Ford hybrids hot sellers despite mileage concerns
Ford's C-Max hybrid has become the fastest-selling hybrid ever, even as Ford deals with discrepancies between the car's real-world gas mileage and its EPA rating.
The company reports that the C-Max hybrid has become the fastest-selling hybrid ever, with 8,030 units sold in its first two months on sale.
By comparison, the Toyota Camry Hybrid sold 7,300 units in its first two months on sale, May and June 2006.
We'd interject at this point and suggest that the latter statistic isn't surprising in the least, given that, like electric cars today, hybrids were very much new, unusual and disruptive technology back in 2000.
Beating such a figure would be like releasing a new electric car in a decade's time and celebrating its sales over today's Nissan Leaf...
Still, the Ford records keep piling in--the company also reports its best electrified vehicles sales ever in November, beating Prius V and Prius Plug-In sales by 10 percent, at 7,157 units.
And by the end of December, Ford is projecting all-time best quarterly sales for hybrid vehicles.
That's great news for Ford, whose push into electrified vehicles appears to be paying off--despite issues regarding their hybrids' EPA mileage.
Much of it is to do with the respective organizations' highway tests. CR tests cars at a constant 65 mph, resulting in both Fords' gasoline engines running, rather than the cars' electric motors.
By comparison, EPA testing involves a constant 55 mph cruise--within the electric motor's capability--with occasional bursts up to 80 mph and back down again. While this would involve the gasoline engines kicking in, the coast-down periods would result in plenty of engine-off time, saving gas.
Ford itself has already explained the discrepancy, to some degree--the company has ensured that its hybrids are still fun to drive and offer good performance, potentially reducing real-world mileage.
As is so often the case, we'd return to the old caveat "your mileage may vary".
While both Ford hybrids still offer impressive economy, only the individual driver will know whether their own routes will return figures similar to EPA testing, or lower...