The 0 Mile Electric Range Electric Cars


Ford C-Max Energi Is A 0-Miler

Ford C-Max Energi Is A 0-Miler

BMW i8

BMW i8

Believe it or not, there are plug-in electric cars available with 0 miles of electric-only range.

These are what we call the 0-milers of electric cars.

If you’re going electric for the ability to drive electrically, then these cars (all of which are plug-in hybrids) are not for you.

  • BMW i8 – Electric-Only Range = 0 to 14 Miles
  • Ford C-Max Energi – Electric-Only Range = 0 to 19 Miles
  • Ford Fusion Energi – Electric-Only Range = 0 to 19 Miles
  • Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid – Electric-Only Range = 0 to 13 Miles
  • McLaren P1 – Electric-Only Range = 0 Miles
  • Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid – Electric-Only Range = 0 to 15 Miles
  • Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid – Electric-Only Range = 0 to 6 Miles

Some plug-in hybrids do not get this dreaded 0-mile rating.  For example, the Porsche 918 Spyder is rated at 12 miles, while the BMW i3 REx gets 72 miles and the Chevrolet Volt gets 38.  Per the EPA, all vehicles listed on this page are plug-in hybrid.  Some are more plug-in, less hybrid.

Here’s a look at the window sticker of a 0-miler (note how driving range lists electricity + gas for the first 11 miles, then only gasoline after that):

Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Window Sticker

Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Window Sticker

And here’s the 2013 Volt’s window sticker for comparison.  You’ll notice there’s no + gasoline listed in the driving range area for the first 38 miles:

2013 Chevy Volt Window Sticker

2013 Chevy Volt Window Sticker

Categories: BMW, Ford, Honda, Porsche, Toyota

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145 Comments on "The 0 Mile Electric Range Electric Cars"

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Interesting that the low electric mileage car has a better overall fuel economy rating than the volt which has a decent sized battery. What car was it?

Looked like the Plug-in Prius.

If you’re looking for something that uses less gas over the entire life span of the vehicle, I’d say the Volt wins that hands down. With the Prius, even the plug-in, you sneeze and the &%@$ing engine will kick on!

Before you throw your hands down and declare one vehicle an absolute winner, let’s qualify this a little. It completely depends on your driving patterns. The Volt wins for the vast majority, but there are edge cases for which the PiP wins.

My commute is 4.5 miles round trip at 35mph max. About once a month, I travel 200+ miles in a shot. Every other trip is don’t in a Leaf. For my edge case, the PiP would burn less gas than the Volt. Of course, the Volt wouldn’t work for me anyway since it is too small. The PiP preserves the cargo space of the standard (mid-sized) Prius. It’s about having the right tool for the right job.

*done* in a Leaf…

I really should proof-read a little better…

or just sign up for that $99/mo edit button feature Jay was offering the other day 😉

In your case, both LEAF and Pip are used to replace what Volt does…

Effectively, you could have used regular Prius for your long distance travels…

Well, almost. A Volt cannot go two places at once. My two cars are used by both myself and my wife at the same time.

So you already preselected your trip to favorite the PIP/LEAF combination…

Um, no. Not at all. I selected the Leaf/PiP combination as the best current solution to my travel patterns. However, I did make it clear that my situation is an edge case and not representative of the vast majority.

And at the same time bought two imports, instead of two American vehicles. What a traitor!

“My commute is 4.5 miles round trip at 35mph max”

That’s just over 2 miles each way. Have you considered an electric bike? Or a regular bike? Or just walking?

Can confirm: 2~3 miles is a comfortably short walk, even one way. If it rains, an umbrella usually works pretty well.

My ‘edge case’ is if I can walk there, I do walk there. I’m heading towards the third year on my lease, and don’t quite have 6,000 miles on my car. The poor little thing collects dust and spiderwebs in my driveway. Honda turns me away for service every year, because the ‘service me’ idiot light hasn’t ever come on, except during start-up.

I’d like to use the similarly dusty bicycle with the saddle bags, but traffic here is much too brutally homicidal.

Anyways, if you really want to plan ahead, do a little research, and live somewhere, where walking is convenient for almost everything. Go to the store and get fresh food every day, rather than making one big trip in a car. You’ll dread parking more than any walk. It’s even ‘exercise’, but since there’s a *goal*, it doesn’t feel like it.

OK. If you have a driving pattern like 99% of the world then the Volt wins hands down. The only way it doesn’t is if you belong to the 1% and (a) don’t drive any distance or at any speed; or (b) only drive more than 120 miles or something.

Absolutely agreed. For the 99.99%, the Volt wins. My only point is that it’s not a black and white question as scramjett seemed to imply. There are real people with real driving situations for which the PiP would actually win.

Brian, what would you think of the PIP, if it had the Volt’s Performance: AER + Fuel Economy (And the same cabin space as the Prius)?

Or – What if there was a Prius V with that Volt’s Performance?

I would think such a car was incredible! Honestly, if the current Volt had all the same specs, but double the trunk space, there would likely be one in my driveway today.

I would totally get one also! We probably would’ve kept the Leaf and use such a vehicle as our family hauler and sometimes backup car while the Leaf would be our commuter.

Yes, as I stated below, I did not mean to imply that it would be black and white. I agree with both of you completely.

The Volt has too small a back seat for my family, so it is a non-starter for us.

The i3 REx is the best/only plugin hybrid that is workable. We drive a Leaf, and I may just lease an e-Golf today.

Apologies for the delayed reply:

So, if I understand you correctly, the PiP works best for you in your use case because the Volt’s cargo capacity doesn’t cut it? But you also make the point that you are the exception and not the rule, correct? If this is the case, then I say: point taken! I am not normally one for engaging in absolutes so you correctly called me out. I should have said that for the “vast majority of drivers, the Volt wins hands down.” That would’ve been a more accurate statement.

On a side note, I’m considering the 2016 Volt as our commuter and “medium-range” travel car while getting a used CUV to cover our long hauls where we need the extra cargo (and as a once in a blue moon backup car). At least until we’ve had at least one model year with the Outlander PHEV in the wild. Then I’ll be picking up one of those!

So how is it that I’m able to get 12-14 miles of electric range out of my Plug-in Prius? This is a terrible article for Insideevs.

You must be doing something wrong then 😉

Some Volt owners can get 50-60miles of range on their 38 miles range.

What you get has NOTHING to do with the rating…

Just make sure you stay out of the left lanes with your PiP….

I think you missed the point.

Could you please explain the point to me?

Eric is cleaving electric-only, from electric + gas, as the EPA test determines. There’s no difference between the EPA making this judgement, and the average driver who has similar demands, as the test cycle, and wants to accelerate at the same (not so crazy) rate.

If you feel the PIP is a 12-14 mile EV, because your driving style isn’t that hard, that’s fine, but we’re talking about merging on exit ramps and other instances, where I believe its hard not to have Ford and Toyota use their engines. Small batteries mean small EV power.

The kwh rating where the EPA test doesn’t show “gas + engine”, is somewhere north of 10kwh, I think. The interesting exception being Porsche. They are evidently getting more power from their smaller (~8kwh) battery. Otherwise, go for the baker’s dozen, or more.

Yes – but it is important to understand that just because the engine comes on after a hard acceleration does not mean you are done with EV driving for the rest of the trip. The engine WILL turn back off once it is not needed anymore and you can finish using up your EV miles. So it is not at all unreasonable to say that the PiP has 11 miles of range. True, you may not be able to use it all consecutively without having the engine fire up for brief moments. But you still get a hell of a lot more than 6 miles.

Because pollution comes from a cold start there is no comparison between an EV with limited range and a parallel hybrid. I think the designation “0 Mile” EV fairly well sums up the difference. The more fundamental error would be to pretend that the PIP has an actual EV range of 11 miles. It simply doesn’t.

Some Volt drivers get a 70 mile range but the rating is still 38 or 6 for the PIP…..

Ignore Mr.Energyczar. He’s very biased against the PiP and also failed as basic math apparently. I’ve had this argument with him before 100 times. He can’t cite any logic for his argument other than to cite that little blurb on the EPA sticker showing the 6 miles all-electric range. Apparently things like usable Kwh in the battery pack combined with the miles per Kw rating of the car don’t seem to mean anything to him.


He is stating that the Volt is rated at 38 miles all-electric, and some have gotten as high as 70.

He is stating that the Prius is rated at 6 miles all-electric, and the poster stated they have had as high as 14.

How is that biased against the Prius? It’s not, he’s just putting the single data points into context for both vehicles. They can both far exceed the rated range when people try to do so.

Just wondering what the PIP’s EV Range is when it’s -24C Outside (a few degrees Below Zero, Fahrenheit!)

Or what it’s EV Range is – if you leave home fully charged – and have a 7 or 8 mile long hill climb within a mile or so of your home? (Thinking – Colorado, or – the great Divide!)

Thatl “only 6 mile range is true for pure electric drive. The Pip 100-mile range is “blended” (electric + gas). If the Volt has the same rating, its range would be over 350 miles. So the PiP 11-mile range is cheating.

It shpold be “11-mile”, not “100-mile”.

The 6 miles on the EPA has to do with the point during the EPA test cycle where they drive over 62 mph, thus forcing the gas engine to kick in. The actual ev miles is 11 from the actual usable kWh of the battery.

The whole point of this article is that cars, like the PIP, need gas under certain likely situations and can’t be called a car that gets “x mile electric range”, they have to be called a car that gets “0-x mile electric range”.

“Actual EV miles” if driving under 62 mph and not accelerating to briskly so the engine assists. If you applied the same criteria to the Volt then it’s rating would go up to 50-60 miles AER if you accelerated gently around town at lower speeds.

I think you’ve got it wrong. Basically what you are saying is that Volt owners can get 50-60 miles by hypermiling. But go over to Priuschat and you’ll see plenty of people with a PiP say that they can get 20+ miles of range by hypermiling.

Look at the usable capacity of the PiP’s battery and do the math. It isn’t that hard. 11 miles should be expected.

Granted, if the driver accelerates too hard, the engine will fire up. But it will turn back off shortly after and continue to run on battery power. It works essentially just like the Ford Energi cars. The main difference being the Energi cars have twice the battery capacity, thus reducing the need for the ICE even more.

Ford has electric heat where the Prius Plugins don’t…

“Basically what you are saying is that Volt owners can get 50-60 miles by hypermiling. But go over to Priuschat and you’ll see plenty of people with a PiP say that they can get 20+ miles of range by hypermiling.”

I have driven both.. and compared them back to back…

The amount of hypermiling to get 20+ miles in the PiP is NOT the same type of “hypermiling” to get 50-60miles in the Volt…

Let us do some math…Shall well?

getting 50 miles out of 10.5kWh usable range (38EPA miles) requires about 4.76 miles/kWh efficiency.

In Prius getting 20 miles out of a 3.5kWh usable range requires 5.71 miles/kWh.

Anyone who drives a plugin car regularly knows that getting 4.75 miles/kWh only takes some slowing down. But getting 5.71 miles/kWh would take some serious effort.

Getting 20+ in a PiP would be like getting 60+ in the pre-2015Volt…

Yes, 11 miles is expected… if you don’t floor it, go to fast, or turn on the heat. Those caveats are what prevent the 11 miles from being stated.

The real problem is there’s not a succinct way to convey all the caveats that some plug-ins have, and that others don’t.

“So how is it that I’m able to get 12-14 miles of electric range out of my Plug-in Prius?”

The same way that some people are able to get 60 miles of electric range out of their Volt.

And the same way I was able to squeeze 95 miles range out of my 62-mile-EPA-rated i-MiEV.


Aaron, is that while wearing a Parka, in Day time, after having the car in a very well heated garage? – Or – is that down South out of this freaking Cold Spell we are getting in Toronto this last week+ with Temps to -25C?

How far would it get if you drove it to work, sat for 8 hours outside, and drove it home – in these -25C Temps?

I have doubts an iMiEV could be Practical in this weather, if one was planning on it’s 62 mile range. It’s cute, but quite basic.

The Future iMiEV should be a better delivery of the concept, based on samples they have shown!

I’ve read elsewhere that the Plug-in Prius gets an average of 11-12 miles of electric range, so this confuses me too. 11-12 miles of range is rather disappointing from the maker of the Prius, but why not at least give Toyota credit for the little all-electric range their only PHEV has?

Because that 11 miles is dependent on speed and acceleration. Unlike the Volt, if you floor it 0.5 miles into your plug-in Prius commute, the engine comes on.

And stays on. Sometimes for quite awhile.

No. Honestly, I don’t…”note how driving range lists electricity + gas for the first 11 miles, then only gasoline after that.”

If you really look for it, sure, its there, but this is another facet of the catastrophe that is the EPA PHEV sticker.

Look right under the big bold “95 mpge” and “50 mpg” box.

there is a white bar that turns into a black bar, that ends with a zippy looking car.

It says in the white bar “Electricity + gasoline” , then the number 11… then in the black bar it says “Gasoline only”

on the Volt Box, the white bar says “All Electric Range” then the number 38, then the black bar says “Gasoline Only”

I agree with you, not the easiest to read.

It should START with a huge number that says

Then say MPGe: 98, and MPG: 37

The PiP should say
MPGe 95
MPG 50


Good Points. While the Monroney Sticker is being used here in Erick spot on article a beter comparison and dat dump can be found of the EPA’s interactive web site- Fueel Economy Dot Gov.

I hav run the comparson between the followint 2015 MY Volt EREV, Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid PHEV, Ford Fusion Energi PHEV and Toyota Prius PI.

Link Goes To Fuel Economy dot Gov All electric Range Comparison. (Look lower on the spread sheets for all four below the gas only bar.)-

On the Toyota Prius Plug In website in footnotes the discription is more dramatic.

Since these footnotes change at times, here is Toyota’s current disclammer on the 2015 Prius Plug In’s “EV Mode”

Footnote #10-

“10. Prius Plug-in EV Mode is a blended operation of electricity and gas and can work under certain conditions up to 11 miles on a full charge. Quick acceleration and braking, road and vehicle conditions, or climate control use may prevent or limit usage or effectiveness of EV Mode.”

Nuff Said-


Thomas J. Thias


Sundance Chevrolet Inc


I don’t see the point of this article….

To get us talking, I guess.

It’s kind of absurd to say that the Energi cars are “0-mile range” when they have an “EV Now” button to force the car to drive all-electric. I understand that it’s reduced power, but it gives the driver the choice. In fact, the Fusion Energi is quicker than the Volt in hybrid mode, but slower in electric-only mode. But that’s the difference between a PHEV and an EREV.

What is your point?

Even the BMW i8 is quicker than the Volt in hybrid mode and slower than the Volt in EV mode.

The whole point is about the EV mode.

If it is “weak”, it states as such in this article. No need to defend it…

My point is simply that the Energi CAN be driven as a weak EV if the driver so chooses. The i-Miev is even weaker, yet nobody questions that it is an EV.

I am pretty sure iMiev can do 0-60mph in EV mode faster than the Fusion Energi’s all EV mode…

According to this data, you are technically right; the iMiev is marginally faster than a Fusion Energi in EV mode. However, the difference is in the noise. No driver on the street will notice it.

Of course, I am right… =)

But that was my point… The last 3 on that list were all the “0 miles PHEV”…

That is the whole point of the article.

We routinely get 25-28 miles EV range with our C-Max Energi. Some get as high as 39 miles. We have driven the past month without using gas (no long trips). There is zero problem with power in EV mode when driving in city traffic. Accelerating on to the freeway is also not a problem in EV mode, given even average driving skill. The ICE will not come on in EV mode regardless of accelerator position, unless the driver presses a button.

Very nice! I assume you live in a warm climate, though. We haven’t seen temperatures about freezing in a few months. I doubt the C-Max Energi would be getting those numbers here.

Agreed – Probably just to stir us all up again because there are people that think that PHEVs aren’t real EVs or some nonsense. Honestly, though, the only PHEV that I know if that can drive in pure EV mode under any circumstance is the BMW i3 Rex. Because even the Volt will force the engine on for cold temperatures and other situations. As other people have pointed out already, the Energi cars can be forced into EV mode only. And from what I’ve read from owners of those vehicles, there is very little that can force the engine on in that mode. That being said, at some point it just comes down to personal opinion of what is “good enough” for them to live the EV lifestyle. For me, any vehicle with 20 miles or more of EV range would be enough. I live 4 miles from work and have L2 charging at work. I could get by with just about any plug-in vehicle for my daily commute. Then I take other trips around town usually less than 20 miles. Meaning even if I had one of Ford’s Energi cars I could essentially live the EV lifestyle except maybe… Read more »

“Honestly, though, the only PHEV that I know if that can drive in pure EV mode under any circumstance is the BMW i3 Rex. Because even the Volt will force the engine on for cold temperatures and other situations.”

The key word here is “drive”. Volt doesn’t force the engine on due to “driving”. Volt only turns on the engine b/c of extreme heating requirement. It is turned on as gas furnance, NOT for driving.

“As other people have pointed out already, the Energi cars can be forced into EV mode only. And from what I’ve read from owners of those vehicles, there is very little that can force the engine on in that mode.

FALSE! Energi cars will pop out of “EV only” mode when climbing large hills with full loads under high speed condition.

So, it will come out of EV mode due to “driving” reasons.

I believe you are mistaken. The Energi has three modes: EV Now, EV Auto, and EV Later. In EV Now, no driving conditions should engage the engine until the battery is depleted. I assume you are referring to the default EV Auto mode.

It appears that high speed or high power demands as described will still cause the engine to run in EV Now.

“There are a few conditions when you will reach the limits of the EV Now mode: when zooming down the highway above 85 miles per hour; when the state-of-charge of the 7.5-kWh battery pack gets low enough to begin transition from charge-depletion to charge-sustaining; or for the “very rare event” of high battery temperature.”

Thanks for the clarification. The battery being depleted is obvious – any PHEV or EREV will do this.

The 85 mph speed limit does ring a bell now that you mention it. I tended to ignore it since I never drive my cars that fast (the highest speed limit around here is 65). But there are certainly others who do drive that fast. This is a valid limitation, although a bit of an extreme one (your AER would be very low at those speeds anyway).

The high battery temperature is an interesting one. It makes sense, though, as the car would want to reduce power draw from the battery if it gets too hot. Counting this against the AER feels a bit like counting the ERDTT against the Volt’s. Technically, it’s true, but it’s such an edge case (and done to preserve the battery), that it can almost be ignored.

“Counting this against the AER feels a bit like counting the ERDTT against the Volt’s. Technically, it’s true, but it’s such an edge case (and done to preserve the battery), that it can almost be ignored.”

Can it be ignored? How long trying to go up a steep grade at speed before the battery gets too hot? I’m thinking US Route 4 in Vermont, near the ski slopes.

The exceptions being discussed are marginal cases in my driving experience with the Energi (18000 miles total, 8000 EV miles). We have experienced one incident in those 8000 EV miles when the ICE came on due to high battery temps. That time the car was parked in the sun all afternoon in 113F air temperatures. That is one case in about 500 trips in EV mode.

hi DR61,

Thanks for the feedback. Can you elaborate on your driving patterns though? Do you traverse steep (thousand-feet, multiple mile) grades often? That’s the data point I’m most interested in, but I know many do not experience these grades in their driving patterns.

I’m with DR61. These are all pretty marginal cases. Even Route 4 in VT – very few people live within the Energi’s winter AER of that road that almost noone would ever be driving up it with a charged battery in EV Now mode. You could play games with EV Later to do it, but why? Just to prove a point?

“very few people live within the Energi’s winter AER of that road that almost noone would ever be driving up it with a charged battery in EV Now mode.”

That is an opinion that is not substantiated. You can pick at my example but you’re missing the point. I just want to know if people that live near steep grades can reliably use EV Now or not. Why is that so hard to comprehend?

“That is an opinion that is not substantiated.”

Ha ha ha! Sure. It’s my opinion that this particular area (in the mountains of the least populated state in the US) is not densely populated.

Yes, I understand that you picked one example. And yes, I picked at your particular example. And that there are plenty of other hill climbs that have many more people living near them. If you actually read all of my comments you would see that I fully comprehend your question.

We are talking about a design decision. It was my understanding (based on what I have read, not an “opinion”) that Ford chose not to engage the engine for this edge case. I understand your point as to why they might want to, but that is your opinion. The fact is that they either chose to engage the engine or they didn’t. Obviously neither of us knows for certain. So again, I invite someone who knows to point us to the answer.

“We are talking about a design decision. It was my understanding (based on what I have read, not an “opinion”) that Ford chose not to engage the engine for this edge case. I understand your point as to why they might want to, but that is your opinion.”

No, I have simply asked a question, and have been “picked at” (your terms) by you for it the whole time. Asking a question is not an opinion, it is simply wanting to know how it behaved.

I asked, and you said I didn’t understand physics. I cited an example to allow you to understand why I was asking, and then you “pick at” that example (your words) and say that is my opinion.

Why are you so defensive about a simple question to try and understand a vehicle better? All I’ve done is ask a question, and you continue to try and belittle that question.

Regarding steep grades with the C-Max Energi, we have 17% grade hills within 1/4 mile of our house that the car climbs almost every day; not a problem. Of course going up such a grade for many miles will deplete the battery charge quickly, before the pack gets too hot. Of course going back down them gets a substantial portion of the charge back in the battery.

The point is that those are “driving conditions” that limits the EV mode…

Volt’s mode was NOT a driving limited mode.

Sure, Energi’s mode is more marginal than PiP, but they are still falling under the “driving condition” limited modes…

As annoying as these stickers are, it might be fun to have an EV version for how many AER miles you have achieved on one charge.

Wait, are those mileage stickers? I never knew what those things were.

26.2 miles is a marathon. 13.1 miles is a half-marathon.

Yes, it’s for runners.

Here’s mine.

Is that a selfie silhouette?

Yes, when I was in shape.



I always thought it was a Bible quote of some sort 🙂

Label your units, people!

The Volt falls into this “category” too as it will resort to ICE only running if temps are too low.

Are you sure it converts to ICE only?

My understanding is that it converts to EV and also ICE together.

One of the biggest complaints of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is that it actually does convert to ICE only at temps under 35 or 45F (I forget).

I think his point is that the engine will run, and therefore you get 0 miles of “all electric” driving. AFAIK, the engine only runs shortly to warm up the fluids, etc. While running, it acts as a generator, providing some nominal amount of electricity.

I did not know that the Outlander would run the engine when it’s not even below freezing. That pretty much makes it a non-starter for me. It’s below freezing for 4 months of the year here. When it’s warming, I try to commute on a bicycle. So the Outlander would be burning gas when I most want it to just use electricity. What a disappointment.

I’ve heard that said about the Outlander as well, but I have yet to verify it in any of the reviews that have been done in Britain and the other cold regions of Europe. Perhaps it works more like the volt where it just warms the fluids for a few minutes?

A quick look at an Outlander forum on SpeakEV shows that most folks there say you can minimize ICE usage by preheating. I’m guessing that’s running the heater while plugged in like the Leaf?

Here is the relevant thread:

Swedish and Norwegian drivers were noting it.

I don’t think Brits noted it as much as it’s so much warmer in England.

Interesting. Sounds like it’ll be a problem for Northern states. Also could be a problem for me if I ever get to drive one up to Tahoe in winter (unless we keep having these damned “Spring-like” winters!).

Yes, if the pack is very cold (something like -10F or colder) it will essentially bypass the high voltage system and only drive the car with the engine while the battery warms. Then it will switch to normal operation again.

This mode very rarely occurs, and in fact, the large majority of Volt owners have never even seen it (it is a much colder temperature than the ERDTT that runs for assisted cabin heating)

Well, I don’t know what the point of this post is. Sure the Volt and the REx are different from other PHEVs, as well as different from each other.

Does it have a plug? Does it save gasoline over a hybrid or conventional ICE vehicle? If yes, then it’s good.

The Volt is also sometimes a 0-mile EV when it’s cold enough that the engine runs for heat.

Volt is never a 0 mile EV, unless you do the entire battery by stopping every 5 mins to let the engine cool off. Once it’s warm, it turns off and you continue in EV mode until the engine cools off enough to need to be restarted.

Of course, in the same situation in a PIP, the engine is always on to maintain heat. It cannot heat in electric mode.

Personally I would disable ERDTT in a volt and no more issue…

I’m with you! All these cars are improvements over ICE, even the nonplugin Prius still gets 50mpg and is very low emmission, why complain? When they switch to a hybrid they usually want more and their next car is an EV, it’s the automotive “gateway drug”.

“The Volt falls into this “category” too as it will resort to ICE only running if temps are too low.”

The Volt will do this only on the coldest of days, when the pack is too cold. 99% of drivers do not see it. It is a fundamental limit of the battery chemistry.

These temperatures can also prevent pure EV’s from running, so by your logic, all plugins should have 0 miles of range.

There are key differences already stated in the article as to why the Volt is a stronger “EV” than other plug-ins.

Though Chevy could do themselves a solid and make ERDTT in the Volt configurable to be turned off… but they’re not going to, sigh.

I drive a C-Max Energi. I’ve gone weeks at a time before needing to burn gas (and yes, it was being driven almost daily). I’m not sure why the C-Max is officially listed as 0-21 miles AER. Perhaps it is because even when in EV mode, the ICE can switch on? I know if I turn the heat on high, or if the defroster is on, the ICE will switch on in the C-Max even if it is in EV only mode.

I think it’s 0-21 because if you have it in “EV Auto” mode and mash the accelerator, the gas engine will come on.

Does the C-Max Energi have the equivalent of the Volt’s ERDTT (Engine Running Due To Temperature)? In other words, if it is really cold out, will the engine turn on regardless of having the heater on? Or is it possible to preheat the car from the plug, and then drive off in all-electric mode?

The C-Max doesn’t seem to have a set temperature where the ICE turns on. I drove to work this morning in the Energi, and the temp bounced between 2-10 degrees (F), but the ICE did not switch on. Other times I have driven in similar temps and the engine has come on. I think ERDTT in the C-Max is dependent on some internal engine coolant temp.

Good to know. The C-Max is high on my list of potential replacements for my Insight hybrid. If it burned gas all winter (round trip commute < 5 miles), I would be very disappointed.

“I think ERDTT in the C-Max is dependent on some internal engine coolant temp.”

That’s one thing I wish the Volt did differently. I can have it plugged in, remote start it, and have the cabin nice and toasty warm before I go out there. And as soon as I unplug the car, if it’s below 15F, the engine turns on. EV Rage.

I keep a perspective on the <15F ERDTLT, since the first two years of ownership featured less than 2 weeks each, where the mornings reached those temps, in Boston. Wife will go right to hold mode, unless I set ERDTLT back to 35F. This is on '13 and later Volts. Faster CS heat (from the exhaust manifold), and EV heat (from a higher heater kw rating) are characteristics of Volt 2. I know you probably know this, Clarkson, but others don't.

The ELR is fixed at 36F, I believe. We probably have 50+ mornings where ERDTLT would become a reality, in that chariot. It's a factor. The latest pricing has me wanting to move columns in my garage (big 2-dr).

Anyone know Volt2's settings?

Is your C-Max a “family hauler” or is it a commuter car? How is that “funky trunk” for handling cargo such as suit cases, etc? I haven’t gotten over Alex Dykes rating the C-Max Energi trunk a 5 out of 10.

It’s actually both. 🙂
I use it for my daily commute (~17 miles R/T), and also for the long distance trips.
The wife uses the Volt for kid shuttling duty, and we drive our Volt for most local errands.

The trunk is rather small (especially for a family hauler), but we’ve been able to adapt pretty well. With the rear seats down, there is actually a lot of room. If you’re talking about fitting 4-5 people in the C-Max for a long distance trip with luggage, you can forget about that unless you travel extremely light. To fit all the stuff I need for camping for 4, for example, I needed to buy a roof rack and rear cargo box.

But when you go on those trips you certainly don’t take the Volt. It’s trunk space – although better laid out – is notably smaller than the C-Max.

I’ve been making due with a Honda Insight + occasional roof box as my family hauler. It is just barely enough room, occasionally it is too small. The C-Max is a little larger, but the Volt is much smaller than that car.

Yeah, the Volt’s cargo area is actually deeper than the C-Max’s, but the C-Max’s overall capacity is nearly twice the size of the Volt’s. Plus I don’t think the official numbers take into account the cargo space under the battery flap.

Let’s see if this works…

Thanks to whoever fixed my post. :p

I was able to fit that luggage in the C-Max hatch (seats up): 1 full sized bag, 1 medium, 2 carry ons, another smaller personal bag, and a back pack. Wouldn’t have been able to fit another carry on in there.

I actually managed to fit about the same amount of luggage listed here in my Volt.

I also can fit a double B.O.B. stroller in the Volt trunk by itself.

That double B.O.B. won’t fit in the C-Max due to the shape…

C-Max is larger than the Volt in absolute volume, but its shape is less usable in my opinion. Most of that volume advantage is due to the height where the Volt rear hatch slopes down significantly for aerodynamic…

…and I’m sure I could find a suit case that cannot fit in the Volt but can fit standing in the C-Max. Bro1999 admits that it took some getting used to, but once you know your car’s trunk, making full use of the space becomes natural.

Thanks for the info! Question: did you fit all of that luggage with the seats up or down?

I’ve gotten pretty creative cramming stuff in our Prius but I have had to rely on relatives to carry extras (especially Christmas presents and other “gifts”) so I am hitting a wall in practicality.

I haven’t used the engine in my C-Max Energi since the 3rd week of December despite a 600 foot rise to get back to my house. What’s wrong with the EPA, they can’t figure out how to put the car into EV Now?

EPA test the “default” mode of the car.

If Ford makes the car “EV now” as default, then it might a different rating.

600 ft rise is NOT enough information if you don’t provide the speed and amount of loading the car is uder for that climb…

The EPA has a lot of sometimes silly arbitrary rules for testing. So their rating in this case is essentially aimed at the lowest common denominator.

How much load I put on the car varies depending on how “frisky” I’m feeling, it’s a windy road, steep in some areas, flat in others. If I push the pedal to the floor the car invites me via a message on one of the dash screen to enable the engine, but I’m under no obligation to do so.

Although Ford gets ignored there were #2 last year in plug-in vehicle sales in the U.S. and I see they are starting to sell the C-Max Energi in Europe.

FYI……There is a new EcoSelect option coming for the 2016 Fusion/MKZ Hybrid and 2016 C-Max Hybrid:

“EcoSelect Standard on HEV – the EcoSelect button located in center console will allow the vehicle to operate more efficiently with less aggressive heating and cooling, softer acceleration, more regenerative breaking, changes in engine behavior and EcoCruise control activation.”

The point is that how much load will ultimately kick you out of the EV only mode…

Ford is #2 in plugin sales by having more low price models… And it is barely larger than the #3 and #4 plugin market as a company…

Now that California Carpool access is exhausted, the sales of both plugin models are pretty much plunging…

You seem convinced that some amount of load will have the car automatically come out of EV Now mode. jdbob states otherwise, and in my own test drive, I found the same. The car tells you that acceleration is limited, and invites you to exit EV Now mode, but it will not do it for you. I invite you to find some evidence to support your conviction. Better yet, go for a test drive and do it yourself.

Did you go above 85mph in your test drive?

Negative. I never go above 85 mph in NYS since the highest posted speed limit is 65. However, see my comment above. Others do speed, and out west limits are higher. This is a valid case, but a bit extreme.

The point is still valid:

– Above 85mph the engine will run.
– Using defrost, the engine will run.

The one I’m curious about is going up a steep incline for a long period, as that’s more relevant to my real world driving scenarios in the northeast. I suspect the engine will run there too.

I’ve driven up a mountain (elevation change from about 200 feet to 3000 feet over 4-5 miles) when taking my C-Max to Shenandoah for camping (fully loaded with camping gear for 4 people, roof rack, rear cargo box stuffed to the brim) in EV Now mode. Engine didn’t turn on at any point. I was going about 25 mph up the mountain. Charge level sure did drop fast! I doubt I could go more than 10 miles on a full battery under those conditions.

Nice, thanks for the datapoint bro1999!

The ICE will not normally turn on at 85 MPH or going up a steep grade if in EV Now mode. The system will ask you if you want the ICE on if using full accelerator pedal.

The Default on starting the C-Max with charged battery is EV Now if the previous drive was in EV Now mode. If previous drive wwas in either other mode, EV Auto is default.

Interesting. Is this based on your own experience? Were you on a flat surface or decline? I only ask because Ford’s own literature states that the engine will kick on at speeds of 85 or above. I would expect that, depending on the scenario, it could kick on at speeds slower than 85.

I’m also curious if you tried to go up steep grades at highway speed on your test drive.

Those are the two cases in dispute here it seems.

And why would the load be any more than simply trying to accelerate as fast as possible on level at a the same speed? In any car, the powertrain can put out so much power/torque. How much is a function of the engine’s RPMs and not the resistance from the environment. The result of climbing a steep grade is simply less acceleration from the same power. This is physics 101, you should know that 😉

“And why would the load be any more than simply trying to accelerate as fast as possible on level at a the same speed?”

It wouldn’t, but the engineers may have decided that going up a hill at 30mph at full acceleration in a 55mph zone isn’t safe.

Without any data either way, we are both now just guessing at what the engineering team at Ford decided to do. What you’re saying is that Ford could have decided not to let the Energi fall to the same fate as the i3 – that is, severely limited power on sustained inclines. It’s possible in the Ford because the engine can be coupled to the wheels, providing plenty of power. The question seems to be whether they did that.

If anyone has information on this particular edge case, we’d love to know for certain how the car behaves.

“Without any data either way, we are both now just guessing at what the engineering team at Ford decided to do.”

Yes, that is precisely why I was asking the question, before being told I don’t understand physics. 😛

Fair enough. Sometimes you need to hash out a question from a few different angles to properly understand what is being asked (i.e. have a discussion about it). It was not clear at all to me that this is what you were asking.

Roger that.

I have driven all of those choices.

When the load increases on a steep hill, the battery will heat up and that is where the EV now mode will change.

You can argue to the end that is the marginal case, but the fact remains that a certain driving condtion will kick it out of the EV now mode…

This article is a bit misleading.

The 0 for number of miles for any plug-in hybrid indicates that if there is ZERO battery power, there will be 0 EV miles available. But with max battery power the EPA max range is X number of miles. Being a plug-in hybrid the owner can still drive the vehicle as a hybrid, but also creating electricity while the engine is in use and via break regeneration, creating EV miles along the way.

By comparison, if an EV had ZERO battery power, the owner is not going anywhere.

That is NOT the point of article..

It mean gas free miles due to driving requirements… If you are lead footed PiP owners, your will get 0 “gas free” miles….

Don’t buy a’d be better off to spend the $40,000 on a real EV like two used Leafs or the beginning of a Tesla..

We also shouldn’t support makes like Toyota that aren’t serious about having an EV offfering.

My Ford C-Max energi is a zero electric car ????? Ha Ha Ha.

My commute to work is 17 miles with free plug in at work. I then drive home using e power only.

Never use gas unless I use the heater. Yesterday turned heater on and used 0.1 gallon of gas.

For short commutes to grocery store or movie works just fine.

I have 30000 mi on the car with 16000 in ev mode.

Yeah 0 mu car ……. Right


Jeff — you have to actually read the whole story:

“Ford Fusion Energi – Electric-Only Range = 0 to 19 Miles”

I read the story and it clearly states in the the caption of the picture that the c-max energi is a “0-miler” which is patently false.

The cmax energi even has an all electric mode which allows you to drain the battery til the engine kicks in, up to 80 mi per hour. If you are in auto mode and accelerate hard then the engine will kick on. Or if you accelerate past 80 mi per hour the engine will kick on, even in ev mode. I believe there are conditions where the engine will kick on for a volt as well, correct me of I am wrong. Otherwise, as stated it is patently false that you can not drive the ford energi models in all ev mode.

We drive so well in ev mode we generally get about 25 mi all electric out of our energi. I’ve gotten up to 30.

In my ford fussion Energi I have over 20000 miles and over half are EV. I’ve climbed mountains with it and the engine does not come on unless you push the override button or it overheats the battery. It will climb about anything as the low end torque is high although you may not go fast on extreme incline but neither do ice cars. On the hwy it won’t run unless you go over 85 mph or again the battery overheats.

My work car is a Plug in Prius and I agree that it is 0-mile car. Under only the most ideal conditions does it drive in EV mode without the engine firing up, and that includes accelerating at a very light pace, not going over 60 MPH, not too cold outside, etc. This car should have never received carpool lane access as it’s not possible to drive it in the carpool lane without burning gas AND not holding up the rest of the world.

+1 This is a point I’ve been making about the Prius, either PiP or standard. The scenarios for the engine staying off are so few that all you would need to do is sneeze and the damn engine will turn on!

Quick question for Energi owners:

1) Does Energi hold in EV mode when EV Now is enabled? For example, if I stomp the accelerator 0-70MPH, will it refrain from turning on the ICE?

2) If I have to use the heater, in what conditions does the ICE turn on? Is there a certain ambient temperature that it kicks on? Battery temperature? Cabin temperature? If so, how long does the ICE stay on?

3) I hear EV Now 0-20 MPH performance is good, 20-40MPH is OK, but 40+ is about as bad as iMiEV. Anyone have the exact figures?

4) If you’ve driven a LEAF, how do you compare the two as far as performance, handling, and all around practicality?

I’m thinking of turning in my LEAF in about 5 months and buying a used Energi (either Fusion or C-Max). They tend to be very low miles and incredibly cheap.


For the most part it stays in EV mode while in ‘EV Now’….except for the situations already mentioned (turn on defroster/crank heat in cold temps, battery gets overheated).

Also, it turns out that when ‘full’, there is no buffer to store extra charge from regen, so if you drive off in L after a full charge and regen, the ICE will turn on. This is for a 2013 model. Not sure if Ford changed the buffer in later model years.

Here is a link to a youtube vid I took of my C-Max doing a 0-60 run in EV Now mode. Roughly, the time was around 18 seconds. I think being at a low SOC (<25%) may have limited power some.

“the maximum acceleration on either test is 3.3 mph per ­second. At that rate, it takes more than 18 seconds to hit 60 mph.”

I was looking for the horses mouth, but C&D reviews the acceleration phase of EPA’s post-2008 testing. If 0-60 in 18 seconds triggers a PHEV engine (and “0 miles EV”), I’m with the title of this article. I won’t accelerate that slow, like I “won’t drive 55” 🙂 .

Its great PiP, and Energi drivers are chiming in. All it would take is timing a run, to 60mph, that doesn’t use the engine, and reporting back. Can you beat 18, in EV mode?