I’ve never been excited about an electric car. Ever.
I don’t even like electric golf carts or those little shuttles that sneak up on unsuspecting travelers in airports. Put a gas engine in those things and watch folks get out of the way!
As I’ve said here many times, my problems with electric vehicles stem from their limited range, outrageous cost and, most of all, the misguided notion that fueling a car with coal-produced electricity is any better than efficiently using gasoline. Not to mention the toxicity of making, and disposing of, the battery packs.
With all that said, the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi could be a car that begins to change the minds of people like me.
The C-Max Energi is a 5-passenger plug-in hybrid that uses a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine paired with 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack (which Ford assembles in Michigan) for a combined output of 188 hp. The car can go 21 miles entirely on electric power, has a top speed of 102 mph, has a 620-mile range on a full charge and with 14 gallons of gas in the tank, and costs just a shade under $30,000 after tax credits.
Fuel economy has been pegged at 108 MPGe, though dividing that 620-mile range by 14 gallons of fuel yields a more believable 44 MPG average. Plugged into a 240-volt outlet, the battery charges twice as fast as the Nissan Leaf‘s, going from empty to full in just 2.5 hours.
The car is big enough to haul a family and their stuff while offering Ford’s cool automatic foot-wave tailgate. In case parking a small wagon proves too difficult, Ford’s self-parking feature is also available.
What I like about this car is the fact that it’s actually affordable and useable, not just a novelty to pacify fans of electric cars. If electric vehicles really are the future, this is the car that can begin to usher in the new paradigm.
Could the Ford C-Max Energi be your first electric car?