Buyers of the 2016 Ford C-Max Energi in California and Maryland will be able to charge for free at a network of Level 2 chargers.
Ford C Max Energi
Looking at a Ford Focus? These days you can get it as a five-door hatch, a four-door sedan, or... that's all. European buyers don't even get our sedan, but they do get a wagon. And while the three-door hatch, two-door coupe and two-door cabrio have long since ended production, buyers around the world can also get the company's larger C-Max. And now, like the Focus upon which it's based, Ford is preparing to roll out a new version.
The Ford C-Max hatchback looks to be getting a few cosmetic updates, as evidenced in this latest set of spy photos. Like the smaller Focus, which also received a nip/tuck for the 2015 model year, the C-Max appears to be getting a revised front fascia with slimmer headlamps and a more, shall we say, Aston Martin-like grille. Around back, there looks to be a new bumper with redesigned taillamps, as well.
One of the best parts of the Plug In 2014 Conference in San Jose, CA last week was getting to listen in on thoughts about the state of the plug-in vehicle industry from people who have been involved with it for ages. They bristle when you call them the "Old Guard" (learned that one the hard way), but these are the people who have been through a number of ups and downs with plug-in vehicles, so they've got what we call perspective.
The Ford C-Max is having a rough time. Sales for the five-door hybrid hatchback were down 39.1 percent in March to 2,295 cars, and sales from January through March were down 42.5 percent to 5,566 units. In an interview with The Detroit News, Ford Americas boss Joe Hinrichs places the blame on lowering the model's fuel economy rating.
Companies ranging in size from small startups to major automakers have been experimenting with solar-powered charging stations for EVs and plug-in hybrids. And, of course, people have been powering vehicles with onboard solar panels for quite some time, too. Still, Ford's new C-Max Solar Energi Concept shows the promise of a truly practical implementation of solar on a production vehicle, and it may not be as far off in the future as we had thought.
Ford will be voluntarily recalling 23,830 Focus Electric and C-Max Hybrid and Energi models equipped with push-button ignition, according to The Detroit News. Why? Because the cars don't make a noise when the driver's door is open, and are therefore in violation of federal regulations. It's not as silly as Honda's badging recall that isn't a recall, but it's close.
Well, this certainly isn't going to end the way Ford continues to compare its C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid to its competition from the Toyota Prius family. Beating earlier expectations that it would be rated at 95 MPGe (but meeting even earlier expectations), Ford has announced that the Energi has been rated at 100 MPGe combined (that's 108 city, 92 on the highway). Yes, that makes it "America's most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid," as Ford so proudly states in a new press release, available below
Dr. Lyle Dennis, who founded the influential GM-Volt enthusiast website long before the Chevrolet Volt came to market, is trading in his 2011 Volt for a Ford C-Max Energi. Why? Seating – he needs space for five to transport his wife and three kids and the Volt only holds four people.
To get an accurate reading of how a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle performs in battery-only mode and in overall extended range, two experiences are useful: lots of behind-the-wheel driving time under various driving conditions (altitude, climate temperature, average speed driven, stop-start, etc.) or a detailed conversation with the chief engineer who designed the car.
Sure, there are more plug-in cars on the market this year than last, but there's another big sign that EVs are here to say: the rapid growth of charging stations. Ford, which is promoting its updated MyFord Mobile app, says that the U.S. Department of Energy currently counts 9,445 public stations in the U.S., mostly clustered along the coasts, in Michigan and Texas. Two-and-a-half-years ago, at the end of 2009, there were just 2,500 such stations. In fact, Ford says 6,000 have been added in the
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