Just last week they unveiled a 100-mile range pure EV Ford Focus Electric.
Now, at the Detroit Auto Show, the company has taken it one step further and has announced the planned production of a vehicle many among us have been wishing for a long time.
The C-MAX Energi is a small sleek minivan built on Ford’s global C-car platform. The upcoming gas-powered C-MAX is a bit longer and can seat 7 whereas the Energi can only seat five. Those issues aside, what is under the hood is pure magic.
The C-MAX Energi is a plug-in hybrid vehicle designed to front-load pure electric driving up to highway speeds. In this way it is like the Volt. In its first phase of driving operation it acts to deplete the battery. Different that the Volt, Ford engineers have decided to allow the gas engine to contribute minimally in this phase when “certain conditions are met.”
Once the battery has been depleted the engine will work in concert with the electric motors.
Ford will be implementing its upcoming third generation power split hybrid system in this vehicle. It uses an Atkinson cycle gas engine along with electric motors to achieve high fuel economy. Considering the size of this vehicle Ford claims through this system the C MAX Energi will delivers “better charge-sustaining fuel economy than Chevrolet Volt.”
Ford also claims the car will have a more than 500 mile driving range, once again besting the Volt.
Ford has not said how large the lithium-ion battery pack is or how long the charge-depleting range is. They did say the car could be fully recharged at 120-v “overnight” indicating the pack is likely close to the same 16 kwh the Volt has.
In addition to this vehicle, Ford will over a non plugin hybrid variant called the C-MAX Hybrid.
The C-MAX Hybrid will also utilize the third generation powersplit hybrid architecture allowing it to achieve more than 41 MPG, which is found in the current second generation hybrid Fusion. The electric motor will be abele to propel the car over 47 mph as well.
The C-MAX energy will provide drivers with a suite of on-board and off-board information to mange charging, and to monitor energy use and efficiency while driving. MyFord Moblie smartphone apps will also be provided.
These vehicles will begin production in 2012 at Ford’s Wayne Michigan Assembly plant, where the Ford Focus Electric will also be built starting at the end of this year.
“C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid will be perfect for families looking to maximize their hybrid car experience,” said Nancy Gioia, Ford director of Global Electrification. “Thanks to the versatile interior, these cars are going to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers who need room to grow.”
This car is similar in function to GM’s 2-mode plugin hybrid drivetrain, which the company is widely expected to announce production of at some point in the future.
Pricing of the C-MAX Energi has not been announced.
This entry was posted on Monday, January 10th, 2011 at 7:21 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.