New plug-in hybrid coming from Ford

Ford has announced that it is developing a pair of new hybrids under the C-Max model label. One will be a plug-in hybrid, the other a traditional gas-electric hybrid, and both will complement the introduction of the all-electric Ford Focus and Transit Connect.

Here’s the story from Michael Kanellos of Forbes.com:

Ford Trots Out Electric Focus, Promises Its Hybrids Will Trump Toyota, GM

Ford Motor Company won’t be the first automaker to release a plug-in hybrid, but it claims it has worked out more of the kinks in the concept than Toyota or General Motors.

Next year, Ford will release two new hybrids–the C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrid–to complement the all-electric Ford Focus that has just started to roll off the lines at the Michigan Assembly Plant.

The company claims that both hybrids will get better mileage than, respectively, the Toyota Prius and the Toyota Prius Plug-in and provide advantages over the Chevy Volt. The electric Focus, meanwhile, gets the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon, although, of course, it doesn’t consume fuel.

The all-electric Focus, new hybrids, and other developments (Ford also has an new, unnamed electric likely coming in 2013) all underscore the dominant theme at the automaker for the past several years: cutting fuel. Even before President Obama unfurled the new U.S. goal of raising the average mileage for new light trucks and cars to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, Ford was already turning in the direction of saving energy. (There’s more with the Forbes chat with Bill Ford here.)

Read the rest of the story here.

We got a chuckle reading the last line of Michael’s story, in which Ford is quick to point out the differences in Ford’s battery pack from those of GM’s Chevrolet Volt that have had some technical issues (fire) in recent months.

(Kapp also noted that while Ford and GM both get their battery cells from the same supplier, the battery packs are different. Thus, you can’t extrapolate the Volt flames onto Ford.)

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