All-New Ford C-MAX Energi Supercharges Auto Shanghai 2011
- C-MAX Energi is Ford’s first-ever production plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
- The five-passenger multi-activity vehicle leverages the company’s global C-car platform, critically acclaimed powersplit hybrid architecture and next-generation driver information features
- C-MAX Energi targets more than 800 km of driving range using the battery and engine
SHANGHAI, China, 18 Apr., 2011 – The new Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid drives into Auto Shanghai 2011 with the promise of low fuel consumption and emissions as well as distinctive body design and a flexible interior.
Ford has drawn on its long-term experience with hybrid technology in North America – it introduced the Escape Hybrid in 2004 – and developed the all-new C‑MAX Energi on its new global C-car platform, bringing consumers more choice, versatility and style for family-friendly vehicles.
Based on the Ford C-MAX five-passenger multi-activity vehicle, C-MAX Energi also leverages Ford's innovative powersplit architecture, next-generation driver information features and advanced lithium-ion battery systems.
“C-MAX Energi will be perfect for families looking to maximise their hybrid car experience,” said Nancy Gioia, director, Global Electrification. “Thanks to the versatile interior, it is going to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers who need room to grow.”
C-MAX Energi will reach new levels of fuel consumption for petrol-powered vehicles, building on the success of the critically acclaimed powersplit architecture Ford uses in its current hybrids available on the US market, allowing it to operate in fuel-saving electric mode beyond 75 km/h.
The plug-in advantage
C-MAX Energi provides maximum fuel efficiency by pairing a high-voltage lithium-ion battery and electric traction motor with a high-efficiency Atkinson-cycle petrol engine. This allows it to run in electric mode before using the petrol engine.
In total, C-MAX Energi will offer more than 800 km of overall driving range using the battery and engine – more than any other plug-in or extended-range electric vehicle.
In general, plug-in hybrid vehicles offer several benefits, including:
- Electric driving range, perfect for emissions-free and silent city driving
- Potential consumer savings on energy and fuel costs thanks to improved fuel efficiency over a standard hybrid
- Increased use of electricity from renewable energy sources (e.g. wind and solar), where available, for vehicle recharging
- Reduced environmental impact through reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
- Reduced dependency on petroleum and increased energy independence
“A plug-in hybrid owner may make fewer trips to the pump to refuel because of its all-electric mode capability,” said Derrick Kuzak, vice president, Global Product Development.
“Conveniently, they’ll be able to recharge their plug-in hybrid at home overnight. And they’ll never have to think about the vehicle’s electric range, because the plug-in hybrid seamlessly shifts to fuel power when needed.”
The development of Ford’s first-ever production plug-in hybrid leverages more than 300,000 km of road testing with the Escape Hybrid Plug-In demonstration vehicles 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.
Getting charged up
C-MAX Energi will use advanced lithium-ion battery systems developed and assembled in-house by Ford in North America. Each system is smartly designed to maximise the use of common, high-quality components, such as control board hardware that has proven field performance in Ford’s current hybrid vehicles.
The lithium-ion battery packs offer a number of advantages over the nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries that power today’s hybrid vehicles. In general, they are 25 to 30 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter, which makes them easier to package in a vehicle, and can be tuned to increase power to boost acceleration or to increase energy to extend driving distance.
C-MAX Energi will benefit from daily charging to maximise its all-electric range and thanks to the efficiencies of its right-sized battery system, the plug-in hybrid easily recharges 100 percent overnight on a 230-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. Pure E-mode can also be chosen via a button, with a limited top speed of 70 km/h for a range, which will match the daily city commuting distances.
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 durable 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 recognisable.
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.
C-MAX Energi owners will have access to a suite of driver information systems designed to help them manage the recharge process, manage the most eco-friendly route, monitor battery state of charge and maximise energy efficiency to extend use of electric mode.
Among these tools is a unique execution of MyFord Touch™ driver connect technology, especially for electrified driving. It offers exceptional configurability of vehicle information, including fuel level, battery power level, and average and instant fuel consumption.
The cluster’s new MyView feature allows drivers to access even more vehicle data such as the electrical demands of vehicle accessories, including air-conditioning, which influences fuel economy and the electric driving range of the C-MAX Energi.
The Brake Coach feature helps to educate drivers to optimise their use of the regenerative brakes to recapture kinetic energy and send it back to the battery, also reducing wear on the brakes.
Long-term fuel efficiency can be displayed in two ways – either as a traditional chart or using an innovative display that shows a growing leafy vine on the right side of the cluster. The more efficient a customer is, the more lush and beautiful the leaves and vines become, creating a unique visual reward for the driver’s efforts.
To reinforce the message, at the end of each trip a display screen provides distance driven, kilometres gained through regenerative braking, fuel consumed (average and total) and a regenerative braking score.
Proven powersplit technology
C-MAX Energi builds on the success of the highly regarded powersplit architecture Ford uses in its current hybrids in North America. Ford has sold more than 160,000 full hybrids since the introduction of the Escape Hybrid – the first hybrid SUV to be available on the US market – which has been followed by the Ford Fusion Hybrid, winner of the 2010 MOTOR TREND Car of the Year® award.
In a powersplit hybrid, the electric motor and petrol engine can work together or separately to maximise efficiency. The engine can also 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 75 km/h, Ford is targeting higher electric operating speeds for C-MAX Energi, which will have the advantage of additional battery power.
Ford’s global C-car strategy
C-MAX Energi is just one of at least 10 new models or derivatives that Ford will launch around the world based on its new global C-car platform – Ford’s first truly global One Ford platform.
Ford’s new generation of C-segment vehicles will be sold in more than 120 markets and will account for more than 2 million units annually. The C-segment accounts for one in four cars sold worldwide today and, in conjunction with the B-segment, is expected to rise to 50 percent of all cars sold globally by 2013.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 164,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The companyprovides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.
Ford's wholly owned subsidiaries, joint ventures and investment in China include Ford Motor (China) Limited, Ford Motor Research & Engineering (Nanjing) Co., Ltd., Ford Automotive Finance (China) Ltd., Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd., Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd. Nanjing Company, Changan Ford Mazda Engine Co., Ltd. and Jiangling Motors Co., Ltd.