Watch Out For The New Kid In Town, Ford C-Max Energi Sells 1,259 Cars In First Full Month

DEC 5 2012 BY STAFF 22

Do people respond to extended range plug-in vehicles under $30,000?  You bet they do.

The Ford C-Max Energi, with an EPA rated 21 miles of electric range and starting at $29,995 (after $3,750 federal credit) sold an amazing 1,259 cars in November, after managing to see 144 in the last couple of days that it went on sale in October.

Starting At $39,145, The Volt May Need A Price Reduction To Compete Long-Term Against The C-Max Energi

That figure represents only 260 less than the cross-town rival GM’s Volt, and may be part of the reason Chevrolet suffered an almost 50% drop in sales during November (2,961 Oct vs. 1,519).

Like Toyota with the plug-in Prius, Ford’s C-Max Energi is based off the C-Max hybrid, which combined for the month sold 4,848 copies.  It is this shared platform architecture that Ford says allows the Energi to be priced so cheaply.

Besides the 21 miles of all electric range from the 7.6 kWh on board lithium battery, the car also achieves an impressive 43 MPG in extended range mode (although we can find no one who has actually been able to achieve this level for an extended period of time).  The C-Max Energi is also rated at a combined 100 MPGe.

Ford C-Max Energi, 108 MPGe City, 92 MPGe Highway

Making the result even more interesting, the C-Max Energi was rolled out first in the north-east United States, with few being sold during the month in the state of California, the largest market for plug-ins.  The C-Max Energi also qualifies for an additional $1,500 off the MSRP through the CVRP program (Clean Vehicle Rebate Program), making the effective price $28,495.

The 5th Seat Is a Big Advantage Over Cross-Town Rival Chevrolet Volt


Ford C-Max Interior


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22 Comments on "Watch Out For The New Kid In Town, Ford C-Max Energi Sells 1,259 Cars In First Full Month"

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I didn’t realize they are selling in CA. I can’t see one in Seattle, nobody has it here.

You are quick to find and comment on the article. It originally went up (for about 3 minutes) missing the very import “not” in regards to sales in California, which unintentionally changed the meaning entirely.

We had to change it to a “few” as Ford did apparently sell a handful there during the month. Very insignificant amount we are told.

Hey, my Seattle EV brother – Honda and Ford dissed us also
— not a Focus nor Fit EV in sight! NOW what are we gonna do with
all those fast chargers along the I-5 corridor?! Leafs are all over,
I must say. Our moderate climate is Leaf friendly (at least for pack
life expectancy).

Our area displays the shortcomings of hybrids – mine is
constantly shifting from gas to electric no matter how
proficient I am in pulse-and-glide. Seattle is hilly country
…murder on EV range or hybrid performance.
‘Tis the season, so in one evening, I’ll go east a couple miles
uphill to church for choir practice, then head west until
I go up another mega hill at 43 percent grade over 1/4 mile
to tutoring class! Yes the gas engine sucks gas all the way
up, and yes I try to regain my losses coasting as much
as possible on the way down – yet it never seems to
equalize enough. Colder, wetter conditions are giving
me all to many trips in the 30’s – in my hybrid that I can
coax into the 50’s in summer-flat driving.

Seattle is built for an EREV or a BEV with over 200
miles of range.

Yes, Seattle geography is not EV friendly. But it’s climate is.

EVNow is all over the C-Max Energi stuff. You won’t get anything by him on this vehicle! 😉

LOL. Just so happenned I had made a comment about CA & Energi on MNL, so I was interested. More importantly, my family is off on vacation. That gives me some extra time …

None available in PA around here. Couple in NJ. Good for them with the sales number.

Of course, there are *a lot* of anti-GM folks in this country. The whole “government motors” and Obamacar thing with the Volt. They’d gladly pay more for a Ford with less AER. Lyle will be helping them by writing about the C-Max Energi as well.

“Keep Plugging In” – EREVs really are the right solution.

Just watched a Motorweek on the tube where the claimed
47/47mpg C-Max hybrid saw a real-world 38.5mpg. Ford
is dangerously close to Hyundai in it’s mileage claims, it
seems, as no test of a recent Ford matches the EPA ratings –
or even close.

This kind of advertising bit Hyundai in the wallet, and the
government is considering fines and punishment as well.

Add this up and Lyle’s performance reports will be greatly
interesting. Let’s just say Ford’s claimed 21 miles electric
really pan out to 11-14, and the CS mode mileage looks
nearer 35-38 than 43….Then what to do….hmmm…. Volt
is superior yet lacks the initial price punch and room for
3 in the rear.

For years people have opined that several Volts – a hybrid version,
a CUV and a base/stripper Volt would beat the
competition. GM apparently wasn’t listening. Today, we
see someone was – unfortunately it was GM’s biggest
rivals, Toyota and Ford.

Truly, if C-Max Energi buyers experience lower numbers
than Ford bloviates, it’ll hurt the entire plug-in market
as a whole. Automakers are staying up nights
developing lighter materials and 9 speed transmissions
to keep complex explode and bang technology
in your garage…This is truly what they want you to
buy into.

That 38.5 mpg mentioned above for C-Max Hybrid sound very similar to the mileage I’ve experienced so far in my CMH — my daily commute is a bit over 100 miles in rolling countryside with lots of gentle hills. Avg speed is 55 to 63 mph, mostly on cruise control. I figure that my drop from the 47/47 EPA is because of the hilliness, but maybe FoMoCo fudged the numbers.

Yet isn’t the newer EPA test cycle supposed to include
higher speeds up to 80mph on the hwy cycle, colder
temps, more acceleration and the use of A/C 13% of
the time? I know it’s done on a dynamometer, but they’re
supposed to reflect more real-world use.

9mpg is a pretty large swing. You got the same results
as Motorweek, and I’m sure you’re not flooring it at
every stoplight and driving like Jeff Gordon at Daytona
on the freeways…

Perhaps with pulse-and-glide technique on the hills
you may be able to get that up over 40-41 but still
it’s disappointing when they advertise 47mpg.
Generally, it’s not to difficult to top the EPA numbers.

I have no particular interest in hyper-miling my commute to squeeze a couple of additional mpgs. I’m just putting it on cruise control 90% of the trip. BTW, I got over 41 mpg on my commute this morning. This C-Max Hybrid replaces my 97 Explorer V8, and my mileage has just about tripled — so I’m a reasonably happy camper.

This is really a nice small SUV and it retains a surprising number of the features that I loved about my Explorer, especially the upright seating and overall visibility. Its passing acceleration is great — you punch it and it GOES. IMO, CMH is a no-brainer choice over any of the Prius models.

There will be a lawsuit over mileage figures. Honda was sued over their mileage claims for their Hybrid Civic. 38MPG AVERAGE isn’t really that bad for a car with these capabilities. Only a few can top that, and it’s equal to the Volt in CS mode. Still love the Volt!

A big issue, in my opinion, is that Ford counts ALL miles with the engine off as “EV Miles”… This includes the miles after the battery has depleted, and the engine turns off at low speeds like other hybrids.

The result is that their EV miles numbers are biased significantly higher than reality, and their MPG numbers are biased lower (I presume, unless they’re double counting the miles).

These “engine off” miles should be counted toward MPG, not toward EV miles, since their energy was derived from gasoline. Ford is green washing the numbers here, in my opinion.

Too early in the game to tell what the reception of the ENERGI is. Initial sales are good, but what is the breakout of these sales? Are these just preorders? Are these fleet sales? Will demand drop once the pre-orders are filled?

Need to have real world mileage results too. It’s a good start, though. Now comparing it to the Volt. I think that GM has now built cost-savings for a price reduction in the Volt; however, I don’t think they will need it. Why? Because the cmax hybrid is about to get a TON of bad press for not achieving it’s MPG claims. I believe Ford is going to have trouble explaining the difference between the ENERGI and the Cmax hybrid to the public. Therefore, I think that sales of the ENERGI may drop as pre-orders are filled and consumers develop a wait and see attitude (as they did with the absurd battery-fire investigation of the Volt).

I’ve not heard of many pre-orders. Do you have any specific info ?

The biggest positive out of this number is that CA is not involved. In CA people lap up anything that lets them in on the carpool lane.

I don’t have all the answers to Taser45’s questions, but I can tell you that hardly any of the C-Max Energis were pre-orders.

Lyle (who also writes here at the site) wanted a custom Energi pre-order instead of stock, and Ford promised him pretty much the first off the line and it only showed up last week (although he has to repoair his Volt before he can pick it up, lol)…a full month after the first stock cars went out.

95% of sales had to be inventory.

Not to be simply a contrarian, but it is documented that Ford took pre-orders for the C-Max Hybrid beginning in May. Press reports for the ENERGI suggest that preorders were made.

In late July the CSmonitor reported that the ENERGI would be available to preorder at select Ford dealships “very soon.” 67 dealerships were certified (because they sold the Focus EV) since the spring. As of Nov 10 2012, 200 Ford dealers were certified to sell the ENERGI.

Despite Lyle’s recent delivery, it would make little sense for the certified dealers to be prohibited from taking preorders for the ENERGI.

I think perhaps I wasn’t overly clear in what I said. Ford certainly took pre-orders, put they were not put in priority sequence ahead of simple inventory for the start of production.

Some backstory:
Lyle and the site has a special relationship with Ford (mostly due to the fact Lyle Dennis is trading in a Chevy Volt and he is/was basically the social media face of that car)

And what happened was Ford did a inventory run for the first 4 weeks of production, and then all custom/pre-orders were delayed/queued up after after that run. What Lyle received at the end of the month/beginning of December (that he has yet to pick up because of aforementioned mishap with his Volt) was the first customer pre-order that was made by Ford.

In a side note: the whole thing was mildly annoying because we were under the impression that we were getting one of the very first C-Max Energis off the line to own/review…and not one of the very first of the custom orders.

/sorry about the lack of clarity

Can’t wait for the Lyle in-depth test!

Can you imagine Ford’s excitement when Lyle Dennis –
of fame and CAB member calls them
and wants a C-Max instead?! Hoooo Boy, it was
like, “Hey Fred – Check THIS out, call PR!”…

I hope GM is watching – I really do. Whatever
beancounter over there who pulled the trigger
on 2nd gen 2-mode should get his walkin’ papers
along with the guy who penned the Malibu…

Even a worse-case scenario like 38 mpg C and
13 miles AER is large because of the presence
of the plug – AND that it beat Prius-V in it’s
first month on sale in limited markets! You
have to beam when you beat Toyota at anything,

Battery packs being built and placed in cars
being sold out the door only makes the hope
of economies of scale seem more plausible.
Let’s hope it forces Toyo to put lithium packs
in it’s lesser model hybrids.

It’s only fair that Lyle’s test results will
be in a car that’s not broken in yet, and
in cold northeastern winter temperatures….
This is what Motor Trend did with Volt,
their long-term Volt numbers were
skewed because they spent the first
six months in the Detroit, MI area cold,
snowy clime, and hot summer months
in their LA offices. Should’a been
the other way around MT….hello?

Dan Neil reviewed the CMH in today’s Wall Street Journal. He likes the car, but sez they had to have cooked the numbers for their 47/47 mpg EPA rating. Interesting article.

“AS MUCH AS I hate to be topical, I have driven, in just the last few days, a fresh-from-the-factory Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL. Last month, Green Car Reports—that Bolshevik rag—reported that the C-Max Hybrid and the Fusion Hybrid it tested (they share hybrid architecture) didn’t come close to delivering their Environmental Protection Agency mileage ratings of 47/47/47 miles per gallon, city/highway/combined. This supports similarly scandalous findings this month in Consumer Reports.

I read that and thought, Yup.

Hyundai, Honda and now Ford have been accused of cooking the mileage books, and in the first blush of evidence—I just ran a tank of gas through the C-Max and got 33.9 average mpg—I also judge the C-Max’s rating to be grossly inflated.” …… [article continues]

We have two dealers in Austin that has Energis. Maxwell in the south and Leif Johnson in the north. They both don’t stock them as they are virtually sold before arrival. I’ve been trying to get a drive in one before they ‘prep for sale’, but haven’t yet. I really holding out for an overpriced Fusion Energi to buy.