For the second year in a row, Ford drove off with the Green Car Journal Green Car Vision award at the Washington Auto Show, this time with the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle. In 2011, Green Car Journal (GCJ) editor Ron Cogan handed the award to Ford's Sue Cischke for the Focus Electric. This year, the retiring Cischke was on hand once more to accept the award (look at this picture compared to the one above. It's déjà vu all over again), a fine cap on a long and ambitious career.

GCJ's decision will likely not sit well with our readers, who overwhelmingly picked the Tesla Model S to win this year. Our unscientific poll had the Model S winning with 83.6 percent of the vote, followed by the BMW i3, (6.5 percent), the Cadillac ELR (5 percent), C-MAX (2.9 percent) with the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell picking just 1.9 percent to take up the bottomw spot out of the five nominees.

Each year, GCJ's Green Car Vision award goes to a "green vehicle" that is not yet available on the market, but does show a possible way forward to increase fuel efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions or in some other way have a lower environment impact. The 2010 Green Car Vision award was won by the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt won in 2009. Speaking at the press conference today, Cogan said the C-Max can meet the utility requirements of a wide variety of drivers because the interior space and powertrain are both versatile.


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  • 36 Comments
      marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well done Ford! As a result of tough financial restraints and restructure Ford avoided bankruptcy and is slowly, but surely, catching up in the race for fuel efficient technology. Awards like this are very rewarding recognition for an Automaker recovering from near oblivion! Sue Cischke will be loss to Ford Motors, after 35 years in the Auto-Industry.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @marcopolo
        You seem to me to be somewhat over-egging Ford's attitude to efficiency and electrification. For every forward looking statement they come out with, they come out with another downplaying the EV's significance and market prospects. This schizophrenia can perhaps most clearly be seen in their placing much of the work out of house. It seems to me clear that there is a battle being wages inside Ford, with supporters of electrification and detractors, and no really firm lead from the top. Their ad campaigns are just plain annoying. I have no objection at all to Ford claiming leadership in chassis engineering, as they do about the best in the mass market with the Focus and Fiesta in particular being a driver's joy. They simply show themselves up by claiming any sort of leadership in the electric vehicle market though. The C-Max Energi looks to me to be the best of the bunch. We will just have to wait to see how it compares in price to the Prius plug-in. In my view your fondness for the past glories of Ford leads you to an over-generous rating of their present efforts. They may be cash strapped but so are Mitsubishi, and they are incomparably more dynamic in electrification.
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @Dave mart I see your point, but hey, advertising and promotions people are what they are! And Ford has to sell products, no one wants to admit to being a follower!
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @Dave Mart I don't think it's so much a battle between those who want electrification and those who don't, as a careful policy of staying in profit. Mitsubishi are a very different company, with a very different product range and domestic market. Ford also see the issue of environmental vehicles slightly differently. Ford sees the production of the whole car, not just the drive-train as a opportunity to practise 'green' manufacturing, But, I guess the main reality is that with cautious steps, such as C-Max, stop-start, Lincoln hybrid, etc ..Ford remains in profit, and the Ford family retain control. By not gambling, Ford is slowly regaining it's corporate strength. I agree, for guys like you and me, who are enthusiastic to see real radical progress, Ford's cautious policies are frustrating! But, you must admire Bill Ford for adhering to his exceptionally competent CEO's plan. But, one thing is for sure, Sue Cischke has been a valuable to the automotive industry.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          I still find Ford's pretensions to electric leadership irritating. There is a lot to be said for followership, but sure as hell that is what they are doing.
      • 2 Years Ago
      "GCJ's decision will likely not sit well with our readers, who overwhelmingly picked the Tesla Model S to win this year. Our unscientific poll had the Model S winning with 83.6 percent of the vote, ..." I doubt in the future you will have many readers bothering to follow the results of next year's award.
        Timo
        • 2 Years Ago
        Note that GreenCar and Autobloggreen are two completely different sites. Your statement is quite true though, I bet nobody bothers to follow which Ford model wins next year.
        Chris M
        • 2 Years Ago
        "Green Car Journal" has a history of not-very-impressive "green car" awards, some of which were derided as jokes, while ignoring much more impressive accomplishments in the Green car field. I suspect advertising revenue is playing a role, that certainly explains their refusal to consider smaller companies with more impressive accomplishments, like Tesla. Still, this award is a step in the right direction, and is more serious that most of their previous awards.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      It'd be alot easier to swallow If the Energi had longer electric only range than the Prius Plug-In.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        It seems to have a rather greater range: 'Ford is saying all this stuff, but it hasn’t actually unveiled many of the specs of the C-Max Energi yet. There’s that 500-miles-plus range, and Markaby said that the car will get more than 40 mpg in “charge-sustaining” mode, i.e., with the gas engine running. It may also have more all-electric range (approximately 20 miles) than the Prius plug-in’s 15 miles, but those reports are unconfirmed. What’s the price, the overall MPGe, or the lithium-ion battery pack rating in kilowatt-hours, all those vital stats?' http://www.plugincars.com/review/111241 If correct then the extra ~5 miles over the Prius plug in makes a huge difference in petrol consumption for many, as it would be used most days giving nearly 2,000 miles of petrol free motoring in a year. Of course, it all depends on how much the extra EV mileage costs. It is more roomy for a family than the Prius though.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Sasparilla: Many thanks for the more up to date information. I prefer this to the Focus Electric anyway, which Ford for some odd reason seems to think that loosing the boot space available in the Leaf makes their car worth $2,000 more, although that is a bargain compared to the risible price of the Connect EV. This is altogether more practical, but my guess is that they are going to want something like a $4,000 premium over the Prius plug in.
          Sasparilla Fizz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          I'd like a real 20 mile range, but here's what Ford told the NYTimes at the Detroit Auto show recently: "The Energi receives a larger battery pack that still is significantly smaller than that in the Volt or Nissan Leaf, capable of powering the Ford for more than 15 miles before the gas engine kicks in to supply motive power." That sounds like something close to 15 miles in the real world to me (otherwise they'd have said close to 20 miles) and its a disappointment, JMHO... Better than nothing of course. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/10/ford-c-max-targets-prius-volt-and-ghosts-of-minivans-past/?scp=1&sq=Ford%20C-Max&st=cse#
      JakeY
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't buy the argument the C-max presents more utility over the Model S. Spec: Model S vs C-max Energi (Model S - C-max Energi) Front Head Room: 39.8" vs 41 (-0.2) Rear Head Room: 36.6" vs 39.4 (-2.8) Front Leg Room: 42.0" vs 43.1 max (-1.1) Rear Leg Room: 36.7" vs 36.5 (+0.2) Front Shoulder Room: 57.6" vs 55.9 (+1.7) Rear Shoulder Room: 55.0" vs 55.2 (-0.2) Seating Capacity: 5 adults+2 vs 5 (+2, optional rear jump seats) Cargo volume behind first row (cu. ft.): 57.9 vs 43.4 (+14.5) Cargo volume behind second row (cu. ft.): 28.7 vs 19.2 (+9.5) Luggage Capacity Front: 8.1 cu ft. vs 0.0 (+8.1) http://www.teslamotors.com/models/options http://media.ford.com/images/10031/2013_CMAX_Specs.pdf (cargo volume behind first row for Tesla calculated from 66 cu ft total with seats down - 8.1 front trunk capacity = 57.9): http://www.teslamotors.com/models/features#/performance As you can see, the only metric the Cmax is significantly better is rear head room and "max" front leg room vs front leg room of the Model S (the "max" number for the Model S might be higher). However, the Model S is significantly better in front shoulder room, cargo volume behind first/second row, has two optional rear jump seats, and has a front trunk. Knowing the AER of the Energi (~20 miles), it seems just like a plug-in Prius V. Without knowing the pricing, it's hard to tell how better suited it is than the Model S for most people (esp. given the disappointing $40k price tag for the Focus EV).
        JakeY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JakeY
        "Most adults won't be comfortable in the rear of the Ford, either, but at least they can fit and be carried for short trips." I was under the impression the Ford doesn't have extra seats (optional or otherwise) beyond the two rows / 5 seats for adults, so the jump seat point was just an extra advantage of the Model S. Am I wrong?
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JakeY
        Regarding the Tesla Model S rear jump seats - they're physically unusable by anyone over 4'10". Most adults won't be comfortable in the rear of the Ford, either, but at least they can fit and be carried for short trips.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          The C Max Energi is a 5 seater, not 7: http://www.autoblog.com/2011/06/09/ford-cancels-seven-passenger-c-max-for-north-america-focuses-so/ In the non-electric version they are common here in the UK, and are nice, spacious 5 seaters. http://www.whatcar.com/car-reviews/ford/c-max-mpv/full-review/25929-7 'The five-seat C-Max is a tall car that’s just 140mm shorter than the seven-seat Grand model, so it’s hardly surprising that there’s loads of leg- and headroom inside. The boot is large and well shaped, too, and the rear seats can be tumbled forward or removed entirely. Sadly, they’re heavy to lift and the catches to unlock them are fiddly.'
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JakeY
        Awesome footwork Jake. I actually thought the C-max was much larger than the numbers actually show. This really shows how much Tesla has been able to accomplish with their Model S.
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      Peak Oil and Gas Price Volatility are the new Today. Time to get serious and start SELLING these.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Congrats to Ford. So do we have any hard specifications on these vehicles yet?
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Yea, no sh#t. With the exception of the price, the focus EV was perfectly fine. But that price.... I am sure the cmax will have all the right numbers, but again, if they want $28k for the hybrid and $40k for the plug in....then the Prius C has nothing to worry about. Maybe $23k for the hybrid and $30k for the plug in?
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Mmmmmmm, yes and no. I admit I am speculating, but I imagine a large portion of hybrid buyers want a hybrid, period. In my case, I would sacrifice size for price. I might prefer a larger car, but the Prius C would be too hard to turn down as a daily driver. I don't care what the question is, the answer is $19,000.'
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          The Prius C is a much smaller vehicle. The competition for this is the Prius and Prius plug-in.
      Peder Norby
      • 2 Years Ago
      After 36,500 soloar powered miles in the Mini-E, I find myself back in a gasser and I hate it. My wife is driving the BMW ActiveE, she loves it, and I am finding out how much I miss driving electric. I need to fix this situation soon! The gasser seems ancient compared to the electric car. The Ford C-Max Energi will most likely be our second car in the garage joining the BMW ActiveE. I have a 18mile RT commute down Hwy 101 in North San Diego County at speeds of 45mph so the C-Max Energi fits that bill nicely. When we are home and want to go out we can recharge in a few hours with the 220 evse or take the ActiveE. When we do our three long road trips to Napa (son at Sonoma State University) the C-Max Energi will have no problem making that trip. At home I can charge on 110 or the 220 charger if needed. For most people the C-Max Energi will help you avoid the high cost of of an EVSE as 110 charging will be sufficient. In our scenario with a short commute and a second longer range EV, I would estimate a C-Max Energi would allow us to drive with 85% electric and 15% gas. This combined with the ActiveE would allow us to reduce our gas usage to less than 5% of a typical two car scenario with no loss of use or comfort. Where do I sign up Ford?
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Peder Norby
        Well it has a 2013 model year so you will probably have to wait until then to be able to buy one. Judging from the desperate tone of your post it doesn't sound like you can wait that long. Personally I don't think it is a prius killer, it will probably get 10mpg worse than the prius plug-in and cost 5 grand more.
          JeremyD
          • 2 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          "it will probably get 10mpg worse than the prius plug-in and cost 5 grand more." Thats one hell of an assumption paul... Otherwise, what actual data is this statement based on?
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford's version of the Volt? Visionary? Nope. It's a copy. GCJ #epicfail
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        I think the ford system will be a lot different than the volt. I don't think the drive is supposed to be as exotic (which hopefully means cheaper). But you have educated me. No need for any other automaker to come out with a plug in hybrid, as it would be a 'GCJ #epicfail'
      JP
      • 2 Years Ago
      Green Car Lack Of Vision award is more like it. A plug in hybrid, wow, how exciting and innovative. Yawn. Model S was the only real choice. It should win every award until something better than it comes along, which will probably be another Tesla product at this rate since no one else is coming close.
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Tesla Model S is truly a breakout for those who can afford it. The C-Max, let's be fair, will be more affordable? Correct? Right? Yes?
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Darn well better be... I don't want the cmax anywhere near the tesla in price. I mean, look at the focus EV, $10k cheaper. Heck no. I would find a way to rob a bank for that extra $10k if I was that close.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hm.. a car you can't buy wins the title? Is payola at play here, or what? :/ The Model S is a pretty revolutionary car. Stop by a Tesla store/dealer some day and see the chassis and motor if you have a chance. Most forward thinking car i've seen ever make production so far..
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Really funny, especially considering how he would rather another "...car you can't buy..." win. Hey, 2WM, the award is given specifically to cars that are not yet on the market.
          Chris M
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I think the supposed "green car journal" has a strong bias against Tesla and in favor of the biggest auto makers. Maybe it has to do with advertising revenue? I can't think of any other rational reason why they keep ignoring the obvious breakthroughs at Tesla Motors.
          Timo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Which is bad news for Model S ever winning that competition, because it is in production this year. Those dudes at the Greencar magazine didn't even get the model year right for Model S, so I think they never even bothered to look what it is all about. Total failure for them.
        Tweaker
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        umm, you might try a reading comprehension class, available at your local community college.
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