Due to the quickly increasing worldwide fuel efficiency and emissions standards, hybrids appear to be the dominant car of the near-term future — with plug-in hybrids and full battery electric cars coming along over the next decade. While I personally don’t care for hybrids (they are a band-aid, not a panacea), automakers and consumers seem pretty gung-ho about them. Ford, GM, Toyota, Kia, Hyundai, and Subaru all are pursuing hybrids in one form or another.
Right now Ford has two hybrids for sale in the U.S., the Fusion and Escape. But over in Europe they have none. That will all change soon though, as Ford has announced plans to build their C-Max and Grand C-Max crossovers in Valencia, Spain, with a conventional gas version being imported to the U.S. But they will also build a hybrid, and plug-in hybrid version of the crossover to cater to Europe’s want of hybrid vehicles.
Ford has already announced its intentions to bring the C-Max and Grand C-Max to American showrooms sometime in the near future. These 7-person crossovers are built on the Focus platform, and are slated to receive a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. Why Ford needs more crossovers, I don’t quite know, but these vehicles seem to be all the rage right now.
Currently, Ford has no hybrids in Europe, though they have many popular diesel models, none of which are available in the U.S. Hopefully, that too will change sometime soon. But for now it looks like Ford is going to make two distinctly different hybrids based on the C-Max platform. The first will be a conventional hybrid like the Toyota Prius, with a small battery powering an electric motor at low speeds, with the petrol engine taking over at highway speeds. The other will be a plug-in hybrid, which will run for a certain amount of miles on electricity only before the engine takes over and drives the wheels — operating as a standard hybrid. Just how far that is is anybody’s guess, although conventional wisdom is that PHEVs will come in two flavors: those that can go 10-20 miles on a charge before becoming hybrids and those that can go 40 miles on a charge before becoming electric cars with a generator on board.
While plans to bring these two hybrids to America weren’t announced, it would make sense to do so. Ford is bringing the C-Max here, and American consumers can’t seem to get enough hybrids. Personally, I’m still waiting for my EcoBoost Fiesta.
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