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Posts Tagged ‘Ford Hybrids’

Ford Using Sun to Power Solar Energi

C-Max concept charges batter using special panels on roof.

by on Jan.02, 2014

Ford's C-Max Solar Energi Concept will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week.

Automakers are struggling to find ways to make it cheaper and easier to recharge electric vehicles and Ford plans to show off one possible alternative that replaces the plug with the sun.

The Detroit maker plans to reveal a concept version of its current plug-in hybrid, the C-Max, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that uses a solar panel on its roof to recharge the battery.

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Called the C-Max Solar Energi, it can collect a day’s worth of sunlight and get the same charge as the current C-Max Energi gets when plugged into the wall –albeit needing a full day’s strong sun to generate what you could get from a wall plug in four hours. Ford believes that this type of charging could account for 75% of all driving car owners currently do during a typical day. (more…)

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.

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Ford to Re-State Fuel Economy as EPA Preps Revised Mileage Testing

Maker to acknowledge gap between sticker and real-world numbers.

by on Aug.15, 2013

Ford is about to re-state the fuel economy rating on C-Max Hybrid - and the EPA may follow with changes in its own testing and labeling procedures.

Ford Motor Co. will announce significant revisions to the fuel economy rating of its C-Max Hybrid later today, an estimated 10% reduction reflecting the gap between what has been posted on the “people-mover’s” window sticker and what most buyers are getting in real-world use.

Ford has been taking some hits for the fuel economy ratings of several vehicles, especially hybrid models, and now faces several lawsuits from disgruntled owners. But it is far from alone. A number of makers have been criticized – and occasionally sued – for what critics have called unrealistic and overly optimistic ratings.

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Manufacturers like Ford, in turn, have pointed the finger back at the Environmental Protection Administration, the federal agency overseeing mileage testing and approved mpg ratings. The EPA is expected to follow Ford’s lead by announcing on Friday that it will revise the way it determines fuel economy for vehicles – particularly hybrids, which frequently deliver lower real-world numbers than motorists were led to expect. (more…)

Ford Beats Forecast with $1.2 Billion Q2 Profit

Maker keeps on trucking – thanks to strong pickup demand.

by on Jul.24, 2013

Driving hard - strong demand for the big F-Series line helped Ford set North American earnings records for the second quarter and first half of 2013.

Ford Motor Co. delivered a second-quarter profit of $1.2 billion, a jump of $193 million over year-earlier numbers, or 18.5%. On a per-share basis, Ford earned 30 cents, a 4 cent increase compared to the April – June 2012 period.

The maker was firing on all cylinders during the second quarter, reporting improvements in all of its individual regions, and delivering record earnings in both North America and the Asia Pacific Africa region. But Ford’s big F-Series pickups carried much of the load, the trucks a major factor in the $2.3 billion pre-tax profit in the home market.

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“Our strong second quarter with improved results in every region around the world is another proof point that our One Ford plan is continuing to deliver and is building momentum,” Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO said in a statement accompanying the earnings release.

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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.”

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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.

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New Ads Position Ford C-Max as Prius Alternative

Ford takes on the 800-lb gorilla of the hybrid world.

by on Oct.04, 2012

Ford wants to go head-to-head with the Toyota Prius in new ad campaign.

Expect to see a lot about C-Max.  That’s the Ford C-Max, to be more precise, the maker’s all-new people-mover and the first domestic hybrid that lifts a page from the Toyota Prius handbook by adopting a unique body style that won’t be shared with a standard gas powertrain.

Like the ever-popular Prius, meanwhile, Ford will offer both a “conventional” hybrid model as well as a plug-in version dubbed the Ford C-Max Energi.  The maker will produce them at an upgraded plant in suburban Detroit alongside the new battery-electric version of the compact Focus.

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Ford has been one of the most aggressive makers in challenging Toyota’s persistent lead in the hybrid segment but – like Honda which actually launched the first hybrid in the U.S. market, the original Insight – Ford has so far been unable to crack Toyota’s lead. The Prius currently accounts for more than half of all U.S. gas-electric vehicle sales, a lead that has grown with the creation of a so-called “Prius family” of hybrids.

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Ford Amps Up Investment in Electric Vehicles

Maker targets more battery vehicles at a lower cost.

by on Aug.16, 2012

Ford plans to rapidly increase the number of battery vehicles in its line-up and boost production capacity while also driving down costs.

Ford Motor Co., despite the feeble growth of sales of hybrids and electric vehicles, has no intention of backing off its ambitious plans to build more electric vehicles.  Instead, the automaker has announced plans to invest another $135 million to design, engineer and test future battery-based vehicles.

Joe Bakaj, Ford vice president of powertrain engineering, said the investment will include hiring more engineers to work on electric vehicle projects alongside the 1,000 experts it already has working on EV projects at its engineering campus in Dearborn at what the company is now calling the Advanced Electrification Center. Ford continues to build its electrified team having hired 60 engineers in the past year with plans to fill more positions in the next few months.

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While the price of gasoline continues to fluctuate, the long-term trend in fuel prices is upwards and consumers around the world are demanding greater fuel efficiency, Bakaj said. “Sixty percent of our customers say they would consider a hybrid if the price was equal to a vehicle with an internal combustion engine,” he said.

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Ford Insists its Battery Cars Will be Safe

Maker has taken added steps to prevent post-crash fires.

by on Dec.14, 2011

A Ford Focus Electric using a high-speed charger.

Clearly concerned by the controversy that’s erupted over fires involving the Chevrolet Volt’s lithium-ion batteries, Ford Motor Co. officials pointedly stressed that they have gone to extremes to ensure there won’t be problems when they launch an array of lithium-powered products in the coming year.

Ford provided an inside look at their “electrified” line-up today, a mix of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, that the maker hopes will position it as one of the leaders in the growing green automotive niche.

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“The goal is to focus on affordable, sustainable technologies, not for 100s of customers or thousands, but for millions,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s global product development chief, who added that the maker “will triple the production capacity for electrified vehicles to 100,000 by 2013.”

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Ford Teases Launch of Focus Electric

Official unveiling scheduled for Consumer Electronics Show.

by on Jan.03, 2011

A close-up of the 2012 Ford Focus Electric reveals the battery charging port on the front fender.

Hoping to get potential buyers to plug into the upcoming launch of its new Focus Electric, Ford is offering this little tease of its new battery car, which first popped up on its Facebook site.

The Focus Electric will actually be the second battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, in the Ford line-up, following months behind the launch of the Transit Connect Electric, a battery-powered version of the maker’s compact commercial van.  All told, the Detroit maker plans to roll out five BEVs and plug-in hybrids over the next several years.

While the 2012 Ford Focus Electric will make an appearance at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show, it will actually debut several days earlier at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas.  Ford has been a major player at CES and, yet again, CEO Alan Mulally will serve as keynote speaker, for the third time since he joined the automaker in 2006.

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Ford is keeping details of the Focus Electric under wraps until Friday morning, but it has provided a few clues in recent months.  The compact model will reply on a lithium-ion battery pack expected to yield somewhere in the range of 100 miles per charge – though the exact figure could be 20% less using revised federal testing procedures (as Nissan learned when it launched the new Leaf).

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