Ford has been working hard to meet the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s car buyers. For society, electric and hybrid cars provide a solution that reduces our dependency on fossil fuels. For the individual, these vehicles are a practical, economical way to lower operating costs. Shoppers have many choices in the fleet. Hybrids include the original C-Max and the Fusion sedan. Electric cars include versions of the C-Max, Fusion and Focus hatchback. Here are Ford’s electric and hybrid cars:
Developed as a hybrid from its first model year, the C-Max played an important role as a pioneer. A generation later, after many updates, the C-Max continues to be an essential hybrid car. Costing about the same as a Prius, the C-Max doesn’t have quite as good fuel economy. The Prius hovers in the low 50-mpg range. C-Max hybrid cars can only claim 42 mpg city and 38 mpg highway. That’s more like the Prius v model.
As far as technology goes, the combination of a four-cylinder engine, electric motor and hybrid battery work better here than on either the regular Prius or Prius v. The powertrain generates 188 horsepower, beating the Prius family by almost 50 horses. The hybrid is offered in SE and Titanium editions, allowing buyers to keep costs down or spring for a more advanced interior. Although this model has high-tech performance, don’t expect the same thing on the dash. The Sync touchscreen will add an additional cost to the baseline purchase.
The C-Max Energi plug-in electric car still manages an outlay of 188 horsepower. Owners plug it in for 2.5 hours with a 240-volt charger. This requires a special charger, which is becoming an added expense as new EVs emerge that can use a regular outlet. The range is 20 miles with pure electric power. That may be enough for a daily commute. The mpg-equivalent is rated at 104 mpg city and 87 mpg highway. It costs about $3,000 more to get the same SE package as the C-Max hybrid car. The cabin has 97 cubic feet, just like the regular C-Max. That’s a few cubes bigger than a Prius.
With a starting cost in between the C-Max and C-Max Energi, the Ford Fusion hybrid may be a good option for many shoppers. This midsize vehicle has a family-sized cabin. However, the trunk drops from 16 cubic feet to just 12, a small amount for family luggage. Fuel economy is 42 mpg city and 41 mpg highway, a slight improvement over the C-Max. It comes in SE, Titanium and Platinum trim levels. Of all of these choices, the Fusion provides shoppers with premium amenities and features. Standards include a 10-way power-adjusting driver’s chair, 6-way power-adjusting front passenger chair, and dual-zone automatic climate control. As with the C-Max, you’ll have to pay extra to get the high-tech touchscreen.
Having created the Fusion hybrid, engineers began investigating how to turn the Fusion into an electric vehicle. Once again, the automaker blends electric power with hybrid power to improve fuel economy. This one is rated at 104 mpg city and 95 mpg highway, improving on the C-Max Energi. The biggest deficit is the trunk, which drops to only 8 cubic feet. This car comes in SE and Titanium trims. The price difference between the Fusion Electric and Hybrid is about $6,000 for an SE. Adding to the Fusion hybrid standards, the Energi edition does come with the Sync 3 touchscreen. This includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Check out our full review of the regular 2018 Ford Fusion here.
Smaller and lighter, the Ford Focus was a logical pick for an electric car, but its distribution is limited to a handful of key states where EV living is emphasized. Fuel economy is 118 mpg city and 96 mpg highway. Cargo volume drops from 23 cubic feet in the regular Focus, to 14 cubic feet in the Focus Electric. The cabin is the same size, however. Horsepower is 143, which is ample, although lower than the regular 160 horsepower. Balancing the lower horsepower, the electric torque rate is 184 lb-ft, exceeding the 146 lb-ft rate on the regular Focus.
Charging takes 5.5 hours with a 240-volt charger. The automaker is making a 120-volt and DC charger available with an SAE Combo Connector. While the price is higher than the Fusion plug-in, it’s still in line with most plug-in vehicles. Standards include heated front seats, dual-zone climate controls, rear heat vents, and ambient lighting. A nine-speaker Sony stereo, Ford’s largest touchscreen, SiriusXM traffic, and HD radio are on board. Check out our full review of the regular 2018 Ford Focus here.
If you are looking for a way to live greener or simply save money at the gas pump, all of these electric and hybrid cars are good ones. There are ways to save more or to go pure electric, but Ford’s emphasis on performance may persuade you to stick with one of these models.