Ford C-Max Energi Gets Official EPA Rating of 100 MPGe Combined

5 years ago by Lyle Dennis 21

Ford has just announced the official EPA ratings for its about-to-launch new plugin hybrid vehicle the C-Max Energi.

The EPA has rated the car at 108 MPGe in the city cycle, and 92 MPGe on the highway cycle for a combined average of 100 MPGe.  This bestows upon the C-Max Energi the best fuel efficiency rating of any plugin hybrid on the road today, and the first in its class to reach the three digit milestone.  Currently the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid has an an EPA rating of 95 MPGe thus besting it by 5 mpg.  The 2013 Chevrolet Volt has a combined rating of 98 MPGe.

To get these impressive numbers Ford combines a highly efficient 188 hp 2.0 L 4 cylinder engine with a 7.6 kwh lithium ion battery.  The vehicle can operate in EV-only mode for more than 20 miles, and according to Ford sources will get a combined mpg rating of 43 mpg in hybrid mode.

Ford is situating the C-Max plugin to compete directly against the plug-in Prius which it beats in many regards, including all electric range, all electric top speed, price, and now combined EPA rating.

Ford has not intentionally attempted to take the Volt on directly in ads, though I may have inadvertently created a market move in that direction with my announcement about trading in my Volt for the plugin C-Max.  My only reason was a fifth seat, but sensationalistic media headlines seem in retrospect unavoidable, but certainly uninformed.

Ford electrification marketing director Michael O’Brien tells Reuters the C-Max hybrid is aimed at optimizers.  “They’re looking for their dollar to go as far as possible and as smart a way as possible,” O’Brien told reporters. “The notion of having MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) that’s best in class is a terrific advantage.”

Congratulations to Ford for this achievement and a fantastic new addition to the plugin market space.

Sources Ford and Reuters

Tags:

21 responses to "Ford C-Max Energi Gets Official EPA Rating of 100 MPGe Combined"

  1. James says:

    Game on, GM!

    🙂 Hey Lyle, you really gave Fox some fodder for Volt bashing!

    It makes one wonder if Ford and Toyota will be putting on the

    boxing gloves and duking it out for the PHEV market, leaving

    GM in the weeds – doesn’t it?

    I still want to see 20 ACTUAL miles driven in EV mode, and

    actually see 47 mpg, REAL WORLD. If the C-Max can

    achieve those marks – I think Ford has outdone Volt.

    I really like Volt’s look and low stance – but as a family

    guy I can see where the C-Max could be a family’s

    only car – Something a Volt cannot do.

    Pure EVs have a LOOOOONG way to go before they

    reach multi-purpose status and people really need

    a multi-use car that can be ready with available

    fuel sources at a moment’s notice. Transition-wise

    hybrids make sense, and a PLUG-IN that can go

    20 pure electric miles and seat 5

    is a bridge a lot of people

    can embrace and afford at 30 grand ( U.S. ).

    1. Lyle Dennis says:

      well stated

  2. Mark H says:

    The C-Max Energi is going to sell well and there is going to be a strong market for it. Still this is more a direct competitor to the plug-in Prius. Of course we still are lumping all EVs into one basket up to this point but that will slowly change.

    The C-Max/Prius should get better MPGe in that their electric motor is 30% smaller than the Volt thus giving a lot less torque. It is like comparing a 4cyl to a 6 cyl. Neither is bad nor good, just different for different needs.

    C-Max/Prius/Fusion in the 10-20 mile electric range vs 30-40 mile PHEVs. Again, your driving habits should dictate this.

    The real inferior place of the Volt by itself is four seats. There will be other 40 mile PHEVs (maybe future Volts as well) that will not be limited by this.

    Brian was the first to make the strong argument for a combo BEV and a 20 mile PHEV with superior gas mileage. Made perfect sense when Lyle kept the Leaf. Many early adopters will move to this two car combo while many more new combers will see the flexibility in a 40 mile PHEV especially when you add the 5th seat. I agree with James that transition wise, PHEVs makes sense. But if your lifestyle fits a BEV, even better.

    For me, I am elated to see Ford bring on this excellent PHEV. I feel that the C-Max along with the Ford Focus and Fusion will help this US manufacturer hold strong in the game on our way to the first million. I hope to see many of Nissan’s first million manufactured in the Smyrna Tenn plant.

    And good luck Lyle on your November Russian EV report….. (assigned by Mr. Cole)

  3. GeorgeS says:

    So only 43 MPG in CS mode?? Am I reading that correctly.?? That would compare to the Volts 38 MPG?? I thought Energy was supposed to get closer to 49 in CS mode?

    1. Bonaire says:

      I have seen 42-43 mpg in CS-mode in my 2011 Volt at 60-65mph highway speeds. The EPA numbers are conservative. Just because any new car doesn’t meet Prius numbers doesn’t make it bad. The cost savings of going from 43 mpg to 50 mpg is very small. The real savings happens when you make the purchase. Saving 2-3K on purchase price is well beyond what a 43-50mpg improvement would offer.

      1. GeorgeS says:

        Maybe it’s the heavier battery that keeps it from getting the same MPG as the piP. Still it is an interesting car. I’m not trying to po-po it.

  4. taser54 says:

    Is the 20 mile electric range an EPA rating or simply a maximum range that is proffered by Ford?

  5. ClarksonCote says:

    I’m not sure I understand how this larger vehicle can get 20 miles AER with a 7.6 kWh battery. Are they not retaining any buffer in the battery?

    By comparison, the 2013 Volt uses a 16kWh battery, and of that, 10.9kWh to go 38 miles.

    1. Brian says:

      Assuming the same efficiency as the Volt, the C-Max would use (20/38) * 10.9 = 5.7 kWh. As you pointed out, it’s a larger vehicle, but it’s also rated higher efficiency. I bet they’re using less than 6 kWh of the 7.5 kWh battery. That’s 80%. By comparison, the Leaf uses about 21 kWh of its 24kWh battery. That’s 87.5%.

  6. Lyle Dennis says:

    Ford hasn’t released the EPA testing on the EV range yet. I hear it will be forthcoming. They say “more than 20” in most press releases.

  7. evnow says:

    Lyle,

    Yesterday I talked to a Ford dealer. The salesman said they had a chat with Ford people yesterday – and was told Energi would only be released in Spring of 2013.

    Looks like you heard differently from your dealer. Today’s Ford PR still says “Fall” release.

    I wonder whether this would be another soft release like Focus Electric – and Energi will be available in with dealers only in Mar ’13.

    1. Lyle Dennis says:

      Hi EVnow. I read your comment somewhere about how ironic it is that well be driving the same cars now. I think its great! We are equally interested in eliminating gas use.

      Anyway, the C-Max Energi will be released in November in a few initial markets. The Fusion Energi will launch next year/Spring. Dealer you talked was probably confused about Fusion Energi launch.

      I had to go to three different Ford dealers near me to find one that was willing/certified to sell EVs.

      1. evnow says:

        Yes – it is possible the salesman got confused between Fusion & C-Max Energies.

        Official response is “We are checking to make sure this has been clearly communicated, thank you for bringing this to our attention.” on twitter to my query about this.

      2. evnow says:

        Oh BTW, in the other post you had about trding in Volt I wrote “So, I & Lyle could have the same 2 cars. Difficult to believe !”.

        “I couldn’t have guessed this would happen last year” would have been more accurate.

        Us buying Energi still depends on how practicle the trunc will be (and whether my wife likes the car).

  8. Jesse says:

    Lyle,

    Where did you get the 43 MPG rating for the Energi? I have looked other places and can’t find the source for that. The sources you linked to don’t have that number either. Is that from your test driving it or some early unofficial numbers from the EPA? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Thanks

    1. Lyle Dennis says:

      Ford sources have given me that number. It is official. EPA will post it.

    2. Dave R says:

      Was wondering the same thing. I expect the Energi to be very close to the Hybrid in fuel economy which is rated 47/47. A couple hundred lbs of weight shouldn’t drop fuel economy that much on the EPA test.

    3. Jesse says:

      So am I to believe that if I were to drive the normal C-max hybrid around, I am 6ft 235lbs since the difference in weight between the 2 cars is about 250, I would be getting 43 MPG instead of the 47 that its rated?

      Seems kinda hard to believe. But we’ll see when the official numbers come out, whenever that is.

  9. Nelson says:

    I wonder what the Ford C-Max Energi EV mode distance drops to in the cold winter months.
    Only time will tell.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671

  10. Kickincanada says:

    Lyle – as a faithful follower of your website since its very early days I can’t help but feel a tinge of disappointment by your decision to jump to ford. But maybe some good will come of this and it might give GM a much needed kick in the *ss to deliver a 5 seater! I hear the January auto show in Detroit may have some surprises for us. Lets hope so.

  11. Bhowd says:

    So far, I’m disappointed by what I’ve heard about the Ford C-max mpg. Fuelly.com owner’s reports give an average of about 40 mpg, vs. the stated city/hwy average of 47. In contrast, the reported mpg on Fuelly.com for the 2012 Prius is 51.5, vs the official average of 50. The C-max I took for a test drive had an average on its tank of 36 mpg. The heavier C-max Energi has a rated hybrid mpg, apparently, of 43. I’m thinking it will be way below that. So how much mpg can it really deliver in the short trips made by the typical urban driver? I’m hoping to find out soon – news reports say 5 have been sold through this last Friday, but nobody has reported anything yet on Fuelly.com. I want to make up my mind about whether to buy the C-max Energi or the PIP. BTW, the average mpg on Fuelly.com for the PIP is 79.9 for 76 cars reported.