The Ford C-MAX Energi represents a lot of new ideas for North American Customers. From the unique Kinetic design to the plug-in hybrid technology, this multi-activity vehicle offers versatility and style for high-mileage family-friendly vehicles.
As the director of Ford Electrification Programs, Sherif Marakby knows quite a bit about the C-MAX Energi, as well as all of the current and future Ford hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. He spent a few minutes with us at the 2011 North American International Auto Show to give us an overview of the C-MAX Energi.
The development of the first-ever Ford production plug-in hybrid leverages more than 200,000 miles of road testing conducted in collaboration with a coalition of 10 utility companies, the U.S. Department of Energy, the New York State Energy Research and Development Administration and the Electric Power Research Institute.
The Ford C-MAX Energi will use advanced lithium-ion battery system developed and assembled in-house by Ford in Michigan. The system is smartly designed to maximize use of common, high-quality components, such as control board hardware that has proven field performance in current Ford hybrid vehicles.
C-MAX Energi is predicted to achieve more than 500 miles of driving range using the battery and engine; more than any other plug-in or extended-range vehicle. The C-MAX Energi will benefit from daily charging to maximize its all-electric range. Thanks to the efficiencies of its right-sized battery system, the plug-in hybrid easily recharges 100 percent overnight on a 120-volt outlet.
A full charge in C‑MAX Energi allows owners to increase their driving significantly in all-electric mode and drastically reduce their use of the on-board fuel engine.
On start-up, C-MAX Energi will operate in charge-depletion mode, providing electric driving range. When the battery has been depleted or certain conditions are met, it switches to charge-sustaining hybrid mode for continued optimal fuel efficiency.
Ford worked with a supplier to provide an industry-standard five-point plug for C-MAX Energi (and new Focus Electric) that is ergonomically comfortable to hold as well as durably and distinctively designed. The plug handle uses a matte-finished black rubber for a comfortable, non-slip grip and the plug head is shielded with a glossy white hard plastic to protect the electronics. The Ford Blue Oval trademark helps make the device immediately recognizable.
When the cord set connector is plugged into the vehicle’s charge port, which is located conveniently between the driver’s door and front wheel well, it activates a light ring that loops around the port twice in acknowledgement of connectivity. The light ring then illuminates in quadrants as the vehicle charges. Flashing quadrants represent charge in progress and solid-lit quadrants show stages of charge completion. When the entire ring is solidly lit, the vehicle is fully charged.
Using the value charging feature, powered by Microsoft, C-MAX Energi owners in North America will be able to optimize their home’s energy use and vehicle recharging practices. Value charging allows Ford customers to reduce their electricity costs by taking advantage of off-peak or reduced rates from their utility without a complicated set-up process.
C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid build on the success of the powersplit architecture Ford uses in its current hybrids, including the Ford Fusion Hybrid.
In a powersplit hybrid, the electric motor and gasoline-powered engine can work together or separately to maximize efficiency. The engine also can operate independently of vehicle speed, charging the batteries or providing power to the wheels as needed. The motor alone can provide sufficient power to the wheels in low-speed, low-load conditions, and work with the engine at higher speeds.
While this system enables the current Fusion Hybrid to operate in fuel-saving electric mode up to 47 mph, Ford is targeting higher electric operating speeds for C-MAX Hybrid and even more capability for C-MAX Energi, which will have the advantage of additional battery power.
C-MAX Energi owners will have access to a suite of driver information systems – on-board and off-board – designed to help them manage the recharge process, manage the most eco-friendly route on-board, remotely control their vehicle’s charge and preconditioning settings, monitor battery state of charge and maximize energy efficiency to extend use of electric mode. C-MAX Hybrid owners also will benefit from the on-board features.
Off-board, C-MAX Energi owners in North America can maintain constant contact with the car anywhere they have mobile phone or web access using the Ford-developed MyFord Mobile. MyFord Mobile enables access to a secure Ford website and smartphone/feature phone app to get instant vehicle status information, perform key functions remotely, monitor the car’s state of charge and current range, get various alerts including when the vehicle requires charging, remotely program charge settings and download vehicle data for analysis.
Read the story, “More Ford C-MAX Hybrid Details Revealed!” for newer information about the Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid.