Ford C-Max Energi

Ford's forthcoming C-Max Energi wins 2012 Green Car Vision Award

The Ford C-MAX Energi, not scheduled for release before this coming fall, has been picked as Green Car Journal's 2012 Green Car Vision Award winner during The Washington Auto Show last week for its high level of efficiency and versatility.

The 20-mile electric range plug-in model will be built on the global C-car platform used by the Ford Focus and other planned products. This line of plug-in and straight hybrid vehicles is the linchpin of Ford’s competition with the Toyota Prius line.

"Designing new cars from the ground-up to accept both internal combustion and alternative powerplants is an extremely important strategy," said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of the Green Car Journal. "Engineering in everything from the same ride-and-handling characteristics, crashworthiness performance, and mounting points for diverse powerplants enables straightforward use of a common platform for a wide range of uses, buyers, and worldwide markets at manageable cost."

Among Ford's first plug-in hybrids along with the coming Fusion Plug-in Hybrid, the C-MAX Energi utilizes a power split hybrid format and the latest in lithium-ion battery packs to provide a short range of full electric motoring with the added range and versatility of traditional hybrid configuration. Full electric and gasoline-powered hybrid drive combine to produce a range over 500 miles.

To qualify for the Green Car Vision Award, all entrants must be nearing commercialization, but not yet available on a retail basis. They may be in small lot production with more than one working prototype fabricated or in testing within a demonstration fleet.

The Ford C-Max Energi is expected to sell for around $30K after federal tax credits. It will be interesting to see how well it competes with the venerable Prius line once it becomes available.

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