A Personal Introduction of the New Ford C-MAX Energi

By Ford Social Member

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.
Greg 09/19/2011
Tow, Stow, Row, if I can have 3 wishes please, even if its in the near future, tow have light duty towing, 3rd row seating, and stow under the floor seats for Max space...ok 2 out of three then?
Lou Ann 05/30/2011
I was thinking about replacing my 9.5 year old Prius late next year, but I will certainly look at the C-MAX Energi first! I hope it has a little more cargo room than the current Prius. I'm am a great fan of Alan Mullaly and know that he will steer Ford in the right direction!
Robyn Collyer 04/10/2011
We can hardly wait to purchase for this vehicle for our family of four. We were hoping to buy it this fall, but it appears we will have to wait an additional year. Bummer. Can Ford get it to market a little sooner please?
C.Ecker 04/07/2011
Artman: "Additionally, even charging a Tesla EV from drained to full charge uses the same amount of electricity as 4 plasma TVs operating over the same time (under 4 hours)."

Oh boy -- that's way way off! The Tesla battery stores 53kWhours of charge. Not even discounting for conversion or charge losses. That's the same as running 4 large screen plasma TVs for 24 to 48 hours, depending on the models of plasma TV you've got.

You're right on this point though: "... We, as a group, need to get our facts straight ..."

However, I also dispute your 1 to 2 million EV claim -- the electric grid is presently at capacity RIGHT NOW with almost no electric vehicles. Another 50 million kW at night for some cities would wreak havoc.
Wally Watcher 03/27/2011
Hopefully Ford makes the interior more comfortable than the Prius. I test drove the Fiesta and I did not fit well at 6'4". I also test drove Plug in Prius at the LA Auto Show, and was surprised by interior room.
Thomas Artman 03/09/2011
S. Ewing:

All "plug-in" hybrids run on gas as well as electricity from the grid. Long trips are not a problem - just fill the tank and keep going.
Thomas Artman 03/09/2011
B. Kutz: most people will charge after coming home from work, over night. The ASCE and other experts predict that it will take between 1 and 2 million electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids before there is any noticeable strain on the power grids or prices. In fact, with the cheaper rates that many power companies charge at night, the increased use at night improves overall revenue for the power companies while using the excess electricity at that time.

Additionally, even charging a Tesla EV from drained to full charge uses the same amount of electricity as 4 plasma TVs operating over the same time (under 4 hours). How many homes have mutliple TVs, plasmas or otherwise? Nobody is crying over electricity rates and grid load caused by multi-TV households. We, as a group, need to get our facts straight and put this all in perspective.
Robert Glass 03/02/2011
Looking forward to more information on the C-MAX ENERGI.
David Bastedo 01/12/2011
Nice car!
Barry Kutz 01/12/2011
You just wait, the price of electric will go sky high as more of these vehicles are put into use, everybody will pay!
Sarah Ewing 01/12/2011
Thanks for putting out a plug-in hybrid. Its 500 mile/charge limit appears to make the vehicle more appropriate for short-distance city driving. Fact or fiction? And is there a plan to ever make a long-haul plug-in hybrid?
Dane Higbee 01/11/2011
Make an electric Excursion and then I will get excited.
Cyril Vil 01/11/2011
@zac: buy a toyota and they will be thankful to you by helping them pay their victims for $10M/families.
Sonja Schafran 01/11/2011
Go Sherif!
Bob Wanicki 01/11/2011
Where did the slider doors go !
Glen Porter 01/11/2011
I am so proud of Ford. They make a great product and are finally getting the respect they deserve. Keep up the good work Ford! Just bring back the Crown Victora and keep the TownCar.
Greg Wavell 01/11/2011
Keep ST Thomas assembly plant open!
Victor Musao Ford 01/11/2011
Cool ride... Hop the spare parts are'nt high priced.
Debbie Anders 01/11/2011
LIKELIKELIKE -- Looking forward to my Plug-In Escape Hybrid :) :) :) :)
Nestle Salcedo 01/11/2011
Again! It does not look like a mini-minivan! I might even buy this because it can seat people comfortably! ^_^
Gary Tarantino 01/11/2011
Ford technology is getting better and better each month nice to hear the news.... on full electric...
Zacchaeus Maney 01/11/2011
TOYOTA and FORD and NISSAN all I need
Benjamin Burkhardt 01/11/2011
The C-MAX is already sold over in Europe.
Zacchaeus Maney 01/11/2011
A Personal Introduction of the New Ford C-MAX Energi
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