 2019. Meanwhile, according to a new report in Automotive News, Ford is planning to launch its own 200-plus-mile electric car in early 2019. Ford is expected to use “Model E” as the brand name for a family of compact cars using hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric powertrains.
If you are considering the purchase of a plug-in hybrid from Ford, March might be the time to make the move. According to Ford’s corporate website, outgoing 2014 Fusion Energi models can receive about $3,500 in combined manufacturers discounts—and $4,000 on a 2014 C-Max Energi.
Ford is committed to vehicle electrification. But the company’s course for plug-in cars will be slow and steady, with an emphasis on plug-in hybrids over pure electric cars.
Using solar energy to charge an electric car is not a new idea. A lot of plug-in vehicle drivers have been doing it for several years. It's a smart energy strategy, but the initial investment was substantial, so that leaves plenty of room for a better solution. Ford's idea is to do without a large rack of solar panels which people fit on their roof or in their garden. The only solar panels used here are on the car's roof, and they're installed by Ford itself.
It’s no secret that Ford’s big vehicle electrification plans—essentially to offer some form of “electrified” version for each model in its lineup—center on hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains. Earlier this month, Ford gave the clearest indication yet that it considers electric cars a poor cousin to its hybrid lineup.
You get about the same percentage of pure electric miles from a series plug-in hybrid, like a Volt, as you do from a series-parallel plug-in hybrid, like the Ford Fusion Hybrid. That’s according to data from Ford and General Motors. Which technology you prefer may come down to the length of your commute and the size of your pocketbook.
Plug-in electric vehicles got short shrift in a Ford webinar yesterday. The company used the event, dubbed “Electrified Vehicle Momentum,” to announce a raft of enhancements to its conventional hybrid vehicles. Plug-in electrics could one day benefit from Ford’s increased investment in hybrid batteries and powertrains, but for now, the plug appears to be a secondary concern for the company.
Ford is a leader in hybrids in America, but it has yet to sell the first one in Europe. I took a test drive of an Escape Hybrid in Paris in 2006, and I thought at the time that this model would quickly arrive at dealers everywhere, but that didn't happen. Similarly, Ford started selling its Focus Electric in the U.S. last year, but Europe is still waiting to see a Ford EV outside of a motor show. So it's a relief to learn that they're finally coming.
When the Ford Focus Electric launched last summer, only 67 Ford dealers across the nation were certified to sell the company's plug-in vehicle. By November, that number surpassed 200. Ford now says the number of EV Certified dealers will exceed 900 by Spring. Certified dealers must have plug-in cars ready to demonstrate, and staff trained to understand electric vehicle.
Here’s a new twist on the price premium argument against buying a car that plugs into the grid. Ford priced the plug-in version of the C-Max so close to the conventional hybrid version that—after considering federal and state incentives, as well as trim packages—shoppers can drive away with the plug-in at virtually the same price.