It might seem hard to believe, but the very first hybrid car was actually developed just after the very end of the 19th Century (for context: the current one is the 21st). In 1901, the very first gasoline-electric motor was developed by a one Ferdinand Porsche. Of course, it’d take just about the rest of the entire century for the technology to become perfected, let alone readily available. Toyota unveiled the Prius in 1997 and made it the first widely-available gas-electric hybrid car, but they didn’t really pick up until the combination of environmental concerns and gas prices came to a head in the late 2000s. It’s refreshing to see that such attention has been paid to the environment and to living more sustainably, and many of the developments in hybrid and electric car technology have been astounding and exciting all at the same time. Now that massive corporations are pouring their funds into ways that we can be doing things better and more efficiently, we’re seeing some serious progress in the technologies that will allow us to live our lives in ways that won’t ruin the environment as we do so. Ford’s recent developments in the lithium-ion battery department are particularly exciting, especially for those concerned with the environment and the impact of the emerging hybrid car market.
While the Chevy Volt and Toyota’s very famous Prius might be the names that are most readily associated with the rise of the hybrid and electric cars, Ford aims to seriously challenge this paradigm, and intends to do so with the introduction of the C-MAX Energi. While Ford is no stranger to either the hybrid car market, nor with the idea of producing some pretty high-quality automobiles, this newest development featured in the C-MAX Energi is exciting nevertheless. In terms of its body, the car resembles a wagon-like Focus, and has a four-cylinder engine that’ll kick in once the 21-mile range (on a full charge) has been exhausted. What’s nice is that the C-MAX Energi also costs just about the same as its most serious competition, landing at about $30,000 once you’ve applied those wonderful federal tax credits and such.
When you consider the battery, though, you realize how Ford has indeed surpassed its competition. Consider the Volt’s battery — it gets a 38-mile range on its all-electric battery. The C-MAX Energi’s battery, by comparison is less than half the size of the volt’s. And yet, it gets more than half of the range. This is just one of the most significant ways that the C-MAX Energi sets out to — and succeeds in — one-upping the competition. Not only does the smaller battery still get a very decent charge, but it also means a higher fuel economy because it weighs less. Even if you were already looking for something more along the lines of a used Ford Ka, there are a lot of reasons that the C-MAX Energi is a smart little car for the modern driver; what’s great is that most of these reasons have to do with you saving money all while protecting the environment.