Ford’s Electric Button

Gary S. Vasilash

One of the characteristics of electric vehicles that probably isn’t appreciated by those who haven’t had the opportunity to drive on is that like a food blender, because there is an electric motor, you can go from 0 to 100% torque in an instant (as in hitting that button on the blender that juices walnuts in a jiffy).

While the forthcoming (Fall 2012) Ford C-MAX Energi is a plug-in hybrid, not a full-electric vehicle (EV), it does offer a full-EV driving mode.

What’s interesting about this on the C-MAX Energi is that when the driver pushes—or, perhaps, “engages”—an EV button on the center stack, there is the possibility to hitting 85 mph in an electric-only mode. (Yes, 85 mph is above the speed limit. So you know that you wouldn’t. But you could.)

Ford's Unique EV Mode Button

“In EV: Auto mode, says Kevin Layden, Ford director of Electrification Programs and Engineering, “the vehicle automatically takes advantage of plug-in charge. When the charge is depleted”—and while it is said to have an EV mode range of 20-plus miles, like a car with an internal combustion engine, if you keep the accelerator mashed, your mileage will certainly vary in a downward direction—“the C-MAX Energi operates as a full hybrid” (as in the internal combustion engine kicking in).

One can only image the number of times “Engage warp drive, Mr. Sulu” will be stated—or thought—every time that button is pushed.

The C-MAX Energi is being produced at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant.