Panasonic Battery Gives Ford Energi Competitive Advantage
Ford is rolling out its answer to the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius plug-in, the C-MAX Energi, a wagonish car based off the same underpinnings as the Focus that can travel 21 miles on an all-electric charge before the 4-cylinder engine kicks on.
There are lots of one-ups loaded into it. Better MPG-e, for example, than the Prius plug-in or Chevy Volt. That’s mile-per-gallon-equivalent, a government-created method of establishing a fuel economy to vehicle that uses both electric power or gasoline to travel. It also has about twice the range of the plug-in Prius and costs about the same after federal tax credits – just under $30,000.
Perhaps the most interesting thing is the size of the lithium-ion battery. Forgive the wonkishness, but the 7.6-kilowatt-hour capacity battery, produced by Panasonic and Ford’s own factory in Michigan, is less than half the size of the 16.5 kilowatt-hour battery in the Volt. But the Energi has more than half the Volt’s 38-mile, all-electric range. To be fair, there are complicating factors in battery size, as in, the bigger you make the battery, the heavier it is, which means it needs more energy storage just haul itself around.
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