Reporting Jeff Gilbert
Filed underAuto, Autos, Autos News, Business, Daily J PM, Heard on Radio, Local, News, Radio.com - News, Syndicated Local, Syndication, Watch + Listen
TRAVERSE CITY, MI — (WWJ) Ford says its first plug-in hybrid—the C-Max Energi—will pack a powerful electric punch.
SOUND BITE: Ford Powertrain VP Joseph Bakaj talks with reporters.
Plug-in hybrids allow drivers to spend limited time in electric range, before a gasoline engine kicks in.
“In that mode, we will be able to offer a top speed of up to 85 miles per hour, a range of more than twenty miles, an extended range of 550 miles in blended operations,” says Ford Vice President of Powertrain Engineering Joe Bakaj. “That is a best in class range for an extended hybrid here in the U.S.”
The C-Max Energi will debut in 19 markets this fall, and will be sold nationwide early next year. It will have a sticker price of just under 30 thousand dollars.
It will compete with a plug-in version of Toyota’s Prius. The Chevrolet Volt also runs in electric mode with a gasoline engine. But, in its case, that gasoline engine generates electricity.
It was always Ford’s goal, Bakaj says, to have at least a twenty mile range for the C-Max Eergi.
“When you look at the average miles traveled by consumers in the U.S., with a sort of 20 mile range, then about sixty percent of our customers will be able to get to work. If they can plug in at work, then they’ll be able to get back on zero emission, electric only.”
Ford will also sell a plug-in hybrid version of its Fusion mid-size car. Range, price and other statistics on that vehicle will be announced later.