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Outlander PHEV – More competition for the C-max Energi

As of January 2013, Mitsubishi has started selling the Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in Japan. It’s very similar to the C-max Energi. Both have an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack that can drive the vehicles on pure electric power, and then can turn on the gasoline engine when the battery pack’s charge is depleted. They both use a 2.0 liter atkinson cycle engine as well.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a larger SUV with 4wd, where as the Ford C-max Energi is a crossover vehicle, slightly larger than a compact car with a more upright seating position.

Cargo space in the C-max Energi is limited because of the battery pack. In the Outlander Plug-in hybrid, they sacrificed the 2 small rear seats for the battery pack and rear electric motor, but they were able to keep the cargo floor flat and maintain all of the cargo space.

Here is a picture of the Outlander PHEV’s cargo space, as well as the hidden storage spot for the 120V charging cable:

Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Storage

 

Fusion Energi vs C-max Energi

The Ford C-max Energi has really exploded since it’s October 2012 release. Not only did it outsell the Toyota Prius Plug-in in it’s first full month of sales, it also beat previous launch records for the Toyota Prius, Honda Odyssey and Toyota Camry Hybrid when they were first released!

The Fusion Energi is Ford’s second plug-in hybrid electric vehicle offering. The electric vehicle isn’t even available yet, but it’s already received a host of awards including the Green Car of the Year and the Connected Car of the Year. It has also received one of the highest EPA ratings of any plug-in hybrid vehicle – it’s rated at 108 MPGe in the city!

There are some skeptics that say the hybrid market can’t handle too many vehicle offerings, or that the target market is young hipsters who want a crossover type vehicle like the C-max Energi more than they want a family sedan like the Fusion Energi. Either way you slice it, the Fusion Energi is shaping up to be a market shaker.

Ford will be officially releasing some more details on the Fusion Energi at the upcoming North American International Auto Show later this month. To stay up to date on what’s happening with the Ford Fusion Energi, head over to the forum and say hello! I’ll see you there.

C-max Energi plug-in hybrid Maintenance Info

From the Owner’s Manual, Ford has some basic information on how to keep your C-max Energi performing well for years to come:

C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid vehicles are equipped with the
Intelligent Oil-Life Monitor (IOLM) system which shows a message in
the information display at the proper oil change service interval; this
interval may be up to two years or 20000 miles (32000 kilometers).
When ENGINE OIL CHANGE DUE or OIL CHANGE REQUIRED appears
in the information display, it’s time for an oil change; the oil change must
be done within two weeks or 500 miles (800 kilometers) of the ENGINE
OIL CHANGE DUE or OIL CHANGE REQUIRED message appearing. The
Intelligent Oil-Life Monitor must be reset after each oil change. See
Engine oil check in the Maintenance chapter.
If your information display is prematurely reset or becomes inoperative,
you should perform the oil change interval at six months or 5000 miles
(8000 kilometers) from your last oil change. Never exceed two years or
20000 miles (32000 kilometers) between oil change intervals.
Your vehicle is very sophisticated and built with multiple complex
performance systems. Every manufacturer develops these systems using
different specifications and performance features. That is why it is
important to rely upon your dealership to properly diagnose and repair
your vehicle.

 

Owner Checks and Services
Certain basic maintenance checks and inspections should be performed
every month or at six month intervals.
Check Every Month
Engine oil level.
Function of all interior and exterior lights.
Tires (including spare) for wear and proper pressure.
Windshield washer fluid level.
Check Every Six Months
Battery connections. Clean if necessary.
Body and door drain holes for obstructions. Clean if necessary.
Cooling system fluid level and coolant strength.
Door weatherstrips for wear. Lubricate if necessary.
Hinges, latches and outside locks for proper operation. Lubricate if
necessary.
Parking brake for proper operation.
Safety belts and seat latches for wear and function.
Safety warning lamps (brake, ABS, airbag, safety belt) for operation.
Washer spray and wiper operation. Clean or replace blades as
necessary.
Scheduled Maintenance 361
2013 C-

Economical Driving tips for the C-max Energi

Ford has released a list of tips and tricks for maximizing the fuel economy in your new C-max Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

Here are the tips, in no particular order. Actually, it sounds like Ford is encouraging drivers to become hyper-milers!

• Accelerate and slow down in a smooth, moderate fashion.
• Drive at steady speeds.
• Anticipate stops; slowing down may eliminate the need to stop.
• Combine errands and minimize stop-and-go driving. (When running
errands, go to the furthest destination first and then work your way
back home.)
• Close the windows for high-speed driving.
• Drive at reasonable speeds. (Traveling at 65 miles per
hour/105 kilometers per hour uses about 15 percent less fuel than
traveling at 75 miles per hour/121 kilometers per hour).
• Keep the tires properly inflated and use only the recommended size.
• Use the recommended engine oil.
• Perform all regularly scheduled maintenance.

And here are a few tips of things to avoid that can drastically decrease your engine

• Avoid sudden or hard accelerations.
• Avoid revving the engine before turning off the car.
• Avoid long idle periods.
• Do not warm up your vehicle on cold mornings.
• Reduce the use of air conditioning and heat

C-max Energi Break In Procedure

As with all vehicles, there is a break-in procedure that should be followed to allow the engine and other vehicle components to become fully lubricated and wear into their places. This will not only improve performance and fuel economy, but will soften springs and create a better ride. All information was taken from the 2013 Ford C-max Energi owner’s manual found on the C-max Energi Forum

According to the 2013 Ford C-max Energi owner’s manual, the break-in procedure is as follows:

New tires need to break in for approximately 300 miles, and during this time the vehicle may exhibit some unusual driving characteristics such as less than normal traction, hard ride and perhaps some wobbling. The engine also needs to break in, so during the first 1000 miles, avoid hard accelerations and driving too fast (the manual leaves it up to us to determine what ‘too fast’ actually is though). It is also recommended to avoid carrying loads up steep grades – this would include towing, and perhaps even hauling 4 large adults up a steep highway section.

In order to allow for a break-in period for the vehicle, Ford does not allow new owners to create a vehicle health report on their C-max Energi until the odometer has reached 200 miles.

Ford also reminds owners not to measure fuel economy during the first 1000 miles (the break-in period for the C-max Energi) since a more accurate measurement is obtained after 2000-3000 miles.

Ford EV+ learns how to increase your efficiency

One special feature the Ford C-max Energi has over the Ford C-max Hybrid is it’s EV+ system. The patent-pending feature is available on Ford’s Fusion and C-Max hybrids as well as its C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids.

The EV+ software uses the vehicle’s GPS system to help it learn common routes and figure out ways to save fuel. Ford’s new feature combines the GPS data with certain algorithms to program powertrains to use its limited electric power most appropriately. For instance, the closer the vehicle is to a frequent destination, the more the vehicle is directed to operate in electric-only mode. In other words, if you’re about to arrive home and there’s juice in the pack, the car shifts into electric mode.

The C-Max gives up about 20 percent of its storage space (compared to the hybrid version) and the Focus Electric EV’s storage space is a whopping 40 percent less than the conventional Focus.

Ford C-max Hybrid and C-max Energi October Sales

Ford is super stoked about the amount of sales their C-max Hybrid and C-max Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle are getting.

The C-max Energi just went on sale late in October, but still managed 144 sales. Meanwhile, the C-max Hybrid manages to claim 3rd highest hybrid vehicle sales, beating out the Toyota Camry!

“Customers now come into our showrooms for fuel economy, and we’re delivering with six vehicles that offer 40 mpg or better, including the new C-MAX Hybrid at 47 mpg combined, with another two on the way by year’s end.” Ford is definitely committed to greener cars – perhaps maybe just to take some of the business the Toyota Prius has, but either way, it’s creating more green vehicle options for buyers, and putting pressure on competitors to lower prices and increase value. Initial conquest data show that more than 70 percent of C-MAX Hybrid buyers traded in a competitive model or added it without trading in another vehicle. Also, one third of all C-max buyers cross shopped and compared the Toyota Prius and Toyota Prius V.

“The new C-MAX is off to a fast start in the heart of the hybrid market, not only outselling Prius v, but drawing a lot of interested Toyota customers who chose our new hybrid instead,” says C.J. O’Donnell, manager, Ford Electrified Vehicles.

So folks, it’s official. America’s most fuel-efficient and affordable plug-in hybrid vehicle (yep, that’s the C-max Energi for now at least) – is now available at Ford EV-certified dealers in half the states across the country.

new lithium ion batteries in C-max Energi provide better fuel economy

Ford’s hybrid system that is uses in the C-max Energi is a third generation system. It will replace the metal-hydride batteries with the lighter lithium ion batteries – they are 50% lighter and can also be up to 30% smaller than metal-hydride batteries. This allows the Ford C-max Energi and C-max Hybrid to achieve better fuel efficienct.

Ford’s all new C-max Hybrid has been in showrooms for about a month, and the Ford C-max Energi is coming to dealerships any day now!

To read more, visit the full story on My C-max Energi

C-max Energi approved for solo carpool lane use

California has approved the 2013 Ford C-max Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for the Green Clean Air Vehicle sticker in California. That means a lone occupant can drive the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in the carpool lane by themselves.

Now that the C-max Energi has been approved in California, Ford says it will likely be approved in other states with similar laws like New York and Virginia.

“We’re pleased with California customers’ early interest in the C-MAX hybrids, our first dedicated hybrid-only nameplate in North America, in the No. 1 hybrid market in the U.S.,” said Michael O’Brien, Ford electrified vehicle marketing manager. “The C-MAX Energi is the most affordable, most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid with the longest overall range for any utility or compact vehicle on the market today – this extra carpool lane incentive and rebate will help Californians go further with Ford in every sense of the phrase.”

In California, there are only 40,000 single occupant access stickers available in the state for any qualifying vehicles, so it is a first come first serve basis.

Due to the size of the C-max Energi battery pack, being smaller than a 100% electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf, the Federal Tax Credit is $5,250 rather than the full $7,500 amount available to all electric vehicles.

For more information on the C-max Energi Forum, sign up and discuss the C-max Energi – part of Ford’s first fully hybrid line of vehicles.

Green tech for EVs

“It is possible for householders to install green technology in their homes and to use that to fuel electric cars. Many electric car enthusiasts are already powering their wheels from solar panels on their homes. Renewable energy installation companies report that business is booming as more people decide to go down this route.

I believe that in ten years time, it will be absolutely commonplace for ordinary householders to recharge their electric cars overnight from renewable sources, such as wind, or solar energy.

The amazing thing about green electricity, is that it would be a free source of fuel, once the installations are paid for. There would be small ongoing maintenance costs, but nothing like what we are paying for fuel today.

If you are thinking of driving electric, then you are probably also thinking of trying to free yourself completely from ever-rising fuel costs in your home also.”

– Excerpt taken from ‘Cool Electric Car’