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Ford Targets Toyota with C-Max Hybrid

July 6, 2012 in Electric Drive, EVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

OEM Looks for ‘Large Percentage of Conquest and Mainstream Buyers’

Ford is targeting 47 mpg city for its C-Max Hybrid for 2013, “at least 3 mpg better than Toyota Prius V,” and promises better performance and features, all at a $1,300-lower base price.

Ford aims to top the Toyota Prius V mileage-wise with its C-Max hybrid, slashing the payback period for hybrid vehicle purchases and vaulting the fuel-saving technology into the mainstream.

C-Max Hybrid is Ford’s first entry in what it says is the largest hybrid segment – accounting for 65% of all hybrid sales. Ford says it expects the vehicle to attract “a large percentage of conquest and mainstream buyers with the segment’s lowest payback period of two years compared with leading small crossovers.”

The two-year payback is about half of the four-year period Ford research shows could trigger more mainstream hybrid sales.

‘Shake Up the Market’

“The C-Max Hybrid,” global product development VP Raj Nair said in a release, represents “a great chance for us to shake up the hybrid market.”

It’s part of a plan to deliver leading fuel economy while tripling electrified vehicle production capacity by 2013 (F&F, April 9).

Ford cites a base price of $25,995 for the C-Max Hybrid, and cites fleet experience for helping make the car possible, and reliable.

“Ford’s hybrid taxi fleet logged more than 80 million miles in California during the past decade,” the automaker says, “more than quadruple the number of miles logged by Toyota’s Prius lineup. Yet, among the nearly 43 million battery cells Ford has tested or seen put to work in customer vehicles, only five issues have been documented.”

The C-Max Hybrid is one of five “electrified vehicles” Ford plans to produce in North America in 2012. The others include

  • the pure battery Focus Electric, for which production began late 2011, boasting charge time of four hours with available 240-volt charging station, nearly half the time as Nissan Leaf;
  • C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid for this autumn, electric-mode MPGe than Toyota Prius plug-in, Ford days, with “better overall range than any plug-in hybrid;”
  • the all-new Fusion Hybrid, also coming this fall, 47 mpg expected to beat Toyota Camry Hybrid by 5 mpg highway; and
  • the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, with product to commence by year-end, “aiming to be the most fuel-efficient midsize car in the world.”

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Source: Ford press release

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