Making the Switch to a C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid

By Charlie S.

Lyle Dennis is a huge supporter of the Chevy Volt: he founded a website dedicated to the Volt, owned the eighth unit off the production line and drove it for 14,000 miles. So why did he recently make the switch from the Volt to the Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid?

“It all started really when my wife decided she wanted a Nissan Leaf to replace her SUV,” he said. “Since the Leaf could only go 75 miles, and we have three kids, I needed a car that could operate on electricity for my short commute but also have the capability for long drives with the whole family.”

The ability to seat five people comfortably came to the forefront for him during a trip over the summer. At that point, the family owned a Leaf and a Volt, and they planned on renting a larger car to transport the entire family for a road trip. But that didn’t work out quite the way they expected.

“Due to an error at the rental company, we found ourselves without a rental car on the day of our trip,” he said. After that he decided to pursue the C-MAX Energi to make sure they owned a car that could seat five and make long drives when needed.

As a close follower of the automotive industry in general and electric vehicles in particular, Dennis had known about the C-MAX Energi since 2011 when Ford announced it at the North American International Auto Show. The five seats and utility of the C-MAX Energi appealed to him.

He put in his order, and he has been driving his new C-MAX Energi since December. The car’s EV-only range and top speeds impressed him so far.  “It is fun to drive, technical and utilitarian,” he said. “It has lots of cool features and things to try.  It handles my commute to and from work without gas, which was my main goal.  And now I have peace of mind if my family needs to go on a long trip.”

You can learn more about this story by visiting , where Dennis goes in depth on his first impressions of the C-MAX Energi.

If you are dreaming of your own plug-in hybrid Ford, go grab a C-MAX Energi badge and let us know in the comments below.
Anthony P 09/14/2013
I LOVE the CMax! We own two, and they haven't disappointed yet. Recently, I took a trip to Portland, OR from Boise, Idaho-417 miles, and still had 1/4 tank when I arrived. I use the hill assist feature on the big downgrades here to generate electricity-going down the west side of the Blues gives me 12 miles EV Only at the bottom. Ford has comethrough again with a vehicle that out-performs the foreign competition!
James 05/30/2013
Good for you Lyle, I used to read your website post daily back in 2010.

My inlaw bought a cmax energi. I love it and want to get one.
ALLEN C 05/24/2013
Like Lyle we have BOTH a VOLT and a CMAX ENERGI. The first 7000 miles resulted in generating 3000 on electricity and 400 on regeneration. Our average is 47.4 mpg. The CMAX handles like a sedan and it is fun to drive.
Luci T 05/24/2013
Impressive story, yet not totally shocking! Ford has really out done their computation in quality, style, and over all comfort and pricing!! WTG Ford on a Great Come back!!! I'd take a Ford over any other automobile!!
Bob S 05/24/2013
I've had my C-Max Energi for about 4 months now and have no complaints. This is my 3rd Ford hybrid, having owned both the first and second generation powertrains. I didn't need to add gasoline until 2600 miles had been driven - just using every opportunity to add to the plug-in power. Also, since we have relatively temperate weather here in central Arizona in the spring, I've been driving without using any climate control power drain. Thus, my full charge distance showning each morning varies from 28 to 33 miles - and I've been achieving that range. If one drives the car carefully per the instructions in the owners manual, this kind of excellent margin over the advertised 21 mile battery range specification can be realized. When I bought the car, I had hoped to drive more electric, but I didn't realize that I had essentially procured a vehicle that was for me primarily an electric car. When I finally did refuel at 2600 miles, my distance to empty display was showing 705 miles ( gas and electric combined). I couldn't be more pleased with it.
Debbie S 05/22/2013
Will be looking at the C-Max for my next car (after I'm done with my Fusion Hybrid), but I really wish it had a fold flat front passenger seat.
Juliet C 05/21/2013
How many miles can you drive in between plug ins? Will it still have battery power left if I drive from LA to Vegas. Approximately a 5 hour drive. Any ideas??
cole 05/18/2013
His family replaced his wife's SUV with the Nissan Leaf and then the family trip took place that left them without a 5-seat vehicle. That's when Lyle replaced his Chevrolet Volt with a Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid.

Cole Quinnell
Editorial Director, Ford Social
danwat1234 05/17/2013
The C-max also has an independant rear suspension whereas the Volt and Leaf just uses a simple Torsion beam rear suspension.
Simon C 05/16/2013
According to the article, he didn't switch from the Volt to the C-Max, he replaced his wife's SUV. Am I right?
Joshua M 05/16/2013
cool article ford...
Making the Switch to a C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid
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