2013 Ford C-MAX Energi
2013 Ford C-MAX Energi
2013 Ford C-MAX Energi
2013 Ford C-MAX Energi
2013 Ford C-MAX Energi. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Justin Pritchard

“Giv ’er!! Giv ’er!! Light ’em up!!”

I’m leaving the gym in my 2013 Ford C-Max Energi tester, and this little fella’ in his jacked-up Super Duty, complete with smokestacks, is amused to no end that my electric pod-car had just started up beside him and began pulling away without making a peep.

A moment earlier, he’d asked if the car was electric, because he couldn’t hear it running.

“Sort of, yeah” I replied.

“Is that where she plugs in?”

He was pointing to the glowing LED ring around the power port on the fender, right in front of the driver’s door.

“Yep, sure is.”

So now I’m pulling out of the parking lot and this guy’s yelling at me to lay a big dirty patch. I’m sure he knows I can’t. Not that I’d try.

That’s hard on gas, after all. Plus, torquey as the C-Max’s electric drive motor is, it’s set up more for feats of thrifty driving, not the vaporization of its low-rolling-resistance ECO tires.

I don’t think guys in Super Duties with smokestacks really like electric cars. They typically treat them as a novelty or curiosity, and little more. Then, they use their 800 lb-ft of diesel-fired torque to drive to the grocery store, Tim Hortons, and to Canadian Tire – where they can buy more peel-and-stick chrome add-ons and truck nuts.

I live in Sudbury, Ontario.

That’s many, many miles north of Toronto, a busy urban centre where cars like the C-Max Energi are more popular and effective. Up here, fellas like this guy and trucks like his are more the norm.

Needless to say, the C-Max and I spent an interesting week together.

Disclaimer: I’m not a green-car expert.

If you’re not a likely candidate to own a green car, pay them little attention and are little more than mildly curious about them, then we’re on the same page. So, is this car relevant to folks like us?

Here’s the gist. The ‘Energi’ designation indicates the presence of plug-in system that elevates this special version of the C-MAX above and beyond the standard non plug-in hybrid version Ford sells us Canadians as standard.

2013 Ford C-MAX Energi2013 Ford C-MAX Energi
2013 Ford C-MAX Energi. Click image to enlarge

The electric plug-in system runs nearly $10,000 over and above the standard C-Max hybrid – but at the time of writing, the Ontario government will send you a cheque for $5,800 if you buy one of these (same in Quebec, and only $2,500 in BC), for being nice to the atmosphere. (Disregard the $8,500 discount mentioned in the video at 0:54 seconds, that was a miscalculation.)

A colleague of ours is a green-car enthusiast and Nissan Leaf owner. He thinks it’s a wonder that Ford sells any conventional C-Max Hybrid models (as opposed to the plug-in Energi models) here, given the incentive and potential for fuel savings.

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