The 2013 Ford C-Max Energi—the plug-in variant of the Ford C-Max Hybrid—launched late last month and it looks like customers aren’t the only ones clamoring for the versatile and efficient multi-purpose vehicle. There’s also some surprisingly high demand from Ford dealers: The automaker expected to have about 350 of them certified to sell the C-MAX Energi by early next year, but Ford already has more than 200 dealers actively selling the vehicle now, with another 700 having entered at least the initial phases of the certification process.
“Ford’s strategy to deliver the power of choice for leading fuel economy across our lineup seems very well timed as our customers and dealers are showing significant interest in vehicles such as the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid,” said C.J. O’Donnell, Ford Electrified Vehicle Marketing manager. “C-MAX Energi joins C-MAX Hybrid to help Ford take on Prius for the first time, with great early signs as the hybrid outsold Prius v in its first full month of sales in October.”
Quantifying that achievement, the C-MAX proper delivered 3,038 units last month, besting the Prius v by almost 270 sales and capturing third place on the nation’s hybrid best-seller list. Of course, the C-MAX and C-MAX Energi also best their Toyota rivals in terms of fuel efficiency, which shouldn’t be a shock at this stage in the game, since the Blue Oval currently claims that “Ford vehicles now deliver better fuel economy than Toyota in every segment in which the two companies compete.”
2013 Ford C-MAX Energi Debuts with New EV+ Technology
One of the key enablers of the Ford advantage is a new technology that’s standard on the 2013 Ford C-MAX Energi and C-MAX, as well as the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid and the plug-in 2013 Ford Fusion Energi. Called “EV+,” it leverages the GPS that’s built right into the vehicles’ SYNC systems, along with proprietary Ford algorithms, to “learn” owners’ favorite driving destinations. Then, as long as the EV+ system is engaged, it can adjust the vehicle’s powertrain to maximize electric-only driving as it approaches its expected stopping point.
And with an EV range of up 21 miles, the 2013 Ford C-MAX Energi has plenty of electric-only driving to go around.
“We know from our research that hybrid drivers want to drive as often as they can in electric-only mode, especially near their home or frequently visited locations,” said Kevin Layden, Ford director of Electrification Programs and Engineering. “EV+ not only delivers that capability, but also demonstrates how Ford puts customer needs and wants above everything else.”
“One of Ford’s biggest strengths is the quality of our controls and calibration. We do all of that work in-house and it shows when we deliver a feature like EV+,” added Rob Iorio, manager, Ford Electrified Propulsion Systems. “No other automaker seamlessly integrates global positioning and propulsion system control as we have with EV+.”