Compact Ford Plug-In Hybrid Coming On New C2 Platform In 2018

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 68

Plug-In Hybrid Compact Ford Coming In 2018

Plug-In Hybrid Compact Ford Coming In 2018

New Energi Model Coming In 2018

New Energi Model Coming In 2018

According to an exclusive Reuters report:

“Ford Motor Co plans to introduce a new hybrid gasoline-electric car in late 2018 to compete against the best-selling Toyota Prius, two sources with knowledge of the company’s plans told Reuters on Wednesday.”

“The compact car will be Ford’s first “dedicated” hybrid – that is a vehicle designed to be marketed exclusively as a hybrid, rather than a variation of an existing gasoline model, such as the automaker’s Fusion hybrid, the sources said. The as-yet-unnamed vehicle will be built just outside Detroit.”

Important to readers of InsideEVs is that with this “dedicated” hybrid model will come a plug-in hybrid version:

“The sources said Ford eventually could offer several different body styles of the new hybrid, as Toyota does with the Prius. There would be different versions of the car’s gasoline-electric drivetrain, including a more expensive plug-in model that can be recharged from an electrical outlet.”

Ford officially isn’t commenting on this subject, as the automaker won’t offer details on future offerings.

The Reuters report is confusing in that it states:

“The 2019 model, which carries the internal code C240, will be built on Ford’s new C2 global compact architecture, which also will underpin the next-generation Focus and Escape.”

Yet suggests there will be a “dedicated” hybrid model.  Dedicated must then mean that it’ll carry a badge that’s not Focus or Escape, yet will be built on the same platform?  We somewhat disagree.

Here’s how we think this will all play out: Come late 2018, Ford will introduce a standard hybrid and plug-in hybrid (Energi) versions of both the Focus and the Escape.  Ford will pump these out at a combined annual rate of up to 120,000 per year.

Ford C-Max Has Not Exactly Been A Sales Success For Ford So Far

Ford C-Max Has Not Exactly Been A Sales Success For Ford So Far (Inside The C-Max Results, Ford Sold 831 Energis in July and 4,759 For 2014 YTD)

These vehicles, with easily recognizable names, will then directly compete with the Toyota Prius lineup.  This was Ford’s goal with the C-Max, but in creating a new-to-the-U.S. name, Ford failed to capitalize on name recognition and, as such, will cancel the U.S. C-Max when it’s due for refresh in 2017-2018.  The C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi will be replaced by hybrid and PHEV versions of the Escape (to compete with Prius V), while the Focus will get hybrid and Energi models to take on the Prius and Prius Plug-In Hybrid.

Yep…as we see it, that’s how it’ll go down.

Reuters adds:

“Ford plans to build the new hybrid at its Wayne assembly plant in southeastern Michigan, at an annual rate of about 120,000.”

“Some of the hybrid technology, including electric motors, controllers and batteries, will be adapted from Ford’s current hybrid models, although the dedicated 2019 model is expected to provide better fuel economy and range than today’s hybrids.”

Maybe the Focus Energi won’t come in 2015, but it seems a given it’s in Ford’s pipeline for sure now.

Source: Reuters

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68 responses to "Compact Ford Plug-In Hybrid Coming On New C2 Platform In 2018"

  1. DaveMart says:

    The Reuters report seems perfectly credible to me.

    Just as Toyota have their Prius line, and other cars which are also hybrids, since they are market leaders Ford have perfectly reasonably decided to copy them with a dedicated line, likely also more interested in fuel economy than having fun, just like the Prius’s.

    There is no contradiction between that and the new platforms.

    Every other major carmaker is trying to catch up with VW’s multi drive train capable line up of 5 or 6 platforms to take out costs through commonality, although at the cost of some compromise in the layout which purpose designed platforms would enable, as the recent info on the E-Golf showed, as they were unable simply to build a flat battery pack due to the platform constraints.

    This is a big step up for Ford though, whose previous policy was simply to stuff in batteries and so on into a body shell designed for an ICE.

    So at least their Prius-competitor will have a proper body, albeit on a standard platform, designed from the outset as a hybrid/plug in body.

    Other models will presumably continue to simply stuff the batteries and so on in as best they can, although the new platform may help.

    Way to half-go, Ford.

    1. kdawg says:

      Wasn’t VW’s MBQ plan called a big mistake and they canned a guy over it?

      1. DaveMart says:

        AFAIK they are very pleased with their line up of multi drive train compatible platforms, not just the MQB.

        If there was some issue with that particular platform and have a link to what went on, it would be interesting.

        Their PR department and others in the company have been all over the shop on electrification, but meanwhile their technical department have made remarkably steady progress towards unified platforms and electric vehicle capability.

        Of course it helps to have an investment budget of around $500 million a week.

        The legendary battery Gigagfactory is around 10 weeks or so of VW’s normal investment, a competitor to the Supercharger network if they ever feel like building one perhaps a month or so’s worth of investment.

        The Lord of the Four Rings is on its way, I tell you!

        He certainly has taken his own sweet time though.

        It will still be funny if Dan ‘the German’s will never build an electric car’ Frederickson ever gets up the bottle to post again.

        No doubt his disconnect with reality will cope easily enough though.

        1. KenZ says:

          Please don’t encourage him…..

        2. Rob Stark says:

          Toyota has more cash than VW.

          GM’s annual advertisement budget is over $2 billion.

          All of the Top 3 global automakers “could” crush Tesla if they made a full blown commitment to own the EV market.

          But none of them will until even a blind mind can read the writing on the wall.

          By then it will be too late. Tesla will the perennial BEV market leader.

          1. DaveMart says:

            It ain’t over quite yet.

            Tesla has done well, no question, as very few auto start ups survive so long, and they got the drop on everyone else with their use of 18650 batteries.

            Assuming from that that there are no banana skins and that Musk is infallible is quite a stretch.

            If they make a couple of mistakes things could unravel just as fast.

    2. pjwood says:

      “half-go”.

      Love it. I stop and think about how big the nickel battery in the back of the old Prius was, take that ~1kwh down in size closer to 1/10th of a lithium Volt battery, employ other improvements in density, and how much money will Ford really have to “dedicate”, to stuff this battery someplace? On the bright side, I’m guessing it will charge really fast.

      1. DaveMart says:

        Unfortunately from Ford’s POV it doesn’t work like that.

        Hybrid batteries have to produce a lot more power and cycle faster then the batteries in PHEV, let alone a BEV, and consequently weigh a heck of a lot more per kwh and are commensurately bulkier and more costly.

        I was recently staggered to find out that the nickel metal hydrate battery pack in the Prius hybrid and the supposedly ultra advanced lithium polymer pack in the hybrid Hyundai’s both have of the order of 1kwh of energy, and come in around a stonking 50kgs!
        The supposedly old fashioned batteries in the Toyota if anything had a bit better energy to weight ratio.
        I did not do the research to confirm an advantage, as the ratings can be done on rather different bases, but comparability is remarkable enough.
        Whatever some may imagine those Toyota engineers are no mugs.
        I don’t know what the Japanese for: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is, but they clearly do.

        Even more remarkable is that for another 50-70 kgs or so you can make it a PHEV, although of course the plug in gubbins and so on weighs something and takes up some room.

        And even more excitingly, increases in battery energy density in prospect mean that we may be able to do a PHEV within a few years at no significant weight penalty to present hybrids.

        Of course, the batteries for hybrids may also improve, but as I indicate above they have very tough parametres to operate in.

        1. David Murray says:

          I’ve been saying something similar for a while. In fact, if you look at the Toyota Prius hatchback vs. the Prius PHEV, there is not much difference in weight or cost to manufacture. Which means there is really no good reason in my mind to produce a hybrid that can’t plug in, even if it can only do 10 miles on battery.

          Granted, I think a PHEV should have minimum 20 miles, but be aiming more for 30-40 miles, and a great PHEV will have 80 miles. But even a lowly 10 miles can make a significant impact on fuel consumption if plugged in regularly.

          1. GeorgeS says:

            I just went to the specs and compared the piP and the regular Prius and it looks like the piP weighs in at around 120 lb more than the regular Prius.

            Not sure that is just battery though as I think Toyota lightened other things in the piP.

            It would be interesting to see a battery only comparison on weight and volume between the NIMY and the Li batts.

            I’m having a hard time believing that the NIMY battery has anywhere close to the lbs/kwh that the Li has…..but the cycle life requirements are different also. So perhaps what David is saying is correct. ie an equivalent hybrid only battery in Li vs NIMY end up at close to the same weight.

          2. DaveMart says:

            Not everyone lives in the US, and even for those who do not everyone does high mileage.

            So long as batteries remain relatively pricey you don’t want to be lugging around or paying for more batteries than you need.

            Toyota can do their sums, and sell around the world.
            For me personally, the EV range of the PIP would do me fine, and I know that there are lots of others like me in Europe and even more in Japan, judging from their average mileage statistics.
            For many where there is decent public transport, cars are only used for shopping/close range commmuting during the week, and weekend trips and days out are way beyond the AER even of the Volt.
            German drivers fit this pattern, for instance.

            However, since China and Europe have agreed on a standard, which is the 50km on the NEDC which the VWs are compliant with to cover city driving, then no doubt Toyota intends to use better batteries as they become available to offer at least the option of that range, without altering the space and weight, which is also what Mercedes plan with their S-Type plug in.

            Those who have allowed a bigger space such as VW in the Golf DCE can if they wish to offer packs later on giving around the same AER as the present Volt.

            Longer AER in a plug in is unlikely, save perhaps by GM in the Volt II which is not planned to sell even everywhere in the US.

            Car companies reckon, rightly in my view, that the size and cost of bigger packs is better spent making a more efficient/exciting/whatever combustion engine to go with the battery pack.

            1. kdawg says:

              It’s the 80/20 rule. Also keep in mind a Volt’s 40 mile AER is only 25 miles in the winter in Michigan. Germany has cold winters too.

              1. DaveMart says:

                If it is exceptionally cold you run the ICE and warm it up then go to EV mode later.

                They are not BEVs with absolute limits, and over the year save petrol on a conventional car without any serious inconvenience.

                At worst, for a couple of weeks in the year, you may not do much better than the combustion engine alone version.

                1. kdawg says:

                  I don’t understand your post.

                  1. DaveMart says:

                    I’m saying that you Don’t have to do 100% of your commute all year round on electric’

                    If the weather is very cold for a couple of weeks, just run your combustion engine.

                    There will still be big savings over the year.

                    It is not like a BEV, where if you run out of battery you are SOL.

                    You don’t want to pay for and lug around more batteries than you usually need.

                    As batteries drop in price and get lighter, things change, but not now.

                    1. kdawg says:

                      But w/the Volt’s 17kWh battery you can drive most of the year gas free. In the winter sometimes you might a burn a little gas. So Volt are not carrying around unused battery. When winter hits, you need it.

                      I think 17kWh is a good # (80/20). A smaller size would mean lots more gas use in the winter.

                    2. Spec9 says:

                      I think that all the plug-in makers need to install battery thermal management systems that use AC line power to warm up the battery. Perhaps keep it warm all the time or perhaps just warm it up an hour or so before anticipated use. This will maximize battery range and do so without gasoline.

  2. kdawg says:

    You’re probably right, but that is sad. I’d love for Ford (and GM) to have a completely separate line of hybrids/phevs/bevs.

  3. Rav4 EV AZ says:

    For some reason I thought the C-Max was Ford’s version to compete with the Prius? Maybe the difference would be they would not put the battery in the trunk.

    Just bring back the Escape Energy and launch it in late 2015 as a 2016 model. We do not need another compact hybrid.

    1. PHEVfan says:

      That’s what I thought too. I think Ford stubbed their toe pretty bad with the EPA reduction (twice) on the C-Max. In order to rid themselves of that they are going to cancel the C-Max and introduce this “new” hybrid on the new “C2” platform.

  4. GeorgeS says:

    Interesting. Good move Ford.

    GM needs to do the same. I just don’t see a 200 mile BEV “Sonic” as being a big seller.

    They need to have a dedicated line of electric only vehicles…..and they need to put the batteries in the floor.

  5. ffbj says:

    Maybe they will call it the Model E!

  6. David Murray says:

    C-Max is already a dedicated hybrid (at least in the USA) but from what I can see it doesn’t sell very well. And the name is horrible. It doesn’t even sound like a name you’d give a car or SUV. And while the C-Max isn’t exactly ugly, it is also not beautiful either. It is just boring.

    So I’d say Ford has failed on the C-Max but not because of the drivetrain. So designing a new vehicle from ground up as a PHEV will be a good thing. Let’s hope that the batteries will be under the car as to not compromise trunk space.

    Still, I was hoping to see an announcement of a Focus Energi here really soon. They could sell a lot more of those than they could C-Max Energi.

    1. Spec9 says:

      Uh . . . it is selling fairly well. It did get a huge black-eye because Ford lied about the MPG numbers but it is doing OK. Both the hybrid and Energi (PHEV) versions.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Actually, the C-Max has really been a dog for Ford. Wasn’t great at launch, got worse last year…continues to deteriorate this year. The Energi is actually like a quarter of all C-Max sales now and growing. (831 C-Maxe Energis in July, 4,759 the year).

        Here is the July 2014/YTD figures for Ford cars (actually I’ll add this chart into the story as well):

        1. David Murray says:

          Indeed.. The Energi is accounting for about 25% of all C-Max sales. And while the Energi models are selling well (compared with other plug-in cars) the C-Max itself is selling in very small numbers compared to other Fords like the Focus and Fusion.

        2. GeorgeS says:

          Gee I don’t know how you can say that Jay. Looks like in July sales of the C Max are up by 10%…. 🙂

          1. Jay Cole says:

            I confessed…I laughed a bit there

        3. PHEVfan says:

          Jay, wasn’t it 831 C-Max Energi’s and 1226 Fusion Energi’s in July? I think that chart caption is wrong.

          1. Jay Cole says:

            Whoops, yes, the caption should read 831 C-Max Energis in July not 1,226. Fixed, thanks!

        4. DaveMart says:

          I don’t think people like the styling on the C-Max.

          If it were shaped as a CUV or small SUV, IMO it would sell great.

        5. Spec9 says:

          Well, didn’t the CMAX sell some 20K+ cars in 2013? I guess the MPG scandal really hit them hard.

  7. Spec9 says:

    Well, I’m glad to see that Ford used their $5.9 Billion stealth bailout loan wisely.

  8. Spec9 says:

    Perhaps BOTH GM and Ford can leapfrog Toyota who are dragging their feet on PHEVs and pure EVs in favor of FCVs.

    1. DaveMart says:

      It is not Toyota that has needed a bailout in spite of having to cope for years with a yen which rose out of sight.

      But if you reckon GM and Ford now have a better handle on things than Toyota, whatever floats your boat.

      1. Spec9 says:

        That really doesn’t affect them that much when they build so many cars here.

    2. DaveMart says:

      You do know that GM is also interested in producing a fuel cell vehicle, but can’t manage it until two years after Toyota?

      1. John Hansen says:

        I think GM actually had fuel cell vehicle test fleets on the road way before Toyota, but they seem to have lost interest in the past few years. Perhaps they saw the light?

        1. DaveMart says:

          Sure they have lost interest, if that is what you want to believe and are happy to ignore everything they say and their continuing investment.

          Their FCEV is due in 2017

          1. Spec9 says:

            It is called ‘skepticism’. You should never believe everything that a company says. Try it some time.

    3. David Murray says:

      Well, we do know that Toyota still wants to do PHEVs. And they have a brand new Prius in the works, which will also have a brand new Prius PHEV. I’m holding out hope that their new Prius PHEV will be a lot better than their current model. They may very well be #1 when it comes to plug-in cars if they can hit a home run with the next Prius.

  9. DaveMart says:

    I’ll try to post this reply to George S again.
    It was hard work compiling it, so I hope the internet Gods allow it:

    I was hoping that no-one would ask for sources, as I actually only discovered them incidentally whilst looking into the FCEV’s battery pack weight.
    It turned out that both Hyundai and Toyota simply used the same pack as in their regular hybrids, as it does the same job, but the connection was rather complicated to trace and I don’t expect anyone to credit unsubstantiated statements.

    I’ve managed to dig out links which I hope you will find sufficient, as you very properly raised the question and it is my habit either to substantiate or withdraw, and I don’t really fance digging any more than I just have to find direct links to the battery weights and output:

    The Toyota Prius:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Prius

    The weight of the old pack is given as 53.3kgs, and whilst the weight of the new pack is not specified, I trust to your candour to allow my 50kgs as being ‘near enough’ since no-one is claiming great breakthroughs in energy density for NiMH, although to be sure they have increased the energy somewhat in a pack which was, from memory of whatever link I had dug up, somewhat under 50kgs.

    The Hyundai Sonata hybrid:

    ‘the 1.4-kW-hr lithium-polymer pack has been redesigned and repackaged to deliver 34 percent more power (47 versus 34 kW) and to recover more braking energy more quickly. This repackaging also lowered the weight by 5 pounds (to 91),’

    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1304_2013_hyundai_sonata_hybrid_first_drive/

    that is a bit different to the figures that I had, which were 0.95kwh and, from memory, around the 47kgs mark, not the 41kgs they give here.

    I believe that the difference may be that they have used peak power output, which in a battery is quite a lot more than the rated power, but the figures we have seem near enough for Government work.

    The 120lbs extra for the PIP you cite is spot on for the figures I suggested as the weight difference between a PHEV and a hybrid, excluding other things than the battery, but then again it is not a very big pack in the PIP.

    I was just as surprised as you at how small the weight difference is, and how heavy hybrid batteries are per kwh.

    1. GeorgeS says:

      Thx for the numbers.

      Looks like the Li pack has a slight edge but I think your point is valid and it all has to do with cycle life requirements. When the cycle life requirement gets extremely high like in a hybrid then the edge that Li has over NIMH begins to diminish….and that is why Toyota stuck with NIMH for the regular Prius….and also the “if it works don’t f*ck with it rule also comes into explaining why the regular Prius still has a NIMH battery.

      The flip side is the Tesla. You can get by with 500 cycles by making the battery huge….and with the low cycle life you get a much higher energy density in lb/kwh

    2. DaveMart says:

      I’ve tracked down the specs I was using for the Lithium batteries in the Hyundai:
      http://cafcp.org/sites/files/ix35_FCEV_ERG_Eng.pdf

      Pgs 4 and 18
      0.95kwh and 47kgs.

      I suspect the higher specs and lower weights in the other link I gave in the less official publication are due to using max power output, as I said, and also not including all the fixtures for the battery.
      PR flack accuracy, IOW.

      I haven’t however tracked down the info to prove that the pack in the FCEV is the same as that in the hybrid, but my understanding is that both Hyundai and Toyota simply put in the pack they had to hand to do the similar job in the FCEV.

      That is not the sort of thing that is readily confirmed though, especially if you don’t read either Korean or Japanese.

      1. DaveMart says:

        Looking back, that is pretty sad.

        I have the most extraordinary memory for the most irrelevant details, haven’t I?
        I was spot on with the power and weight after several months.

        Ask me what I did last Wednesday and I haven’t a clue!

        As you get older you come to realise that first amongst the people you don’t understand is yourself.

  10. DaveMart says:

    Comments seem to be running into the spam filter.
    What’s happening?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey Dave,

      I saved them from purgatory,(=

      The filter gets antsy when it sees long posts with multiple links (and with wiki reference for some reason)…it doesn’t totally ‘spam’ them, but holds them in moderation until one of us gets off our lazy behinds and clears them, lol.

      1. DaveMart says:

        Aha!
        I am using a laptop now, which for a touch typist is purgatory enough without antsy filters!
        If the darn thing had told me that that was what it was up to, that would have helped.

        1. DaveMart says:

          PS. Thanks! 🙂

          1. Jay Cole says:

            No problemo. We should normally auto-pull them all out fairly quickly, but you if want us to move quicker, you can just tell us our dog ate your homework (like you did here) and we’ll go find it ‘tout de suite’, (=

            1. DaveMart says:

              I wouldn’t have been bothered except that I would probably loose the work I had done for the post, which took some time, and that I had no idea what had happened.

              Usually you get something come up like:
              ‘We suspect you have smelly feet, and so aren’t going to post it until you have passed our sniff test by experts’

              1. GeorgeS says:

                If you would remember to put on socks that wouldn’t happen.
                (sorry, couldn’t resist)

                1. DaveMart says:

                  Few CAN resist the power of my socks!

  11. The interesting stats are Ford’s year-over-year growth in PHEVs vs. Hybrids. While Hybrid grow is almost flat, Fords “Energi” PHEV sales have passed GM’s Volt/ELR and Toyota’s PiP with continued strong growth.

    Expect Ford has noticed Energi sales trend vs. Hybrid sales trend and sees that if trends continue, PHEV sales volume will be on par with their Hybrid sales in a few years (ie: by 2018 timeframe)

    If I were to guess, I’d say “C240” is C2-40, meaning C2 plateform PHEV with 40 mile range. (speculating)

    note: today’s battery capacity will double by 2018 for same pack volume & weight.

    1. As a category YoY sale for Hybrids were down 8.7% in July vs. up 59.7% for PHEVs. The Ford Focus Energi being up 274.7% in 2014 vs 2013.

      http://www.hybridcars.com/july-2014-dashboard/

      This has to be enlightening data for Ford, a company that stated its strategy on hybrids, not PHEVs. Expect many Ford models will be become Energi-zed!

    2. DaveMart says:

      ‘If I were to guess, I’d say “C240″ is C2-40, meaning C2 plateform PHEV with 40 mile range. (speculating)’

      Good call!

      Everybody and their cat are copying the Volt.
      That is the sort of AER range the VW group’s PHEVs will have when they get the next gen battery packs, at least as an option.

      The only ones NOT copying GM are GM, who are rowing back on expectations for the Gen II and talking about limited release in certain states.

      They are confusing poor packaging with a bad idea.

      EV1, mark two?

      1. Phr3d says:

        again, +1
        what is the definitive Opposite of the Patience of Job?

        1. DaveMart says:

          ‘Focus on quarterly Results’ would seem to cover it.

          That and ‘Golden parachute for CEO when the company goes bust’.

  12. evnow says:

    Most important thing is – hopefully the platform has been designed so that the plugins don’t have their trunk space eaten by batteries. That is the reason I dropped considering C-Max energi.

    That Escape Energi – with the “utility” put back in SUV, would be good.

    Still, feel they are kind of late. Prius itself is battling to save their sales numbers – instead of trying to compete with a fading star like Prius – may be Ford should figure out how they compete with Model 3 and next gen Leaf & Volt.

    1. CMaxChat says:

      If you’re not going to use the c-maxenergi domain are you willing to let me have it? I just publish information on the C-Max without a commercial gain. Unlike Jay Cole, I don’t believe it is a dog but according to your comment, you don’t seem interested anymore.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Sorry CMax, didn’t mean to be unduly negative….I just meant it (the overall C-Max model) was a “dog” in context to sales vs expectations for Ford itself.

        The C-Max Energi, all things considered, is a raging success for the plug-in industry selling 600-1000 copies in the US.

      2. evnow says:

        Sure, I can consider that. I’ll take a look at your website and drop you an email.

  13. Loboc says:

    Personally, I like Ford’s past strategy of ‘same platform, different drive train.’.
    There shouldn’t be that much diff in aero or other Eco drives’ specs.

    1. Pick a car you like
    2. Pick EV or ICE or Hybrid drive.

    In this way, they are all ‘normal’.

  14. Jesse Gurr says:

    I seem to recall a story about an Escort PHEV back in 2007.
    http://green.autoblog.com/2007/09/25/ford-is-not-working-on-a-plug-in-escort-for-2010/

    Since they resurrected the name for China and maybe Europe, why not here? Maybe they will use some other name. Some that come to mind:
    Contour
    Tempo

    I know it is far fetched but I used to own an Escort and would like to see it come back as a PHEV. Wagon would be awesome while they’re at it. 😀

  15. Dave says:

    The reason C-Max tanked had nothing to do with name recognition. It’s freaking ugly.

  16. James B. says:

    I’m running about 92% EV on my Fusion Energi (15k of 18k miles total). I’d be happier with a Volt’s range, but going from gassing every 10 days to every 10 weeks or more is still sweet.

    My key is work has a charger and it is at the end of my range (19.2 miles garage to work). Our new complex will be 1 mile closer to home and have 8 chargers.