DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. will offer hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the C-Max small minivan for the 2013 model year. The automaker unveiled the vehicles at the Detroit auto show today.
The hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants will have a slightly different body style than the C-Max, which seats seven. The hybrid and plug-in hybrid are five-passenger cross-overs. They will not have the rear sliding doors of the standard C-Max.
The C-Max Energi is a plug-in hybrid similar to the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt's plug-in battery powers the Volt for about the first 40 miles. Then a gasoline engine provides electricity to recharge the batteries and, in some circumstances, to help power the car.
The C-Max Energi has a gasoline engine and an electric motor powered by a lithium ion battery. It can be charged on a home charger and is expected to have a range of more than 500 miles on the battery and gasoline engine combined.
The C-Max Energi's battery charging time is expected to be faster than that of the Volt and Nissan Leaf, said Sherif Marakby, Ford's director of electrification, without elaborating.
General Motors Co. says fully charging the Volt takes up to 10 hours using a 120-volt standard home outlet and about four hours using a 240-volt outlet. It takes up to seven hours for a full charge on a Nissan Leaf on a 220- or 240-volt charger.
The C-Max Hybrid is a regular hybrid. It has an electric motor that helps propel the car to a point, then a gasoline engine takes over.
Ford says the C-Max Hybrid will exceed 47 mph on pure electric power before the gasoline engine kicks in. Currently, the Ford Fusion Hybrid sedan switches to gasoline power at 47 mph.
Ford is the biggest producer of hybrids among the Detroit 3. Offerings have included hybrid versions of the Mercury Milan and Ford Fusion sedans and the Mercury Mariner and Ford Escape small crossovers. Ford has sold about 170,000 hybrid vehicles since 2004.