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Ford Says Plug-In Van Goes 20 Miles On Electricity

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 1:31pm

DETROIT (AP) — Ford says a plug-in electric version of its new C-Max small van will be able to go more than 20 miles on battery power alone, and have a range of 550 miles on a tank of gas.

The C-Max Energi plug-in, due in showrooms this fall, is expected to get the equivalent of 95 miles per gallon of gasoline in combined city/highway driving, Ford Motor Co. said in a statement.

A version of the five-seat C-Max powered by a gas-electric hybrid powertrain also is due out in the fall.

The company is introducing the small van to compete with Toyota's Prius V hybrid, which now gets an estimated 42 mpg in combined city-highway driving.

Ford said the hybrid C-Max's fuel economy also will beat the Prius V. The hybrid and plug-in C-Max versions are similar, except the C-Max Energi plug-in has a larger battery pack that must be plugged into an outlet for recharging.

Ford said the C-Max Energi can go nearly twice as far on electricity than the Toyota's Prius plug-in. Toyota says its plug-in goes 11 miles on battery power, with a gas mileage equivalent of 95 mpg.

The C-Max Energi's gas-equivalent fuel economy is comparable to the two most popular electric vehicles on the market today. The Chevrolet Volt, which has a gas-powered generator to extend its range, gets the equivalent of 98 mpg in city and highway driving, while the all-electric Nissan Leaf gets 99 mpg.

Toyota has dominated the gas-electric hybrid market for the past decade, but Ford is hoping to cut into its share when the C-Max hits the market.

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