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Ford Trims C-Max Mileage by 10%, Offers “Goodwill” Cash to Owners

EPA expected to tweak its fuel economy rating process.

by on Aug.15, 2013

Ford cut the mpg rating of the C-Max Hybrid while also giving up to $550 to owners as a "goodwill" gesture.

Ford Motor Co. will reduce the fuel economy rating of its popular C-Max Hybrid by about 10% to better reflect what often-frustrated buyers have been experiencing in the real world, and it will offer owners as much as $550 as a “goodwill payment” to cover higher-than-expected fuel costs.

The hybrid version of the C-Max has been the center of controversy since Ford started advertising a 47 mpg rating for the “people mover.” That has triggered significant criticism – and several lawsuits from those who claim the numbers don’t reflect real-world experience. But the C-Max Hybrid is by no means alone.

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The Environmental Protection Agency, which is charged with overseeing federal fuel economy regulations, is expected to announce revisions to its testing and labeling procedures to acknowledge the mileage gap many of the latest vehicles – especially those using hybrid and other advance powertrain technologies – suffer from.


Ford Fix Aimed at Boosting Lagging Hybrid Mileage

Free software update could resolve concerns about lower-than-promised fuel economy.

by on Jul.17, 2013

Ford hopes to reduce concerns about the real-world mileage of hybrids like its C-Max people-mover.

Ford has come up with a software update it will offer owners of more than 77,000 of its hybrid vehicles that it says should reduce the “variability” of the fuel economy they’re getting.

That’s a cautious way of saying the fix should boost mileage that, in many cases, has been lagging well behind the figures found on the Munroney, or window, stickers of a number of Ford gas-electric models, such as the new Fusion and C-Max Hybrids. The shortfall has generated sharp criticism – and at least several pending lawsuits.

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“We want satisfied customers,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s director of Global Product Development, adding that the maker “determined we could bring (fuel economy improvements) to vehicles already in the market.”


Ford Gaining Traction in Hybrid, Electric Market.

Maker claims it’s chipping away at arch-rival Toyota.

by on Feb.01, 2013

Ford is offering both a conventional hybrid and a plug-in version of its new C-Max people mover line.

With a significant surge in recent months as it rolls out new product, Ford Motor Co. is betting it has begun to close the gap with the long-time leader in the hybrid market, Toyota Motor Co.

Ford is reporting a more than threefold increase in sales of its various gas-electric offerings for January, following strong gains during the latter months of 2012. Some of that has come from updated offerings like the latest-generation Ford Fusion Hybrid, but the maker is also claiming preliminary success with the all-new C-Max, a dedicated line of hybrid people-movers directly targeting Toyota’s familiar Prius “family.”

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Even so, few expect Toyota to readily relinquish its lead. And analysts caution that Ford’s aggressive push into battery power hasn’t been without its problems.

“We’re bringing new hybrid buyers into the market, many of whom wouldn’t be considered traditional hybrid buyers,” said Amy Marentic, Ford’s marketing manager for small and medium Cars, a list that includes a number of the maker’s new gas-electric models.


Did Ford Fudge Mileage Numbers?

New report says two Ford hybrids fall far short of ratings.

by on Dec.07, 2012

Consumer Reports claims the Ford Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid fall well short of mileage claims.

Did Ford fudge the mileage numbers on two of its new hybrid vehicles? That’s been a topic of discussion in recent weeks as the Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid have been put through their paces by automotive reviewers.

According to influential Consumer Reports magazine, the maker’s two new models fall well short of their heavily promoted 47 mpg sticker ratings.  The C-Max “people-mover,” for example, delivered an average 10 mpg lower than promised during the non-profit publication’s testing.

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“Yes, the disclaimer on EPA fuel-economy labels notes that ‘your results may differ,” CR said in a blog posting. “But the overall mpg for these C-Max and Fusion models is off by a whopping 10 and 8 mpg, respectively, or about 20 percent. Our overall-mpg results are usually pretty close to the EPA’s combined-mpg estimate.”


Ford Takes Aim at Prius V with C-MAX

Automaker prices hybrid model below the Toyota, says it will be more efficient.

by on May.18, 2012

The Ford is taking aim at the Toyota Prius v with the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi.

Ford is taking direct aim at the Toyota Prius v with its new C-MAX Hybrid, announcing that the vehicle would provide better fuel economy and have a lower base price when it goes on sale as a 2013 model.

The company said dealers are not taking orders for the C-MAX, which it says will be the most fuel efficient of a new breed of vehicles it is calling hybrid utility vehicles.

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In addition to the hybrid model, later in the year, Ford will introduce the C-MAX Energi, a plug-in hybrid, which it also claims will be more efficient in electric-only mode and have a longer electric driving range than the coming Prius plug-in hybrid.

The C-MAX Hybrid will carry a base price of $25,995, although the company did not say if that includes destination charges.


Global Lithium-Ion Auto Battery Sales Set to Grow 600% by 2015.

New study: Demand could hit $50 billion by decade’s end.

by on Sep.08, 2011

Demand for lithium-ion batteries - for vehicles like the upcoming Toyota RAV4-EV - is expected to jump 600% by 2015, and another 500+% by 2020.

A new study finds reason to be charged up about lithium-ion batteries.  It anticipates sales of the technology will grow by 600% between now and 2015 as more and more makers bring out hybrids, plug-ins and battery-electric vehicles.

The report, by the Roland Berger consultancy, anticipates sales could then surge from $9 billion to $50 billion worldwide by 2020.

The new study, meanwhile, anticipates that while a growing number of companies are getting into the automotive lithium-ion game, the market will be increasingly dominated by five companies, including American A123.

Until recently, automakers like Toyota – with its popular Prius – have relied on time-tested nickel-metal hydride batteries and that has meant that lithium suppliers were largely focused on consumer electronics markets, such as cellphones and laptop computers and, more recently, devices like the wildly popular Apple iPad.


But automakers are rapidly migrating to more advanced LIon systems in conventional hybrids – the first to market was the lithium-powered Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – to take advantage of more compact packaging, lighter weight and increased energy density.  The ramp-up of automotive demand will only accelerate as new plug-in hybrids, extended-range electric vehicles, and battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, go into production.