Ford Seeking to Lead Hybrid Market


In another strategy poised to push Ford to the top of the hybrid market, the Detroit based company is launching C-Max Energi plug in hybrid. This vehicle has been rated at 620 miles by the Environmental Protection Agency. This was confirmed in a telephone interview and would be appearing on the Energi’s windshield wiper as it arrives in dealerships next month.

This rating has left the competition eating its dust. The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid has been certified at 540 miles and the Chevrolet Volt at 380 miles. This prompted Toyota spokesperson John Hanson to say “Congratulations to Ford” in an email.

Carmakers have only included the estimated range in their selling point of vehicles as consumers start to focus and value fuel efficiency and economy. The recent scholarship indicates the range number as it would become a greater factor in the decision-making process in purchasing vehicles.

According to the study conducted by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at the New York University, “The 21st century is emerging as the century of the ‘supercommuter’.  The recession has made people much more”. This is was further explained by Mitchell L. Moss, Center Director in saying that more and more Americans are willing to travel beyond the bounds of their metropolitan regions for their jobs and commute ninety miles or more one way. He added that with more fuel efficient cars like hybrids and electrics, the future of the supercommuter is set. “It fits their lifestyle, they can drive more using less gas – or no gas”, he said.

Ford noted that the Energi can deliver up to 21 miles of all electric range with an EPA certified 100 mpg in combined urban and highway driving. When using hybrid mode, the car has a combined rating of 43 mpg. All this gives the C-Max as a hybrid vehicle with a rating of 570 miles of total range. According to Ford engineers, “We know customers are sensitive to fuel economy, but they’re also concerned about range because they look at the time between fill-ups.”

Ford expects that the Energi version would account up to twenty percent of C-Max sales in the US alone with a base price of US$33,475 with a federal income tax credit of US$3,750 that would lower the price to US$29,995.

Another plus factor for the vehicle, at least for those in California, is the grant of approval for coverage under the Golden State Green Clean Air Vehicle Sticker program under the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program. This, together with the other incentives, would surely create greater demand for the plug-in hybrid car demand.