Ford Drops Escape Hybrid, Boasts in Focus Electric and C-MAX Hybrids

Ford’s updated Escape line due early next year will lack a hybrid option but yesterday the company said its pending 2012 Focus Electric and 2013 C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid will offer best-in-class efficiency.

Citing “expected” mileage figures, the Focus Electric is said to achieve 100 MPGe.

Of the C-Max Energi, Ford says it is expected to beat fuel economy delivered by the Prius plug-in hybrid in electric mode and top the Chevrolet Volt in range with 500 miles estimated.

Similarly, the C-MAX Hybrid is supposed to achieve better fuel economy than the Prius V in both city and highway driving.

One battery electric competitor to its $39,995 Focus Electric Ford didn’t mention – the Mitsubishi i – gets 112 MPGe and costs around $10,000 less, but Ford overlooked the otherwise value-leading EV as it is a four seater.

Also not mentioned in the electric vehicle MPGe comparison was the $4,000-less Nissan Leaf which gets an EPA rated 99 MPGe.

While it barely improves on the Leaf’s MPGe, where Ford says it roundly defeats it is in recharge time.

With its 6.6-kw on-board charger, Ford says the Focus Electric “is the first all-electric vehicle to feature faster charging technology, allowing it to fully recharge in three to four hours [using 240 volts] – half the time of Nissan Leaf [with its 3.3-kw on-board charger].”

Just one hour of charging nets 30 extra miles for the vehicle and estimated total range per full charge is 70-100 miles. The company says such quick charging can help double its effective range during a busy day of driving and recharging multiple times.

“Focus Electric’s innovative faster charging technology can help customers save money and get much more out of the car in a busy day of running around town and recharging between stops,” said Sherif Marakby, director of Ford’s Electrification Programs and Engineering.

As for the C-MAX pair, Ford says it has already sold 100,000 C-MAX variants in Europe since late 2010. Speaking of its entire vehicle lineup, the company says it holds approximately 500 patents that cover technologies in its electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles in addition to several hundred patent-pending applications.

“C-MAX is the right car for the time as it combines the dynamics and quality of a traditional car with the versatility of a MAV [multi-activity vehicle] and leading fuel efficiency that you cannot even get from Toyota,” said Marakby.

These vehicles’ hybrid powertrains will combine lithium-ion batteries with electric motors augmenting all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engines, of which Ford says is “among the most advanced non-turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains Ford has ever offered.”

Regarding the outgoing Escape Hybrid, Automotive News reported a Ford executive said this powertrain option won’t be necessary, as Ford’s EcoBoost four-cylinder engines in the updated conventional Escape will offer fuel economy “that approaches the existing hybrid.”

That was one reason for it being dropped, the other reasons are the above-mentioned C-MAX hybrids which are expected to supplant the Escape Hybrid.

Sales for the Escape Hybrid have also been declining. The vehicle did see a big 97.4 percent month-over-month spike in November, but otherwise current-year-to-date sales of 9,009 units represents a 12.6-percent decline.

Ford began taking orders for the 2012 Focus Electric in November in California and New York/New Jersey markets. In 2012, availability of the Focus Electric will expand to another 15 launch markets “as production ramps up.”

Pricing is still a mystery for the C-MAX twins, but the Hybrid is expected to be in showrooms after June 2012 and the plug-in Energi is expected to follow some time later in the year.

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  • Anonymous

    The C Max looks the same as most new cars now on the road. Not very exciting. Sorry.

  • James Davis

    Ford is becoming almost as disappointing as GM. I had high hopes for Ford, but they just threw a very large bolder right on top of my glass house. It sounds like the Focus Electric is going to be just as crappy and as expensive as the Chevy Volt and I didn’t think anyone could/would want to even come close to that.

    Nissan is going to be so far out ahead in everything “electric car” that Ford and GM won’t even be able to see their dust.

    You have taken all this time Ford, and ended up giving us crap just like GM did.

  • Old Man Crowder

    But at least Ford is in the game, which is more than can be said for Chrysler and Honda.

    The way I see it, the more advanced tech models on offer, the more incentive there will be for other manufacturers to join the game, which will mean increased competition and innovation.

    Bring it on.

  • RobertP

    I think all three of the products are great and well timed. The C-max is an excellent platform and nice looking car too (I have driven them in Europe), and now with a hybrid and plug-in-hybrid, I think it will be an amazing win for Ford and give consumers some great new options.

    The regular Ford focus is also a wonderful car that is very fun to drive, so hopefully the electric is too as it is obviously built on the same platform.

    However, I really do hope they release an Escape hybrid again, as the European Ford Kuga (which the new Escape is very similar too), as an excellent and very good looking SUV. I would personally buy the new Escape in a hybrid if the option was available.

    Ford has been producing some nice cars and SUVs lately, and it is great that we in the US are now receiving them on our shores too. The hybrids and electrics are icing on the cake! Well done Ford.

  • Cindy

    Why is the new Escape not coming out in a hybrid? We have a fusion hybrid but i need a crossover and love the look of the new Escape. Or, why not make a fusion station wagon hybrid?

  • Gary

    We have a 2006 Ford Escape 4WD Hybrid. It’s been a good vehicle, but in the near future we were hoping to purchase a plug in hybrid with 4WD or AWD. Will such a vehicle be available?

  • MrEnergyCzar

    Well written article. The Ford comes in with the third best MPGe with 100, behind the Mitsubishi 112 MPGe and Tesla’s ridiculous 119 MPGe….. They should market the charge time is much faster than the Leaf….


  • hi

    what is that a mini-mini van?

  • FamilyGuy

    Until there is pricing and more exact figures about the C-Max’s, it’s hard to get excited about these vehicles. Ford used to have a 7 passenger C-Max, but pulled it from their web page. It seems that there is going to be a gap in Ford’s hybrid’s offering while the Escape is discontinued and the C-Max arrives in showrooms.

    Ford seems to be going in the right direction, but it’s just their path doesn’t seem to be so straight forward.

  • Nelson Lu

    Gary, it doesn’t look like Ford will have a plug-in hybrid with AWD for now. We’ll have to see if the C-Max is offered with AWD, but I would doubt it.

  • joe

    i think its nuts that these new EVs are costing as much as a condo

  • checker99

    Toyota is beating them all to market with their hybrid-game-changing Prius C 53city/46hwy for less than $19,000. I expect it will be very difficult for Ford to sell C-Max and Focus Hybrids for $35,000+ when there’s a 5 passenger alternative at Toyota (that’s almost a ton lighter!) for nearly one-half the price. Just sayin’

  • tapra1

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  • Vincent Wolf

    Ford fails to tell you that there PHEV CMax Energii will cost EVEN MORE than a Chevy Volt! And we know how well sells are going with that! It seems each company is trying to brag about all the benefits of THEIR systems so they can compare the cars to RICH people’s cars instead of what they are–economy cars.

    What a farce is the whole industry the way it’s going it will crash completely in a couple of years.

    That’s greed for you.

  • Vincent Wolf

    The Ford, like the Chevy, is way over priced and will fall flat on it’s feet too. Even the Leaf is selling slow now and that’s with gas at $4 a gallon. They are just too expensive to be practical with the short ranges. At least the Tesla–which is pricey–has a 300 mile range but the Leaf, the Mitubishi car, and the Ford Focus all are over priced as the companies are just trying to grab the $7500 rebate for themselves by over charging at least $15,000 for the cars.

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