Ford C-MAX Energi Plug-In Hybrid Expected to Deliver 550-Mile Range

Ford has just released range data for the Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. This tall wagon is projected to deliver 550 miles of total range, including more than 20 miles in electric-only mode – nearly double the electric-only range of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid, according to Ford.

Ford also announced that the C-MAX Energi is expected to deliver fuel economy that is the equivalent of 95 miles per gallon (MPGe) combined city/highway.

The C-MAX Energi operates just like a traditional hybrid with two key differences – owners must plug in the vehicle using its charge port to get the most out of its electric-only range; and C-MAX Energi has a larger battery pack.

John Davis, chief nameplate engineer for Ford’s compact cars and utility vehicles, said it’s all designed to improve the driving experience: from making the 550-mile trek down Highway 99 from Sacramento to San Diego to the daily 20-mile one-way trip to work – the distance some reports suggest the average American commutes.

“We are proud C-MAX Energi is the first plug-in hybrid that can deliver a 550-mile overall range and more than 20 miles of electric range as it gives customers great flexibility to commute to work, then take off for a road trip while passing many gas stations along the way,” says Davis. “C-MAX Energi is a great symbol for the leading fuel economy we’re delivering across our lineup to give customers the power of choice to save money at the pump.”

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The design of the C-MAX is not new. More than 144,000 units of the five-passenger C-MAX gasoline and diesel versions have been sold in Europe since late 2010. Though Ford is concentrating on hybrid versions of C-MAX in the U.S., the designs of the C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid are based on the gasoline- and diesel-powered European version.

The C-MAX Energi also benefits from 20 years of research and innovation behind the software and hardware technology it offers, incorporating many of the nearly 500 patents Ford holds in the area of hybrid technology. The car’s powersplit technology – which allows for more efficient operation of the vehicle – consists of more than 200 patents alone.

Like the C-MAX Hybrid, the C-MAX Energi has a projected total system horsepower of 188 that stems from the combination of a gasoline engine and a battery-driven electric motor. When powered by gasoline, the C-MAX Energi uses the all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine – an engine among the most advanced non-turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains Ford has ever offered.

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Ford opted to add technological features to differentiate its offerings from other hybrids. For example, the C-MAX Energi offers the latest generation of SmartGauge with EcoGuide; information such as instantaneous fuel economy can be displayed on one of two 4.2-inch LCD screens, helping drivers more closely monitor how their driving behavior affects the vehicle’s efficiency.

As first seen on the original Fusion Hybrid, the right cluster features redesigned imagery of green leaves shows overall driving efficiency. The left cluster shows Brake Coach, a feature that helps drivers optimize their use of the regenerative braking system so that driving range can be enhanced through proper braking techniques.

Available for the C-MAX Energi is the MyFord Mobile smartphone application that allows users to monitor charging, receive alerts, find charge stations, plan trips and do more from their smartphones or computers for an effortless transition to an electrified vehicle lifestyle.

Already available for order is the C-MAX Hybrid, with a base price of $25,995, including destination and delivery. Ford has not yet released the price, but expect the C-MAX Energi to be priced above the hybrid version.

The C-MAX Energi is part of Ford’s first dedicated line of hybrid vehicles in North America and will soon be available for order at Ford’s certified electric-vehicle dealerships. It will be built at Ford’s Wayne, Mich.-based Michigan Assembly Plant alongside the new C-MAX Hybrid, the Focus Electric and other Focus models.

The C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi are two of five electrified vehicles Ford is rolling out this year. Ford’s other electrified vehicles include:

• The Focus Electric: Production began late 2011: 110 MPGe city; charge time of four hours with the available 240-volt charging station;

• The All-new Fusion Hybrid: Coming this fall; projected 47 mpg;

• The Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid: Will begin production by the end of this year; aiming to be the most fuel-efficient midsize car in the world with more than 100 MPGe.


  • Bill Palmer

    How do you get to 95 miles per gallon when you have a top range of 550 miles but only 20 miles of this is in full electric mode?

    Bill Palmer

  • Van

    All these combined mileage numbers are vapor ware.

    Lets say it get 30 MPG overall using the ICE. So I drive 15 miles each day for four days, then 5 miles electric followed by 30 miles using the ICE. So I burned one gallon, but travelled 95 miles. Sheer nonsense number.

  • Van

    But the C-Max hybrid plug in with a 20 mile plus EV range will be a winner if they can keep the price below $30,000.

  • Nelson Lu

    Bill/Van, you are not understanding the concept of MPGe.

    MPGe is not a measurement of “combined gas usage”; it is a measure of how much energy is used in EV mode as an equivalency to gas. In essence, think of the C-Max (or any other plug-in hybrid, like the Volt or the Prius) as two different vehicles — an electric vehicle and a “conventional hybrid.” The electric-only range determines when you switch from the “all-electric vehicle” to “the hybrid vehicle.”

    The C-Max gets 95 MPGe while in EV mode. It will probably get somewhere about 40 MPG while in “regular hybrid” mode. What its actual fuel cost (in both gas and electric modes — remember that electricity is not free) will depend on the price of gas, price of electricity, and the usage you use for it. What you have to do is to compare oranges to oranges. The MPGe shows how efficient the vehicle is in EV mode; the “regular MPG number” shows how efficient the vehicle is in “conventional hybrid” mode, and therefore how much money the “fuel” would be in each mode.

    Let’s say that there is a tiny EV (EV only) right now that uses the same size battery as the C-Max but gets 190 MPGe. Hypothetically, it should then have twice the actual EV-only range as the C-Max, and would cost, in terms of the “electric fuel” exactly the same as the C-Max per charge. That should allow you to see that its fuel cost, in electric mode, is only half of what the C-Max would cost.

    Basically, I would say this: if you are truly interested in understanding and properly critiquing EVs/hybrids, you need to at least take the time to understand what these mean. Don’t critique what you don’t understand. This is not rocket science.

  • R Vincente

    I think the reluctance or “understanding” of hybrid-plugin-electric vehicle come from the really lousy explainations that come from the manufacturer and the technical community in general. How the $*(% does it work? And how much fuel-energy supply does it REALLY use. Truly! How much gas do I use in a 300 mile trip? How many kw of electricity will I have to pay for to charge it? $5 per month? $7.50? $40 ? $333? Plus the long term usage, wear and tear and TRUE effect on our environment is totally unknown and unexplained. What is REALLY the ‘cost’ of manufacturing batteries, with all the toxic ingredients and disposal cost? Who do I take it to if I break down? Who knows how to fix it, at what cost?

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    If Energi version can get EPA rated 20 miles electric (unknown yet), then it is 3 times as much as the Prius Plugin where EPA rated it 6 miles all electric miles (the 13 miles figure is “mixed” driving).

    Now, I doubt the Energi C-MAX can work like the Volt to full max speed in EV mode only…

    As far as true cost goes, it depends on your driving style.

    If you drive short trip daily, then your “TCO” is much lower. If you drive long ranges daily so your all electric ranges is shorter, then your TCO will be higher.

    Li-ion battery is NOT toxic like Ni-Cad or Lead Acid batteries. They can be recycled.

    Service is a good point. Today, you can barely find a sales person know enough about the “plugins like the Pip and Energi or EREVs like the Volt”, I seriously doubt you can find a lot of experienced technicians. However, if those cars stay in EV mode mostly, then the chance for service is much much lower…

  • john1701a

    The 13-mile rating for Prius PHV is labeled as “mixed” driving simply because the engine is used briefly at the 6-mile mark when hard acceleration is tested. It shuts off following that and you continue along for the remaining distance in EV mode.

    The farthest I’ve went with mine is 17.5 miles before running out of electricity. It allowed me to drive my entire morning commute without ever using any gas. But that’s not the expectation. Even when the engine runs, you still get great results. At 70 mph, I consistently see over 100 MPG while taking advantage of plug-supplied electricity.

  • CharlesF

    I just checked at the EPA web site for the Prius PHV. The all EV range is 11 miles for the Prius PHV and 38 for the Volt (MY 2013). The MPGe for the Prius PHV in EV mode is 95 and for the Volt it is 98. In EV mode the Prius PHV uses 0.2 gallons of gas and the Volt uses 0.0.

    If having a pure EV range is important to you the Volt is the only close to affordable way to go.

    Now to get this back to the C-Max Plug in Hybrid. The Prius PHV has an 80 HP electric motor, the C-Max has 108 (IIRC). The Prius PHV an 11 mile EV range and the C-Max 20(+). So I would think the the C-Max like the Prius PHV will not have a true all EV range like the Volt (149 HP BTW) does, but it will come closer. What it all means is that buying a new car is a lot more complicated then in the past. So which of the following best fits your needs:

    11 mile EV range and 50 MPG after that
    or
    20 mile EV range and 44 MPG (guess) after that
    or
    38 mile true all EV range and 37 MPG after that

    If you need the cargo space the C-Max wins. If you do a lot of highway driving the Prius wins. If your daily commute is 38 miles or less and you do not need the fifth seat the Volt is the hands down winner.

  • Van

    Hi Nelson Lu, I understand MPGe just fine, it is vaporware, a fiction designed to misinform the public. This is not rocket science.

    The MPGe number is based on the conversion ratio of 33.5 KWh of energy in one gallon of gas. This is compared, fictitiously, with the actual distance traveled using an ICE.

    The only real comparison is to indicate the cost per 100 miles using electricity with the cost using gas. For example say an EV gets 3.6 miles per kwh, so would use 28 KWh to go 100 miles. If each Kwh costs $.20 then the cost would be $5.60. However to go that far using a 50 MPG Prius would cost ($3.50 x 2) $7.00. And the cost to travel in the petrol burner would increase with lower mileage vehicles.

    Such a sticker would provide an informed basis of comparison, not the vaporware you and EPA are foisting on the public.

  • Nelson Lu

    It’s not “vaporware” if you know exactly what it is.

    It really is more of a helpful figure to compare EVs/PHEVs to each other, than to conventional vehicles. For that purpose, it does well. For any other purpose, you really do have to understand more of your driving pattern and the vehicle’s capability anyway, regardless of any measure you use.

  • Chuck in NJ……

    John1701a…Hey Chuck here in NJ…..The discussion of Ford vs. Toyota is a hands down win for our Prius…..Toyota has again proven their advanced HYBRID is the way to go…..I am NOT an advocate of ALL ELECTRIC VEHICLES …..since I owned a Prius Liftback as it is labeled since the PHEV came out……At the Prius level my 2010 Prius 5 was delivering 56 mpg ovearall in the North East in the warmer months…..and also when the winter hits I still received 46 mpg…..

    Not to boast or place the Ford against the Toyota PHEV…but I preordered my Plug IN back in March 2011 and received the Advanced Plug in Prius in March 2012…..have had the Plug IN for 5 tankfuls thus far……so far it tops what Toyota has given it in Mpge and Hybrid as well…..the first tank in combination but mostly EV range was 100 mpge…..and to that I can happily and proudly add the other mpge’s were if that is a word LOL…….106mpge……110……116…….currently I am at 122 and still steady going forward I believe it will be 122….at this point each tank allowed over 1100 miles roughly…unreal in my opinion……and you are so correct John….driving at about an average of 30 mph OVERALL ….57 highway and 25 city averaged as well as Charging at my stops and at home at least has allowed these numbers to remain quite impressive….it ALL DEPENDS on how we drive and what we do with the Plug in option…..but I will say that our choice of current and future is to stay with the originator of the Hybrid Vehicle since 1991…..I am so impressed with the PHEV…its was worth the waiting over a year…..glad we can BOTH agree on truths of experience….as usual Ford has not even mentioned what the Hybrid END of their bogus figures delivers…that is why their addition mostly shows that the Energi is heavier than the PHEV and most likely will NOT deliver what they claim……the 550 is a far cry from the 1100 we can achieve……John I was a Ford lover for 5 0r 6 Explorer vehicles and I was sick of Ford never coming clean HONESTLY with their estimates in the Mpg their vehicles achieved back years sooner so that is when I shifted to Toyota Hybrids….its the present/past and FUTURE of Green driving as far as I am concerned and Toyota is pretty on the money since the first Prius boasted 60 mpg…Toyota came clean and honest since then…I give them credit and since then will stick by them with their technology…….take care keep those numbers up their ….we have something in common…………….thanks for sparking me to respond

  • Van

    The EPA MPGe figure is not helpful, it is disinformation. It compares apples (potential electrical energy in a gallon of petrol) with oranges, energy derived stated in miles traveled, burning a gallon of petrol.

    Anyone who asserted such a conversion factor in a physics class would get an “”F” for vaporware physics.

  • Chuck in NJ……

    To ALL concerned……….to be PERFECTLY CLEAR………AT THIS point……..the PHEV……..or Toyota Prius Plug In HYBRID…..that I discussed earlier IN GREAT DETAIL…..now these are factual/truthful DRIVEN miles…….. both in Hybrid/Electric………and 48 % ALL ELECTRIC mode……..is achieving over 1,100 MINIMUM MILES…thats ONE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED MILES of EV/HV driving…….. on a FULL tankful………. thats allows the OWNER to achieve over 122 mpge….I am the proof…….. and have clocked from the first tankful going OVER 1,000 miles thus far to date not having a problem with improving with EACH FULL TANKFUL………..these are the figures that exceed ALL the other Hybrid/Electric vehicles thus far……SO CLEARLY DO THE SIMPLE MATH……….USE A CALCULATOR IF YOU WOULD FEEL BETTER………. divide 1,100 into 9 gallons of fuel …that is ONE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED MILES OF TRUE EV/HV DRIVING DIVIDED INTO NINE (9) GALLONS OF GASOLINE THIS EQUALS THE RESULT I MENTIONED IN MY FIRST COMMENT OF WHAT IS FACT AND TRUTH ……..ONE HUNDRED TWENTY TWO MILES PER GALLON ESTIMATE …I HAVE DRIVEN HIGHWAY/CITY MILES FOR ONE HUNDRED TWENTY TWO MILES……..UNREAL RESULTS……..OH AND TO ADD THE PRIUS PLUG IN HOLDS 10.6 GALLONS OF GASOLINE……….THATS TEN POINT SIX GALLONS OF GASOLINE…….. SO THAT I AM TOTALLY TRUTHFUL ……FACTS DO NOT LIE….I AM CURRENTLY ON ONLY NINE (9) GALLONS USED OF FUEL ON THIS TANKFUL…….THIS LEAVES (1.6) OR ONE POINT SIX…….. GALLONS OF FUEL REMAINING SO I WOULD HOPE TO GET ANOTHER (183) THATS ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY THREE MORE DRIVEN MILES ……..OR MAYBE A TAD LESS……I ONLY DROVE THIS FIFTH TANKFUL THUS FAR 1,100……THATS 0NE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED MILES………. SO THIS IS THE BEST RESULTS THUS FAR ……IF I MAKE THE GOAL I ANTICIPATE………..?……….. THIS MEANS WITH SIMPLE MATH THIS PHEV…..OR……PLUG IN PRIUS ADVANCED MODEL WILL ACHIEVE AROUND 1,283 MILES ON THIS FIFTH FULL TANK OF GASOLINE……THAT IS ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED EIGHTY THREE MILES ACTUALLY DRIVEN…….. THESE ARE TRUTHS/SIMPLE FACTS……YOU EASILY CAN ACHIEVE THESE SAME RESULTS……….. IF YOU PLUG IN AS TOYOTA ASKS………. AND SUGGESTS IF YOU ARE NEAR ENOUGH AC/PLUGS………BEING………110/OR 240 VOLTS…..USE THE PLUG WHENEVER POSSIBLE………..INSTEAD OF THE PUMP……DRIVE MODERATELY…..UP TO 60MPH……THAT IS SIXTY MILES PER HOUR/HIGHWAY……USE/ HYBRID MODE WHEN ON THE HIGHWAY AS WELL/CLIMBING OR SLIGHTY UPHILL/INCLINE………..SWITCHING TO EV/OR ELECTRIC MODE WITH DESCENDS/OR COASTING/SLIGHTLY DOWNHILL/ALL ELECTRIC MODE OR/EV MUST ONLY BE USED IN THE CITY OR ALONG FLAT DRIVING AREAS……..THE PLUG IN WAS CREATED AS TO IMPROVE THE ALL ELECTRIC DRIVE MODE THAT THE PRIUS LIFTBACK OR PRIUS MODELS 2 THRU FIVE ONLY TOUCHED ON WITH ITS INGENIOUS HYBRID TECHNOLOGY OR NOT TO BE PUT IN ANY OTHER CLASS OF HYBRID VEHICLES……… THE TOYOTA HYBRID SYNERGY DRIVE SYSTEM……..WHICH WITH THE PRIUS PLUG IN ADVANCED MODEL………. HAS BEEN MADE INTO A LIGHTER SYSTEM…….. ALONG WITH THE BEST DRAG COEFFICIENT…….. OF ANY OTHER TOYOTA VEHICLE/OR ITS COMPETITORS ALIKE……AGAIN FACTS PAINT A TRUE PICTURE HERE…….TOYOTAS ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY WILL CONTINUE TO IMPROVE…….IT HAS EACH MODEL YEAR THUS FAR………..2015 TOYOTA WILL BE MANUFACTURING ITS FOUR (4) PRIUS FAMILY MODELS IN THE UNITED STATES THAT WILL BLOW AWAY THE COMPETITION WITHOUT A DOUBT……FROM A TRUE TOYOTA PURCHASER……..TECHNOLOGY WILL PREVAIL…..WILL LET YOU ALL KNOW HOW THIS LATEST FULL TANK PROVES POSITIVE……THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME SHARE MY GREAT NEWS…………..:)

  • usbseawolf2000

    The ultimate way to measure a green car is to take account of both the tailpipe emission and beyond (upstream).

    EPA’s Beyond Tailpipe Emissions calculator does exactly that.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=bt2

    MPGe rating is just in the tailpipe scope and ignores the upstream emission. If you add what it takes to produce gasoline and electricity, we’ll have a fair comparison.

    For the lazy, here are the national average figures. You can type in your zip code in the link above to get your regional figure. For reference, a regular Prius emit 222 g/mi.

    Volt: 260 grams of CO2 per mile
    Prius PHV: 210 grams of CO2 per mile

  • Van

    I would be surprised in the Volt or Prius PHV running in EV mode would emit from the tailpipe 210 or more grams of CO2.

    But if sleep in my lawn chair for 6 hours, I would emit about 200 grams of CO2. Now that our government has been empowered to categorize my life breath as air pollution, can a tax on excessive breathing be too much to imagine. Then we could have a fat person tax, call it an air guzzler tax, and we might create nirvana on earth. :)

  • Bruce Alvarez

    The CO2 rating for a vehicle running in EV mode is the CO2 emitted when the electricity was generated “upstream”. I have no idea how they can come up with a single number. Hydro, wind, solar and nuclear emit 0 grams of CO2. Nat gas, coal and wood all emit CO2. And coal emits a lot of other nasties as well. So some people driving in electric will produce zero grams total, others produce a great deal of CO2. Depends on where you get your electricity.