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Ford’s Rising Stars

By J.S. Blalack

Hybrid cars and 100% electric vehicles are set to be the stars of Ford’s next generation of cars. Sierra Club Green Home drivers, meet the Focus Electric, the Fusion Plug-In, and the C-MAX Hybrid! These cars vary in range and energy source, but all promise to make alternative energy cars more practical and fun in 2013.

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The Focus Electric is 100% gas free. This electric vehicle runs instead on a battery with a life of 100 miles per charge, which takes about four hours to charge. Other fun features include push button start, a voice-activated navigation system, and HD radio. Unlike most electric vehicles, its interior and carpets are made of recycled plastic bottles! Ford plans to collect enough plastic bottles during this year to make the interior for their entire fleet of 2013 Focus electric vehicles.

If 100 miles barely covers your commute, never fear! The Ford Fusion is one of the longer-range hybrid cars in the works. You can drive 100 miles on battery, and then hit the gas station as a backup. Even cooler is the fact that the battery charges while the gas engine is running. The 2013 Fusion’s interior is made of recycled yarn from post-industrial and post-consumer products.

The C-MAX Hybrid car has an even longer rage, and features a new type of battery. While most first-generation hybrid cars (like the outgoing Ford Escape) run on nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries, C-MAX will use a lithium-ion (li-ion) battery. Li-ion batteries are 25 to 30 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter than NiMH batteries, but still carry the same charge. One of the most efficient hybrid cars, its battery recharges while the gas engine is in use, and the braking system uses 95% of braking energy to help charge the battery. C-Max Energi, the plug-in version of this hybrid, is expected to have a 500-mile driving range.

© 2012 SCGH, LLC. 

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