Monthly Archives: December 2012

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Ford C-max Energi goes 100km/h on battery power

Although some view the C-max Energi plug-in hybrid as a small minivan without the sliding doors, it’s hard to deny just how important this vehicle is for Ford. Ford has been second to Toyota for years in the hybrid world. Yes, Ford had the Focus Hybrid, but their Fusion Hybrid did so poorly they dropped it from production somewhere around 2005. Since then, Toyota has owned the hybrid car space with the Prius, and now the Prius C, Prius V, and Prius Plug-in hybrid.

Ford wanted some of the hybrid market share back, so it took the Global C platform vehicle, the C-max, that it was selling in Europe, and brought it to North America.

The C-max is a full hybrid line, just like the Prius – there is no non-hybrid version. There are, however, a few options of what type of hybrid you want. The C-max comes as a standard hybrid, and the Ford C-max Energi is the plug-in hybrid version.

The 2013 Ford C-max Energi SEL model costs $36,999 CAD. There are many ways that the C-max Energi specs beat the Prius specs, and here are some of them.

Top Speed
The Toyota Prius Plug-in top speed is limited to 100 km/h when using battery power alone, while the C-max Energi can go up to 135 km/h. When driving in combined mode, the Prius can reach a top speed of 180 km/h, while the C-max Energi maxes out at 164 km/h.

The C-max Energi has a range of 885 km of combined range versus 870 km for the Prius Plug-in, and electric only range of 32 km – versus the 10 km of the Prius Plug-in. Charge time for the Ford C-max Energi is 7 hours on a standard 110 volt outlet, and 3 hours on a 220 volt plug.

The Toyota Prius plug-in is rated at 188 horsepower. The C-max Energi is slightly more powerful with 195 horsepower. Overall fuel economy for the C-max Energi is 1.9l/100km combined highway and city for gas and electric, or 4.5l/100km combined for gasoline only driving.

Ford is offering a 20,000km 3 year warranty bumper to bumper warranty, and a 5 year/100,000 km drivetrain warranty on the C-max Energi. The electrical components are warrantied for 8 years/160,000kms.

At higher speeds, the ride is smooth, yet Ford has tuned road manners to feel quick and spirited, in sharp contrast to what Toyota has done with the floaty Prius plug-in. The C-Max Energi is almost entertaining, and at the very least balanced.

Not too shabby – I’m seriously thinking about getting one, or at least test driving one!