The Volt (EREV) and the Ford C-Max Energi (PHEV)

2013 Ford C-Max Energi

2013 Ford C-Max Energi is a PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle)

GM calls the volt an extended range electric vehicle (EREV).  It is an electric vehicle with a gasoline generator for extended range.  The C-Max Energi is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).  It’s a hybrid drive with electric and gas drivetrains similar in design to the well known Toyota Prius.  The electric drive must be more substantial for the Energi than the hybrid.  I’m sure this is why the Energi gets slightly lower MPG than the hybrid when running in the hybrid mode.  There is a lot of discussion about which approach is better, EREV or PHEV.  Here’s two links (here and here) where General Motors claims the EREV is the better approach.  What do you think?

 

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Will Ford C-Max win 2013 Green Car of the Year?

Ford C-MAX Hybrid

2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid is one of five finalists for Green Car of the Year

The Green Car Journal has nominated five finalists for the Green Car of the Year for 2013.  They are the Dodge Dart Aero, Ford C-Max, Ford Fusion, Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv, and Toyota Prius C.  It’s possible to vote at autobloggreen for the car you think should win but the winners are picked by Jay Leno, Green Car Journal, and  various environmental leaders.  When I voted a few days ago  at autobloggreen, the results were Dodge Dart Aero – 116, Ford C-Max – 320, Ford Fusion – 254, Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv – 182, and Toyota Prius C – 161.  Now they are Aero – 321, C-Max – 877, Fusion – 622, CX-5 – 445 and Prius C – 423.  It’s certainly possible that the Ford C-Max wins the award.  The winner will be announced at a press conference during the LA Auto Show on November 29, 2012.  Of course, I picked the C-Max but the same hybrid and plug-in hybrid drive train options are available on the 2013 Ford Fusion.

 

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Will cut-throat leases on the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt hurt C-Max Energi sales?

2013 Ford C-Max Energi

2013 Ford C-Max Energi

Nissan and GM have both over built their inventory of Leaf and Volts respectively.  In Utah, Nissan is offering a 36-month 36,000 mile lease on the 2012 Leaf SV of $219 per month and a $1,999 initial payment.  This is a $36,050 MSRP car!  GM is offering a 36-month lease on a 2013 Volt at $299 per month and $1,529 due at signing.  This is a $39,995 MSRP car.  These lease deals are fantastic for a buyer with a garage.  In the case of the Leaf, it is probably best used as a second car, but Nissan provides 10 free rental days as part of the lease deal on another Nissan vehicle.  The Leaf and Volt both qualify for the full $7,500 federal tax credit.  With a lease, the lessor, which is the owner of the car, takes the tax credit.  This means that you do not need to wait to receive the benefit of the tax credit.  It also means you do not need to have a tax liability of at least $7,500, tax credit amount.  Until Nissan and Chevrolet discontinue their cut-throat lease deals, many consumers will be hard pressed to justify buying a Ford C-Max Energi.  These lease deals are making the Volt and Leaf competitive with many far less expensive and less energy efficient cars.  It also puts pressure on Ford.  If the C-Max Energi ships and these cut-throat deals are still available, C-Max Energi sales will be affected.

 

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