Posted in: Cars,
by Gregg Laskoski on Oct 16, 2012 06:00 AM
The latest news from Ford is nothing to sneeze at. The new 2013 C-Max Energi (why can't they spell it right?) will be the most fuel efficient plug-in hybrid on the market.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford's new hybrid has been certified as getting the equivalent of 108 mpg (city) and has a combined city/highway EPA rating at 100 mpg. And Ford is quick to point out that's 5 mpg better than its closest competitor, the Toyota Prius plug-in.
If you're unfamiliar with the C-Max name, join the club. It's an all new name plate for Ford in North America. And if it delivers this kind of unparalleled fuel efficiency, you can bet that you'll be hearing the C-Max name pretty often in the not-too-distant future. It's a line of vehicles dedicated to hybrids with no conventional gas equivalent.
The C-Max hybrid went on sale in September and the C-Max Energi plug-in will follow in November. The C-Max Energi sells for $29,995 (after federal tax credits). Both vehicles are built in at the same Michigan plant that also produces the Ford Focus.
Ford says the Energi plug-in hybrid has larger batteries that can be charged by plugging the vehicle into an electrical outlet or a charging station. The car can operate in electric-only mode, as a hybrid using a combination of batteries and gasoline engine or run on the gas engine to save the battery pack. There is an EV button on the center stack to choose the mode.
Ford claims customers will save nearly $7,000 in fuel costs over five years with the C-Max Energi compared with the average new vehicle.
Especially in California, where recent refinery problems pushed gas prices to record highs, with many stations well over $5 per gallon, Ford thinks the Energi plug-in will attract buyers trading in for substantial savings.
"With $5-per-gallon gasoline, C-Max Energi customers essentially will pay $1.25 per gallon for the same distance traveled compared with average vehicles estimated to achieve 23 m.p.g.," said John Davis, chief nameplate engineer for the C-Max Energi.
The C-Max is expected to sell well in coastal and southern states, and perhaps it could do well in the northeast too, where fuel taxes in NY and CT also help push gasoline prices to intolerable extremes.
It's still a difficult amount to cough up, but, 108 mpg (city) mileage? Let's face it; that's phenomenal.