Ford Unveils First Plug-In Hybrid, and It's a Minivan Ford C-Max Plug-In Hybrid Unveiled at Detroit Auto Show Ford Unveils First Plug-In Hybrid, and It's a Minivan Ford C-Max Plug-In Hybrid Unveiled at Detroit Auto Show
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Ford Unveils First Plug-In Hybrid, and It's a Minivan Ford C-Max Plug-In Hybrid Unveiled at Detroit Auto Show

by Ben Jervey

January 17, 2011
This week, Ford unveiled its very first plug-in hybrid offering, and it's a minivan! The C-MAX Energi is a smaller, 5-seat minivan that can run off of a charge and switch to the conventional hybrid motor when necessary. (They're also releasing a non-plug-in C-MAX hybrid of the 5-seater, and a 7-seater C-MAX that will run on a traditional combustion engine with their "Ecoboost" technology, but is still smaller than minivans of the past and so will have relatively good gas mileage, though I can't find the number anywhere.)

Many will wonder, of course, why Ford is leading their plug-in charge (pun not intended, I swear) with a minivan. In Fast Company, Ariel Schwartz quoted John Davis, the chief engineer for the C-Max:

There's a blend between functional capabilities and fuel-efficiency. The C-Max brings forth multi-activity vehicle capability without going as large as other vehicles, so there is a still great base efficiency.


The all-electric Focus is a pretty exciting development, but I'm really thrilled to hear of the plug-in minivan. It's about time that these next generation electric vehicles get marketed to the mainstream. Mainstream Americans, after all, are the very folks who will benefit most from lower fuel costs and fewer tailpipe emissions.
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Ford Unveils First Plug-In Hybrid, and It's a Minivan Ford C-Max Plug-In Hybrid Unveiled at Detroit Auto Show