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Ford boosted its electric/hybrid market share from 3 percent to 15 percent in the past year

Ford has seen a significant increase in electric and hybrid vehicle sales over the last year, and it's looking to give rival Toyota a run for its money.

According to The Detroit News, Ford has managed to boost its electric/hybrid vehicle market share from 3 percent to 15 percent in the past year. 

The report added that from September 2012 through September 2013, Ford sold approximately 85,000 hybrid and electric vehicles -- which is a major increase from the 22,000 sold during the year prior to that. 

These numbers are pretty significant for Ford, considering it encountered a hiccup with the Ford C-Max Hybrid last year. The vehicle was previously rated at 47/47/47 (city/highway/combined), but Consumer Reports called Ford out on the fact that these numbers were inflated after extensive testing. 

In August of this year, Ford relented and lowered the C-Max Hybrid's numbers to 45/40/43 (city/highway/combined).

Despite that issue, Ford's clean vehicle sales are on the up. During that sales spike in the past year, the automaker released a Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (which had a delayed launch), a hybrid-only C-Max compact crossover, a Fusion Hybrid midsize sedan, and plug-in versions of the C-Max and Fusion. 

The report noted that Ford's electric and hybrid vehicles are certainly in high demand. Its three hybrids spend 28 days or less on dealer lots, and the Fusion and MKZ Hybrids stay less than three weeks.
 

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid
 
While Ford has made a lot of progress over the last year, the automaker still has a ways to go before it surpasses its electric/hybrid rival Toyota. The Toyota Prius still stands at the top of the green car rankings.

For some comparison, Ford sold 61,306 electric/hybrid vehicles for 2013 through August, and Toyota sold more than 236,000 (not just Prius'). 

However, Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada recently said the company wants to pass over electric vehicles in favor of more hybrid releases and a stronger focus on upcoming hydrogen fuel cell technology. Toyota apparently doesn't see a market for EVs, and thinks they need at least two major battery breakthroughs before they can replace hybrids or gasoline-powered cars. 

Back in August, Toyota revealed that it would release 15 new hybrids by 2015.

Toyota is focused on its next-generation Prius, which is expected to have better batteries with higher energy density. The company said it's using nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion where necessary and even upped its research on new battery technologies like solid state and lithium air as well as magnesium. The Prius will also feature smaller electric motors; thermal efficiency of the gasoline engine will be boosted from 38.5 percent in current models to 40 percent in the next-generation; the use of Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) will allow for a lower center of gravity and increased structural rigidity, and better aerodynamics will offer an all-new exterior design.

Ford isn't too worried about Toyota's latest efforts, though. C.J. O’Donnell, Ford’s group marketing manager of electrified vehicles, recently said that people prefer green Ford vehicles like the C-Max and Fusion because they "don't look like a Prius." In other words, Ford feels it has Toyota beat when it comes to design. 

Source: The Detroit News



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Prius is a damn good car
By Ammohunt on 10/2/2013 1:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
I think people that are in the small to medium sized car market don't care what it looks like. I am not convinced that they can make a large car hybrid that performs like a Prius as far as gas mileage.

On a side note my 2004 Prius has 300k+ miles on it and i have spent a total of $2000 outside of regular maintenance for its life so far and it still gets ~50mpg. Ford makes better cars than other American automakers but i am not convinced they could match the quality/value of the Prius.




RE: Prius is a damn good car
By milktea on 10/2/2013 1:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
Toyota got a head start. But Hybrid/EV are still in their earily stage. So I just hope that American automakers would come to their senses and get their acts together to compete in the next coming era of automotive revolution.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By GulWestfale on 10/2/13, Rating: 0
RE: Prius is a damn good car
By Samus on 10/2/2013 3:15:27 PM , Rating: 1
1 - Have you seen the new Escape? It takes a lot of design cues from the Prius and RAV4.

2 - Honda hybrids have poor(er) fuel economy.

3 - Again, about Honda. Fuel economy. Nobody is going to by a Hybrid that doesn't significantly improve fuel economy, especially when a competing vehicle for the same price bests it by 20%.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By Reclaimer77 on 10/2/13, Rating: -1
RE: Prius is a damn good car
By jthistle on 10/3/2013 9:50:44 AM , Rating: 2
The reason the Prius is the most popular hybrid is because it has the best fuel economy of a regular hybrid, not including FHEVs or EV+range extender.

quote:
The fuel economy is "good enough".


If you are buying a car for maximizing fuel economy why would you buy anything less than the best in your price range.

quote:
Nobody is going to by a Hybrid that doesn't significantly improve fuel economy

Right which is why I see Lexus and BMW hybrids out there, even hybrid SUV's.


The people who have Lexus and BMW hybrids probably previously had gas guzzling Lexus's and BMW's getting a hybrid makes them feel a little better about the environment but still maintains the luxury they are used to. Their choice of car shows they wanted better fuel economy but not all out fuel economy while sacrificing luxury.

quote:
2 - Honda hybrids have poor(er) fuel economy.


The new accord hybrid is supposed to be more comparable in mpg to the Prius but it looks like a normal car, however it is more expensive. Time will tell if it can make a dent in the Prius sales.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By Nutzo on 10/3/2013 12:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
No mention of the Camry Hybrid. Toyota is sell a lot of Camry Hybrids, they don't look like a Prius :) and even includes a spare tire (unlike the Fords)

As for the Prius, I really don't like the inside (mainly the dash), and I also find it a bit small inside.

The Camry Hybrid looks and drives like a regular car (except it’s faster that the 4 cyl gas model).
If they want to increase the market for Hybrids, they need to make more that look and drive like standard cars, without the huge price premium.



RE: Prius is a damn good car
By Reclaimer77 on 10/3/2013 2:26:54 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The reason the Prius is the most popular hybrid is because it has the best fuel economy of a regular hybrid


Being the most affordable has nothing to do with it either, right?

quote:
If you are buying a car for maximizing fuel economy why would you buy anything less than the best in your price range.


That's a big if. Most people don't make purchases exclusively based on fuel economy.

The Accord hybrids have better fuel economy than their ICE Accord counterparts, but still retain their non-homo styling as apposed to a Prius.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By yomamafor1 on 10/3/2013 3:27:18 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Right which is why I see Lexus and BMW hybrids out there, even hybrid SUV's.


Have you even driven hybrid SUVs? I've driven Lexus RX450h that consistently returned 29MPG + in predominately city driving. Which other SUV can do that?


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By Reclaimer77 on 10/3/2013 3:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
I see you misunderstood my point grossly.

Hybrid SUV's DO get better mileage than ICE SUV's, true. But they don't get Prius level MPG, of course.

Point is the mileage is "good enough". There's still a benefit to the technology, even if it doesn't get you the highest MPG of anything out there.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By Solandri on 10/2/2013 3:14:36 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I just hope that American automakers would come to their senses and get their acts together to compete in the next coming era of automotive revolution.

The American automakers do have their act together. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, there were three technologies being extensively researched - pure-electric EVs, hydrogen fuel cells, and hybrids*. The American companies were mostly heavily invested in fuel cell research (GM went with EVs). The Japanese opted to research hybrid tech instead.

As it turned out, hybrid tech reached maturity first. The Japanese were able to bring hybrid cars to market while the fuel cells were still in the research stage. The Americans then had to play catch-up (or cross-license) in hybrid tech. The American automakers had their act together, they just bet on the wrong horse.

About 10 years ago, the president of one of the Japanese automakers (Toyota I think) said they got completely lucky with hybrids. And that if fuel cells had matured first, they would've been locked out of the green vehicle market would've had to spend a decade trying to catch up to the American automakers.

* If you think about it, hybrids aren't really a game-changing tech like EVs or fuel cells. The Japanese realized they were far behind the Americans on both those fronts, so looked for a compromise solution which didn't have the full advantages of EVs or fuel cells, but which could be brought to market quicker. And the hybrid was born.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By InsGadget on 10/2/2013 2:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, the Prius IS ugly, and most people still care about looks in the vehicles they buy. Don't extrapolate your experience for everyone else.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By ven1ger on 10/2/2013 2:12:11 PM , Rating: 2
Considering that the Prius and Honda's hybrid looks extremely similar and that the Prius holds the highest marketshare, leads me to think that a lot of people don't share your opinion that it is ugly. It is distinctive, and has been featured in many television shows and movies, it is really kind of an iconic car.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By ClownPuncher on 10/2/2013 3:19:02 PM , Rating: 4
I'd much rather be driving a Fusion, based on looks alone.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By Dr of crap on 10/2/2013 3:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yea in movies while they make jokes about it - yea its ugly. We only except it BECAUSE it gets good mpgs. If it was an ordinary 30 mpg car looking that ugly, then it would NOT sell so much.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By Ktracho on 10/2/2013 2:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
Looks is why I would never buy a Nissan Leaf. Instead, I got a Ford Focus Electric. I just can't see myself walking up to my car every day and saying, "What an ugly car!" as I get in, no matter how green it is.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By Mint on 10/2/2013 4:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
Nissan is all over the map when it comes to looks. They have some whack designs like the Juke, and some slick ones like the Maxima.

I wish the LEAF was styled more like the ZOE. Nissan should take some styling tips from its Renault brother.

As for the Focus Electric, that's just too much of a ripoff, IMO. If you lease, it's 50% more!


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By Flunk on 10/2/2013 3:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While I don't think the Prius is a great looking car it's not that different looking from many other compacts on the market.

So even though it's ugly to you and average to me I'm sure someone likes the way it looks and plenty of people who don't care.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By SAN-Man on 10/2/2013 2:39:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think people that are in the small to medium sized car market don't care what it looks like.


Uhh, yeah they do. Hi-oon-die Sonota is a great example. Current generation looks good, sells well. Previous generate looked like pig pile, sold.. ehh not so well.

There is a portion of buyers who think like you say, then there's the rest who frankly, seem to ignore all technical facts about cars and buy SOLELY on the looks/styling/how the car makes them feel.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By ebakke on 10/2/2013 5:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
It's "Hun-day", like "Sun-day".


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/2/2013 5:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
Here's Hyundai's old motto - helps you remember how to pronounce their name:

"Drive a Hyundai and have a fun day"


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By ebakke on 10/2/2013 11:13:38 PM , Rating: 2
"Hyundai, like Sunday" was from their Super Bowl advertising: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY-5dn3t4xM


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By lagomorpha on 10/3/2013 10:50:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
then there's the rest who frankly, seem to ignore all technical facts about cars and buy SOLELY on the looks/styling/how the car makes them feel.


Oh no it's much worse than that. The vast majority of car buyers, like the vast majority of computer buyers simply do not have the knowledge required to interpret the technical facts in a meaningful way.

"What's a good computer? That pothead on the TV commercials seems really enthusiastic about Dell, I'll make sure my business orders computers from them!"

"What's a good car? I dunno, the vast talking scummy dealer man promised even someone with terrible credit like me could get financing!"


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By headbox on 10/2/2013 3:10:20 PM , Rating: 4
You have also picked up ZERO hot girls in your Prius.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/2/2013 6:02:49 PM , Rating: 2
Prius may be good and functional as far as hybrids go, but I wouldn't be caught dead driving one. They look just too .... feminine.

I'll take a a Fusion Hybrid over that any day.


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By CharonPDX on 10/3/2013 2:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, my 2004 has over 150K miles, and earlier this year I got the best mileage for a tank of gas since I bought it (53 MPG over 450 miles on a single tank - back roads over hills from Susanville, CA to Salem, OR. Previous 'best tank' was 50.1 MPG back in 2005-2006.)

When I bought mine, the Prius wasn't yet a "fad" (although there were massive waiting lists for the it when I got mine, it was mostly actual "green" enthusiasts, or tech enthusiasts.) I bought it for the combination of: safety, money savings over the long term, and environmental impact. Looks weren't as important, but I do like the look. (And versatility of a hatchback - I have carried cargo that fully filled the cargo area with the back seats folded down quite a few times.)


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By EricMartello on 10/6/2013 5:48:57 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I think people that are in the small to medium sized car market don't care what it looks like. I am not convinced that they can make a large car hybrid that performs like a Prius as far as gas mileage.


Whether or not you acknowledge it, the type of car you drive, its performance and appearance say a lot about your personality and I've never met an interesting person that owns and drives a Prius...its styling is so awful that even gay people would be put off by it.

They make better-looking non-hybrid vehicles that use less fuel than the Prius, have more usable space, are generally more reliable and cost less.

Hybrids always were an overly complicated concept to improving fuel efficiency. Hybrid power trains are highly impractical in small, lightweight vehicles; however (and with a bit of irony) they are actually somewhat of a boon to large vehicles like buses, cargo trucks, dump trucks and such. Why? Because the electric assist reduces the fuel consumption during acceleration - it takes a lot more energy to move 10+ tons from a stop or up a hill than it does to move a 1.5 ton gaybrid. The large, heavy vehicles genuinely benefit from the high torque added by electric motors - high amounts of low-end torque is essentially worthless on lightweight cars.

quote:
On a side note my 2004 Prius has 300k+ miles on it and i have spent a total of $2000 outside of regular maintenance for its life so far and it still gets ~50mpg. Ford makes better cars than other American automakers but i am not convinced they could match the quality/value of the Prius.


You're giving the prius far too much credit. It's not a "nice" car by any standard even if your mom tells you that. In Japanese, the word pri uso roughly translates to "happy small pen1s".

Any Ford would be an immediate improvement, and would probably reduce the sh1t people say about you behind your back. "Oh look it's that tree-humping prius driving fagg0t...why does he always smell like stale doritos and cowfarts?"


RE: Prius is a damn good car
By flyingpants1 on 10/8/2013 2:59:52 AM , Rating: 2
What the hell is wrong with you people???? It's A CAR. It's not just supposed to LOOK GOOD. It's supposed to be AERODYNAMIC. Otherwise you are just burning gas and wearing out your engine by fighting air resistance for NO REASON. Rear wheel covers should be standard on all cars.


Volt's a great option too!
By foxalopex on 10/3/2013 12:01:05 AM , Rating: 2
The Volt's a pretty reasonable looking car from the front and sides. Probably it's weakest look is from the back. It has the square hatchback design that doesn't look the best to me. I actually own a 2013 Volt. Current fuel milage 77 mpg and rising. It would have been much higher had I not taken a 3000 mile cross country trip. On gas the Volt manages about 40 mpg but since it has a 38 mile battery, if you don't exceed that from day to day use mpg's just skyrocket. Since my trip, I haven't seen a gas station in 5 months! It's also faster than a Prius.




RE: Volt's a great option too!
By Dr of crap on 10/3/2013 9:42:52 AM , Rating: 2
Brag much ?
Or are you trying to justify your over priced purchase?

Yea drive over the daily battery limit and you USE gas and your inflated mpgs go down, and on a different note....


RE: Volt's a great option too!
By foxalopex on 10/3/2013 11:30:11 AM , Rating: 2
I shelled out $42,000 (Ontario, Canada) after taxes / shipping and rebates on my 2013 Volt and that was with several options. GM's recently offered a $5,000 drop in price putting it in the $37,000 range which pretty much is the price of a fully loaded Prius. So I don't see how it's overpriced?

I looked at the Telsa S, and for that price I could buy 2 Volts. There's no superchargers in Canada and I have doubts that a pure EV would do so well in our winters where temperatures can bottom out at -22 F.

Tell me, where can you find an EV that is electric almost all the time that still allows you to take a 3000 mile cross-country trip on the whim.

Most folks also can't do the math either. Let's say for simplicity the Volt does about 40 mpg on gas and the battery gives you roughly 40 miles. This means that in order to get a fuel mileage worse than 60 mpg which is better than nearly any hybrid out there you would need to drive more than 80 miles every day. The average consumer doesn't drive those kind of miles a day. If you do, I agree a Prius would probably suite you.

My 77mpg rating by the way on a site that I registered my Volt on compared to 2000 other Volts is ranked in the bottom 10%. I suspect if it wasn't for our insanely cold winters and cross-country trip I would have probably blown way over 100 mpg.

Fuel mileage aside, I live in a small city so I have plenty of battery to spare. I often give friends rides and go for grocery runs for fun because electricity is cheap. Also while the Volt isn't the fastest car in the world, as an EV it's nothing like driving a normal car. Imagine having a 140hp motor, redlining it and dropping your clutch. The Volt can essentially do that but unlike a gas engine you're not going to break it doing that because that's what an EV can do.


RE: Volt's a great option too!
By lagomorpha on 10/3/2013 11:00:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Since my trip, I haven't seen a gas station in 5 months!


It might be prudent to put some fuel stabilizer in your tank if you're actually going that long between fillups. Gas starts to get nasty and clogs intake valves after sitting around for a number of months.


RE: Volt's a great option too!
By foxalopex on 10/3/2013 11:32:24 AM , Rating: 2
Airtight sealed gas tank prevents that issue. The car burns about a cup of gas if you don't use it every 2 months automatically to keep the engine in shape and the entire tank if it is older than a year. Believe me they thought of everything that could go wrong and then some in this car.


Fusion looks like a "real" car...
By SAN-Man on 10/2/2013 2:32:21 PM , Rating: 3
Prius on the other hand has a stigma of being an enviro-cook-mobile. Disagree if you want, it's the truth.

I will use the analogy of BMW. There are "hot rod" versions of most BMW models but the REGULAR model is unassuming, but, turns out a capable performer - but it's understated, it looks like a "regular car" or how you would expect a car to look.

Hybrids and EVs need to do the same thing as BMW did for performance - make it restrained, make it mainstream, make it the norm and people will buy it.

I would never buy a space alien butt plug looking Prius with that stupid name.




By ritualm on 10/2/2013 3:29:51 PM , Rating: 2
Similar to you, I favor sports cars that look like bog-standard family sedans over sporty coupes. The latter usually comes with useless rear spoilers that do nothing other than claim it does well in street races, and huge exhaust mufflers that do nothing but create noise.

A Prius isn't something I'd buy in a heartbeat, but something I'd seriously consider when replacing my 9+ year old compact.


RE: Fusion looks like a "real" car...
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/2/2013 6:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I will use the analogy of BMW. There are "hot rod" versions of most BMW models but the REGULAR model is unassuming, but, turns out a capable performer - but it's understated, it looks like a "regular car" or how you would expect a car to look.


Have you seen their EV?
http://www.bmw.com/com/en/newvehicles/i/i3/2013/sh...

Bwahahahahaha!


By SAN-Man on 10/3/2013 8:35:07 AM , Rating: 2
Yup... that obviously what I was talking about, not the BMW sedans from the last 25 years... called, 5 series, 3 series


Also
By EddyKilowatt on 10/2/2013 2:59:54 PM , Rating: 1
Also, Ford... today I rolled past a C-Max and thought, not for the first time, "that's actually a functional looking, reasonably styled vehicle". Followed immediately by thinking "too bad Ford screwed up the engineering and it loses to the Prius (not to mention my TDI) by 10 mpg".

I'm not paying hybrid prices (and accepting hybrid complexity and weight penalties) for something that barely gets 40 mpg in owners' hands. I'd love to buy domestic and I'm standing here with cash in hand, but I won't buy something that's as mis-specified or mis-engineered as the C-Max apparently is.




RE: Also
By Solandri on 10/2/2013 3:38:53 PM , Rating: 3
There's not much difference between 40 mpg and 50 mpg. Unfortunately, we measure fuel economy in MPG, when it's actually the inverse of fuel economy. That exaggerates the effect of high mpg. In other words, the bigger the mpg, the smaller the fuel savings.

It's easy to see this if you correctly compare the vehicles in 1/MPG, or gallons per 100 miles:

15 MPG full-size SUV = 6.7 gal/100 mi
20 MPG SUV = 5 gal/100 mi
25 MPG sedan = 4.0 gal/100 mi
40 MPG = 2.5 gal/100 mi
50 MPG = 2.0 gal/100 mi

If you're switching from a 25 MPG sedan, then 75% of your fuel savings comes from the 25=>40 MPG improvement. Only 25% of your fuel savings comes from the 40=>50 MPG improvement.

Incidentally, this also means if maximizing fuel savings is the goal, we should be concentrating on turning SUVs into hybrids, not making hybrid econoboxes. Improving an SUV by 5 MPG saves twice as much gas as improving an econobox by 10 MPG.


RE: Also
By Mint on 10/2/2013 5:13:49 PM , Rating: 2
I think one of the reasons is that SUV buyers aren't/weren't particularly price conscious as a whole (and probably don't care a lot about pollution either). They're high margin vehicles sold to people looking for a particular image and/or brand. That's why the American automakers made so much money on them in the 2000's.

I'm guessing that CAFE will start making truck/SUV hybrids more common. CAFE uses a harmonic mean, so those will be the lowest lying fruit for automakers that sell a lot of them.


RE: Also
By Dr of crap on 10/3/2013 9:40:16 AM , Rating: 2
????

Its the same comparison. Only how YOU want to look at it.


some maths
By Captain Awesome on 10/2/2013 1:53:46 PM , Rating: 5
The Ford Fusion hybrid looks 700 times better than a Prius. But a Toyota 86 GT with a hybrid engine would look 4000 times better.

This is actual scientific data, I'm not just making it up.




RE: some maths
By Namey on 10/3/2013 1:24:12 PM , Rating: 2
My numbers came up the same. (Peer review complete)


Prius looks like a box
By milktea on 10/2/2013 1:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
I never really liked the looks of Prius (and some other Prius look a like). Maybe it's a raised back that is bothering me. I perfer the sedan type look and feel, with analog type speedometer.

Only wish Honda would release a hybrid version of Accord sedan that is around $20k USD.




RE: Prius looks like a box
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/2/2013 6:04:42 PM , Rating: 2
I wanna see the scientific formulas you used to arrive at those numbers!!

C'mon Sheldon! Draw them out on your whiteboard!


DUH !
By SuckRaven on 10/2/13, Rating: 0
RE: DUH !
By Monkey's Uncle on 10/2/2013 6:05:24 PM , Rating: 2
Care to elaborate?


By EddyKilowatt on 10/2/2013 2:42:11 PM , Rating: 2
... a credible all-electric that doesn't look as freakish as the Leaf. Too bad only Nissan has the guts to be in that market, selling more-than-compliance numbers of cars, Ford.

There's a great market for 75-mile BEVs at their current state of evolution, and that's as a 2nd or 3rd car in suburban driveways, doing the grocery-getting and soccer-pickup short trips, or commuting to work. But it's not a market that likes quirky styling or Gen-Y marketing appeals.




As a 2012 Prius owner...
By masamasa on 10/4/2013 4:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
I think they used to look like crap, but the 2012 models are a lot nicer. On another note, this is mud-slinging advertising from Ford.

When asked Prius owners responded, "I prefer a car that doesn't break down and have high maintenance like a Ford."

Gotta love advertising execs.




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