With a push of an EV mode button on the center console, the Ford C-MAX Energi goes into full electric mode with a range of about 20 miles before the gasoline engine kicks in to extend the range to 550 miles.
The 2013 C-MAX Energi, which will begin arriving at Ford showrooms in 19 markets this fall, will start at $29,995 after a federal tax credit of $3,750. Ford says the C-MAX Energi will be sold nationwide early next year.
Like C-MAX Hybrid, the C-MAX Energi has projected total system horsepower of 188 – reaching a peak of 195 with a fully charged battery – stemming from the combination of a gasoline engine and a battery-driven electric motor. When powered by gasoline, C-MAX Energi uses the all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine – powerful and fuel efficient and among the most advanced non-turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains Ford has ever offered.
Ford C-MAX Energi also will offer drivers an EV mode button to give drivers electric power on demand.
Drivers can opt for electric-only driving without gasoline engine power, normal hybrid mode where the powertrain melds electric and gasoline engine power as appropriate, or a battery-saving mode that reserves the pack power for later use.
When plug-in power is available, drivers can change modes with each press of the EV mode button. The mode currently selected is displayed in the driver’s left instrument cluster screen.
In EV: Auto mode, the vehicle automatically takes advantage of plug-in charge. When the charge is depleted, C-MAX Energi operates as a full hybrid.
The powertrain computer automatically selects the appropriate blend of battery usage and engine usage based on demand and the state of battery charge.
In EV: Now mode, the vehicle operates in EV mode using plug-in power. The gasoline engine will not operate unless an override setting is selected or certain conditions are present such as the accelerator pedal being fully depressed and the driver enabling the gas engine. EV: Now also activates a special Manage EV screen to monitor functionality.
To achieve the EV range estimate shown on the corresponding gauge, drivers are given coaching cues to maximize EV mode. Additionally, use of climate power and energy gauges will further help drivers manage vehicle energy use.
The EV: Later setting saves plug-in power for later use, like transitioning from highway to lower-speed residential neighborhood use. C-MAX Energi operates in normal hybrid mode, using both gas engine and electric motor. Plug-in power is reserved until the driver switches to the EV: Now or EV: Auto setting.