Archive for the 'Hybrids' Category

05
Nov
12

2013 Ford C-Max Energi Plug-In Adds To C-Max Hybrid Sales

source: Green Car Reports

The 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid has now reached dealerships throughout the country, selling 3,182 units in October.

But Ford had an “October surprise” in store: The company sold 144 of the plug-in hybrid C-Max Energi version as well.

That car hasn’t been driven by any members of the automotive media, and Ford communications staff have been vague about when it would go on sale, saying only things like “at the end of the year.”

Well, October kicks off the fourth quarter of 2012, so perhaps that’s what they meant.

Ford’s October sales of 144 C-Max Energi hatchbacks, plus another 118 Ford Focus Electric battery-electric cars, contributed to the highest monthly sales for plug-in electric cars since modern plug-ins went on sale in December 2010.

The company issued a press release proudly touting the October sales of its hybrid C-Max, and comparing them to the Toyota Prius V wagon, which sold 2,769.

As Ford’s first dedicated hybrid–a model that has no standard gasoline version–the C-Max has to compete against the best-selling Toyota Prius, now a range of four cars including a plug-in hybrid version.

One of its jobs is to lure new customers into Ford showrooms in hybrid-heavy markets like the West Coast. (Those markets notably do not include Michigan, Ford’s home state.)

And according to Ford, it’s working.

“One in four C-MAX Hybrids sold in October were sold in California,” the release said, “with Los Angeles as the best-selling region and San Francisco following in second.”

“Initial conquest data show that more than 70 percent of C-MAX Hybrid buyers traded in a competitive model or added it without trading in another vehicle,” Ford continued.

“And one third of C-MAX Hybrid customers in October said they cross-shopped the Toyota Prius and Prius V.”

The Toyota Prius line as a whole sold 16,774 units in October, and Toyota also sold hybrid models of several of its conventional cars as well, for a total of 20,273 hybrids last month.

Ford’s total of 4,612 hybrids sold in October, while its best month ever, still puts it in second place in U.S. hybrid sales overall–but decisively ahead of Honda, which sold 948 hybrids throughout the month.

The one remaining question about the C-Max Hybrid is its real-world gas mileage. Green Car Reports has now done two short tests of Ford’s latest hybrid (here and here) and has not come close to its rated efficiency of 47 mpg combined.

Real-world mileage is likely to be much in the public eye with Hyundai and Kia having to restate their window-sticker figures and offer refunds to customers who bought cars with higher MPG ratings than were justified–due to errors in the EPA testing it submitted for certification, Hyundai says.

While the 144 C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid sales in October came as a surprise, Ford notes that the car is now on sale at Ford dealerships that have been certified to sell plug-in cars in half the states in the country.

Its role is to compete head-to-head with the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, which has a lower electric range–6 to 11 miles–but carries the trusted Prius name.

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06
Jul
12

Ford C-MAX Hybrid Aims for 47 MPG to Beat Prius v as Most Fuel-Efficient, Affordable Hybrid Utility Vehicle in America

DEARBORN – Ford’s new C-MAX Hybrid soon will make a big statement in the largest hybrid segment with projected leading fuel economy of 47 mpg city – beating the Toyota Prius v by 3 mpg, plus a $1,300-lower base price.

The segment for small hybrids such as the C-MAX Hybrid and Prius accounts for 65 percent of all hybrid sales. Ford expects about half of C-MAX buyers to be conquest customers trading in competitive models.

Ford has simultaneously increased hybrid efficiency and performance while reducing cost. The result is an expected payback period of two years for the hybrid technology premium compared with leading small crossovers. This is about half of the four-year period Ford research shows could trigger more mainstream hybrid sales.

Continue reading ‘Ford C-MAX Hybrid Aims for 47 MPG to Beat Prius v as Most Fuel-Efficient, Affordable Hybrid Utility Vehicle in America’

05
Oct
11

Fuel Efficiency Boost: All-New Ford Escape Boasts New EcoBoost Engines; C-MAX Hybrid Mileage 25 Percent Better

source: media.ford.com

  • Fuel economy leadership remains the bull’s-eye for Ford’s new utility lineup for 2012, addressing the top influencer driving consumers’ vehicle purchase decisions
  • Three four-cylinder engines in the all-new Ford Escape deliver improved mileage versus outgoing models; 1.6-liter EcoBoost® engine debuting in the U.S. in new Ford Escape is expected to deliver better fuel economy than competitors’ larger four-cylinder engines
  • All-new Ford C-MAX Hybrid features more than a 25 percent improvement in fuel economy versus today’s Ford Escape Hybrid

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 4, 2011 – Ford continues to deliver more choices for customers craving top fuel economy, offering its largest-ever EcoBoost® engine lineup in the all-new Ford Escape debuting next month and an all-new C-MAX Hybrid that’s 25 percent more fuel efficient than even today’s Escape Hybrid.

“Customers are prioritizing fuel economy above every other trait when they make most vehicle purchases,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “Ford is meeting people’s needs by offering a family of fuel-efficient vehicles – from hybrids to electrics to traditional gasoline-powered cars – packed with class-leading technology, giving customers both exciting and greener driving choices.”

Continue reading ‘Fuel Efficiency Boost: All-New Ford Escape Boasts New EcoBoost Engines; C-MAX Hybrid Mileage 25 Percent Better’

01
Sep
11

Ford Evos: Cloud Connected Car

Ford has announced the Ford Evos, a Hybrid sedan concept car that is constantly connected to the cloud. While it is only a concept at the moment, it is -mostly- based on ideas and technologies that can be achievable in the near-future. For instance, having a constant connection between the car and the Internet is merely a cost issue, not a technological one.

In Ford’s vision, the Evos knows everything about your personal preferences from the data that you have accumulated overtime (in the cloud). And by preferences, Ford means “everything” that can be gathered by modern technology: music style, sleep time, driving habits, temperature levels, movies, radio shows, friends… there are no real limits.At home

For example, the car can check your calendar and see that a meeting has been delayed, so it decides to tell your alarm clock that there’s no need to wake you up for now. The car can also guess that you will soon be on the road, and starts adapting the internal temperature. Upon leaving the proximity of the house, it tells the house’s heating system to enter power savings mode.

On the road

Obviously, the car knows where you are going and can check traffic to recommend alternate routes, if needed. Ford also suggests that it could ask the driver to go on a fun drive if there is time. To do so, the car check for what’s ahead, and if no danger is detected (traffic, accidents, weather conditions…), the driver can switch into a more sporty (versus economic) driving mode.

The car will monitor the driver’s vital stats via sensors in the seat, and can turn off the phone and remove other distracting element of the dashboard to help the driver focus on what’s important. In its concept, Ford also shows that the Evos can play a particular style of music that the driver enjoys on this road.

Driver’s health

As the car gets closer to the city, it detects for pollutants and activates a filtering system, while prompting the driver.  Finally, it searches and reserves a parking spot over the internet, and guides the driver inside the parking. The car will charge wirelessly during the day, and will be ready for the return trip.

Conclusion

This is a really cool concept, and as I said in the introduction, most of the technologies are already available. However, there are a number of things that Ford will need to work out. For instance anything that is linked to the public (or private) infrastructure has to be done by a third party. Wireless charging mechanisms need to become standard for all cars and all the information gathering/reading also has to be somewhat standardized.

In the end, we hope that the Ford Evos idea will inspire a new level of cooperation and standardization, because without real team work and real standards, no project that requires public infrastructure can work. In the meantime, what do you think of this vision, and what would you like Ford to build?

23
Aug
11

Ford and Toyota to Collaborate on Light Truck Hybrids News at AutoTalk

Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Corporation will be joining forces in the development of hybrid technology for light trucks and SUVs. The two manufacturers will also be co-developing advanced telematics and other on-board Internet services.

The announcement comes as corporate fuel-economy requirements are on the verge of doubling to an average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. The Obama administration’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) proposal will force automakers to revamp their line-ups with lighter, more fuel efficient models such as hybrids. Under the new policy, cars produced between the 2016 and 2025 model years will require a 5 percent increase in fuel economy. Full sized pick-ups produced from 2016 through 2019 will be exempt from this standard. After 2019, full sized pick-ups will have to meet a standard yet to be determined.

Automakers have struggled in the past to meet fuel economy standards for full sized trucks. Ford and Toyota’s collaboration is hoped to help ease these troubles while maintaining consumers’ demands.

Ford and Toyota will sign an official agreement next year and plan to release new hybrid systems on rear-wheel drive SUVs and light weight trucks later this decade.

12
Aug
11

2013 Ford Escape Spy Photos – Future Cars

Source: Car and Driver

Update: Our spy photographers have caught the interior of the upcoming Escape. We’ve added a picture below, and to read more about the interior, click over here.

After a full decade on the market, the Ford Escape is at last getting a ground-up redesign, and spies have caught this development mule out on an R&D mission. Although its innards are hidden beneath the curvy body of the current European Ford Kuga—which itself could have made a fitting second-gen Escape years ago—this vehicle gives away its actual identity with covered air intakes up front and ill-fitting tailpipes out back. However little we can actually see here, it is certain that the second-generation Escape will be a vastly different creature, both aesthetically and dynamically, from the Clinton-era ute we know now.

Ford previewed the new look at the Detroit auto show with the Vertrek concept, a clear evolution of both the Kuga’s shape, and Ford’s “Kinetic design” styling language. The most fundamental change will be a switch to Ford’s global C platform, which also serves as the foundation for the 2012 Focus, the upcoming C-Max, and the current Kuga, thereby allowing the Kuga and Escape to be merged into one global product.

Escape From Six-Cylinders?

We expect that Ford will offer a choice of powertrains in the next Escape, but we don’t expect any available engine to have more than four cylinders or be paired with a transmission containing fewer than six ratios. Ford’s ubiquitous 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 168 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque in the C-Max, is likely to be the base powerplant. The same EcoBoost 1.6-liter inline-four that powered the Vertrek could lend its 180 hp and 173 lb-ft to the production vehicle, and the mighty 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-banger is a possibility for the top-shelf Escape. With about 237 hp and 250 lb-ft, it could make for an interesting Escape Sport. And, of course, the return of the Escape hybrid is a no-brainer. Expect to see upgrades to the system used in today’s hybrid, if not a completely new system or a plug-in version like that found in theC-Max Energi also shown in Detroit.

07
Feb
11

The next Ford GT could be a hybrid car

Rumor has it that the sleek and sporty Ford GT is set to make a triumphant return — as a hybrid car. Prius be damned.

Popular car blog, Auto Express is claiming to have scored exclusive pictures of what is believed to be the next Ford GT. Auto Express believes that the new Ford GT will have an electric motor that will complement its revved up V8 engine with up to 600 horsepower. The front wheels of the hybrid car is rumored to be powered exclusively by the electric motor.

In addition to an electric motor, the body of the car is said to be an all-aluminum chassis with a weight of 1.5 tons — about 440 pounds lighter than the last Ford GT. The new Ford GT will reportedly go from 0-62 miles per hour in three seconds and hit a top speed of up to 200 mph.

A hybrid Ford GT would still cost a bundle, but that’s ok. As long as those rich Beverly Hills folk aren’t speeding around in gas-guzzling cars, I’d be slightly less annoyed by their orange tans and a little happier for the environment.

 




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