Ford’s (NYSE: F) new hybrid C-MAX Energi, a wagon-like car based on the Focus, has quite a bit to offer, beating out competitors on a number of things.
The new car has a better MPG-equivalent than both Toyota Prius plug-in and the Chevrolet Volt. It beats the Prius’ range by a factor of two, and (after federal credits), costs a very reasonable just-under-$30,000.
The Energi’s 7.6 kilowatt-per-hour lithium-ion battery is drastically smaller than the Volt’s 16.5 kilowatt-hour battery, but despite the smaller power rating, the Energi delivers more than half of the Volt’s 38 miles all-electric range, going 21 miles before its 4-cylinder engine activates.
As for the Prius? Toyota's comparable vehicle can do just 11 miles on a 4.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack, meaning the Energi outperforms that too.
The only possible blemish in all of this is that despite so many capable battery plants in the U.S., cost efficiencies mean that most EV makers—and this includes Ford—opt to import their batteries.
Such is the case for the Energi as well, which imports its battery from Japan.
Driver’s Seat from the Wall Street Journal cites Kevin Layden, director of Ford’s electrification programs and engineering:
“We couldn’t get this battery” from the U.S. plants, he said. “This, we believe, is the best battery in the entire world.”