The Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid due this fall is being called by its maker “America’s most efficient” utility vehicle given the U.S. EPA says it is rated at 108 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway, and can travel up to 620 miles on a tank of gas.
Naturally, Ford’s statement includes its beating the 540-mile range Prius plug-in which Ford has challenged on several key performance measures. The C-MAX Energi is also rated for 21 mile all-electric range, Ford says, compared to the Prius’ EPA rating of 6 in all-electric mode.
“C-MAX Energi is America’s most efficient utility vehicle, a great symbol of how Ford gives customers the power to choose leading fuel-efficiency across our lineup with gas prices spiraling upwards of $5 a gallon in some parts of the country,” says John Davis, C-MAX chief engineer. “The C-MAX Energi’s leading range also means customers can spend more time on the road and more money on their priorities instead of at the gas pump.”
Ford says further the C-MAX Energi addresses a trend toward “super commuting” longer distances as well as increased congestion. Using electric-only operation in stop-and-go traffic will reduce waste, Ford says, which is estimated by the U.S. Treasury at 1.9 billion gallons of gasoline annually.
“The C-MAX Energi is the first plug-in hybrid to combine significant electric only range with great overall range on a tank of gas,” Davis said. “We expect many C-MAX Energi customers will commute largely on electricity, yet will still have the range, space and flexibility to take a long road trip without stopping every few hours.”
The automaker says also the car will offer 195 horsepower with a fully charged battery, therefore, “the new C-MAX Energi has 60 more horsepower than the Prius plug-in hybrid and boasts class-exclusive technologies such as hands-free liftgate and active park assist.”
The plug-in C-MAX Energi will sell for $33,745, and following a trend by incentive-eligible vehicle makers, Ford factors in a potential $3,750 federal credit when it lists its price, which in this case is $29,995 assuming the credit is taken. State and other incentives may also be applicable to further whittle down the net outlay.
Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. will build the C-MAX Energi and they will begin arriving initially at EV Certified Ford dealers in 19 markets, Ford says, followed by nationwide rollout in all 50 states in early 2013.