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