Ford Uses Magic Number to Promote Focus Electric: 100 MPGe

By · December 15, 2011

Ford Focus Electric front

Ford expects its Focus Electric to be rated at 100 MPGe.

The 2012 Focus Electric is finally ready to launch, so Ford will do its best to find ways to put its pure EV in a positive light compared to the Nissan LEAF. The company is using this tag line: "The first five-passenger electric vehicle with a 100 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe)."

At 100 MPGe, the Focus Electric is expected to beat the Nissan LEAF by only one MPGe. One-hundred has a nice ring to it, but the claim is splitting hairs. In fact, the Ford Focus Electric's real-world range is expected to be slightly less than the Nissan LEAF's—because it weighs more and has a smaller battery than the LEAF. The Focus weighs in at 3,691 pounds with a 23 kilowatt-hour battery, compared the the LEAF's 3,354 pounds and 24-kWh battery pack.

Nearly a year ago, we did a thorough comparison of the LEAF versus the Focus Electric, and the most important points are still in play. We're looking forward to having real-world customers on real roads to report on daily driving experiences. That's just a few weeks away.

In addition to the nominal 100-mpg claim, Ford will play up the Focus's ability to charge at 6 kilowatts from a 240-volt outlet, allowing it to "charge in half the time of a Nissan LEAF." According to Ford, the Focus Electric can recharge in around three hours, compared to the LEAF's time of six to eight hours. This might be the most important difference (at least until Nissan upgrades the LEAF's charger.) Nearly every night, the only charging my LEAF gets is just after midnight until the wee hours. I'm on a time-of-use plan, so I'd like to keep this schedule. But there are times when the faster charge could come in handy for adding a few more miles from home.

Ford Focus Electric side

Ford touts the Focus' ability to "charge in half the time of a Nissan LEAF.

Ford says the ability to charge more quickly means that owners "can more than double the vehicle’s range with multiple charging stops during a busy day of driving." A plug-in hybrid might be the better choice for drivers needing to charge multiple times on a given day on a regular basis. And if you're driving longer distances and need juice in a hurry, then a 20-minute DC Quick Charge could be the solution. Ford doesn't mention that the Focus Electric doesn't offer the DC Quick Charge port, which comes as an option in the LEAF.

Do you think the slightly better Focus MPG rating and quicker on-board charger is enough to sway consumers to the Focus, and away from the LEAF? Or will price, styling, handling and cargo space make the difference? We'll know soon, when the Ford Focus Electric launches in "limited numbers" in the coming weeks in New York, New Jersey and California. Sometime in 2012, Ford will expand the Focus Electric's availability to include 15 additional markets.


· Anonymous (not verified) · 2 years ago

MPe? How about MPKw? Oh, wait, you would have to be currently driving an EV for that to matter.

I like the looks of the Focus and would dig that faster charging, but Ford took too long and now I'm driving a LEAF. I'm curious how the 6 Kw charger affects battery life, but that will take YEARS to sort out.

I often charge when I'm out and about if there is a charger, though the message from Blink the other day about rolling out subscription plans didn't make me super happy. Blink is going to have to improve the reliability of its level 2 chargers if they want me to subscribe. Oh, and where are the level 3 charges? Hum? I-5 / Highway 2 in Washington? I'm looking at you Blink...

· · 2 years ago

Interestingly, even now, Ford is not publishing the rear seat internal dimensions (except for headroom !), nor the passenger/cargo volume.

They have those numbers already for the C-Max Energi that will be released in 6 to 9 months.

· · 2 years ago

"In fact, the Ford Focus Electric's real-world range is expected to be slightly less than the Nissan LEAF's—because it weighs more and has a smaller battery than the LEAF."
Not to continue splitting hairs, but the fact that the FFE weighs more actually does not affect range. I've seen this thrown around before, but it just doesn't work that way. Yes, normally a heavier car would have less range because it is less efficient. The trouble is, the MPGe rating is a measure of efficiency. The only reason that the FFE will have less range is because it will have less battery. Efficiency increases by 1%, battery decreases by 4%. To compensate for the smaller battery, you'd need to hit 103.3MPGe, and who knows - maybe they will!

On another note, Ford lost my business due to price. The only case I would care about 6.6kW charging is in the winter, so I can preheat the cabin without using battery power.

· · 2 years ago

@Brian Schwerdt · "Not to continue splitting hairs, but the fact that the FFE weighs more actually does not affect range."

Ofcourse, it affects range. With a 10% heavier vehicle, I'd expect a 5% decrease.

Now, the MPGe, uses wall-to-wheel figures. Since FFE has a 6.6 kW charger, it is likely more efficient than the 3.3kW charger that Leaf has, and that can easily offset that 5% decrease in efficiency because of weight.

When looking at range we need to see what the battery-to-wheel efficiency is i.e. what is the m/kwh. Depending on FFE's aero compared to Leaf, it could be worse, same or better than Leaf.

· · 2 years ago

@EVNow - I was unaware that MPGe was wall-to-wheels, which of course changes the situation a little since it also includes the charging efficiency. I was under the impression that it only counted efficiency of the use of energy already on board the car (i.e. "battery-to-wheel"). If it is the latter, I stand by my original statement, or rather modify it to "it will not cause the FFE to have a shorter range". Either way, of course weight affects range, but the effect will necessarily be rolled into the MPGe calculation.

In the end, we're all just guessing (educated guesses as they may be) as to the range of the FFE. I will be surprised if it is not within 5 or 10% of the Leaf's range. In the grand scheme of things, this will make a difference to only a select few.

· · 2 years ago

It is the lack of availability that will cause the Ford Focus EV to not be very relevant compared to the LEAF.

· · 2 years ago

MPGe is not quite Well to Wheel but it is also not measured from the kWh stored on the vehicle after charging. MPGe is calculated from the energy at the wall (i.e. the energy that your house electric meter would see), so Wall to Wheel would be a better name. It therefore includes the efficiency of charging, but not the efficiency of getting the energy from the "well" to the wall charger. It also includes any losses due to running any electronics on the vehicle during charging including anything like battery conditioning (like running the battery cooling system to keep it cool).

Once charged, the "useful" stored energy can be used to get your range. I say useful because if only 90% of a 24kWh battery can be used, only 21.6 kWh is used so you can't always tell by the published size of the battery because the OEM could be protecting it to get good life. I should also note that the MPGe is calculated from the raw range data using the federal test procedures (City, Highway, etc.) and the published range comes from a corrected value of the raw range (I think. I know the later is true and am pretty sure about the former). The way this is corrected is extremely complicated and would take a lot of time to explain but it involves being within a band during a 5 cycle test and being able to use the upper end of the band if you are in the band but having to use the corrected 5 cycle test value if you are outside the band. (Note to Brad. Maybe an article that gives a good explanation of the numbers on the label and how they are derived).

· Charged Up (not verified) · 2 years ago

Brad... how many times have you used the DC quick charge feature on your Leaf?

EVNow...I would expect the backseat dimensions to be the same as for the ICE Focus. It appears that the battery pack compromises cargo space and not the rear state.

· · 2 years ago

Also, Brian Schwerdt is correct. A heavier vehicle does not directly mean lower range. Think of it this way. If you had 2 cars that weighed 3000 lbs and 6000 lbs but both got 30 mpg and both had 1 gallon tanks. They are both just as efficient at traveling a distance with the same amount of fuel and both can travel the same distance (range) even though one is heavier. Therfore, the tank size (or battery size) is the only thing that affects range with 2 vehicle that have the same efficiency. If another vehicle has a higher efficiency (MPG), it can get better (or the same) range with a smaller tank, regardless of how heavy it is.

Weight will affect the range indirectly if you assume that lowering the weight (and nothing else) will increase the efficiency (MPG) and therefore increase the range with the same tank size but the statement that a heavier vehicle has a lower ranger is not true if the vehicle compensates by being more efficient (as given by the MPG number).

· · 2 years ago

First, MPGe is defined by the EPA. The formula is MPGe = 33,705 / battery-to-wheel electrical energy consumed per mile (Wh/mi) measured on the EPA's 5 standard drive cycle tests for EVs. The 33,705 is the Wh of a gallon of gasoline. It's that simple.

Second, a 10% reduction in the weight of a vehicle results in a 7% improved MPG according to There's a reason the LEAF has aluminum doors and hood. Also, recall the Edison2's Very Light Car won the $5 million top prize of the X Prize competition.

So therefore, more battery capacity and lighter weight will results in increased range. Weight absolutely matters. If anyone thinks it doesn't, then show me a peer-reviewed scientific article ever published which says otherwise.

· · 2 years ago

@indyflick · "formula is MPGe = 33,705 / battery-to-wheel electrical energy consumed per mile (Wh/mi)"

No. EPA measures the kwh used to recharge the car. There's no easy way to independently measure battery-to-wheel electrical energy consumed per mile.

· · 2 years ago

The higher price of the FFE will be a deciding factor between the LEAF and FFE. Ford will have to be careful promoting the 2x charge speed, since Nissan can come back with 20min DC quick charge time. If Ford say that's bad for battery life, Nissan can say the same about 2x charging speed.

Where the FFE will potentially gain sales over the LEAF is the more advanced Ford Sync technology. Carwings is new, Ford Sync has been around for a while and has more advanced features. EV's appeal to tech folks, so they maybe willing to pay more for the creature comforts.

· · 2 years ago

@ JPWhite,

I think the problem FFE and the PIP and the Leaf to a lesser extent is how close they are priced to the Volt. The Volt was the high end of the affordable electric/plug-ins. Except for people that want to go all electric the Focus has limited appeal over the Volt.

Also, I think 6KW charger is a hard sell just like DC. You're basically admitting to not having enough range. That's why Tesla's 300+ mile battery back makes a lot of sense. Anything lower than 100 miles you talking commuter car.

· · 2 years ago

@theflew ·

You can'r probably talk about FFE being expensive & the 300 mile Tesla (at over $80K) making a lot of sense in the same post.

· · 2 years ago


I agree, my point was FFE is stuck between a rock Volt/Leaf/PIP and a hard place Tesla.

· · 2 years ago

@indyflick - "Weight absolutely matters. If anyone thinks it doesn't, then show me a peer-reviewed scientific article ever published which says otherwise."

As regman put it, weight will affect range in that it will lower the MPGe, but here we are saying the FFE has a higher MPGe than the Leaf. However, if MPGe really includes efficiency of the charger, then it's certainly possible that the higher MPGe is largely due to that. I think that this fact needs to be stressed more. Otherwise we are double counting factors all over the place - weight, charging, battery conditioning.

If MPGe is truly "wall-to-wheels", we face a new problem - the charger itself. The Leaf can be charged at L1, L2 or L3, each with its own efficiency. It gets even more insidious. I will have to assume that 99MPGe is with the Nissan-sponsored Aerovironment 3.3kW L2 charger. What if I purchase another L2 charger? Well, that changes my car's MPGe. Personally, I can deal with this, but it's another hurdle for the average consumer to enter the EV market.

· · 2 years ago

@EVNow "No. EPA measures the kwh used to recharge the car. There's no easy way to independently measure battery-to-wheel electrical energy consumed per mile."

Do you have a pointer to this as the EPA procedure? I've not found the detailed test procedure documented. They say "determine the watts.." but they say state specifically how that should be accomplished that I was able to find. I assumed they simply inserted test equipment on the connector for the cable to the traction motor.

· · 2 years ago

The company is using this tag line: "The first five-passenger electric vehicle with a 100 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe)."

I wonder how Mitsubishi feels about that statement? The i-MiEV is in market now and has a 112 MPGe combined rating.

· · 2 years ago

@indyflick - "I wonder how Mitsubishi feels about that statement?"

Isn't the i-MiEV a four-passenger EV? Isn't that the point of Ford specifying the FFE is five-passenger?

· · 2 years ago

@Brian Schwerdt "As regman put it, weight will affect range in that it will lower the MPGe, but here we are saying the FFE has a higher MPGe than the Leaf."

Actually "we" are not saying FFE has a higher MPGe than the LEAF, Ford are say that. Frankly I'm not buying it. My gut says FUD! Given its higher weight, I estimate the FFE will actually come in at 93 MPGe combined.

· · 2 years ago

Hi regman,
You wrote: "MPGe is not quite Well to Wheel but it is also not measured from the kWh stored on the vehicle after charging. MPGe is calculated from the energy at the wall (i.e. the energy that your house electric meter would see), so Wall to Wheel would be a better name. "

I misread EVNow's post in which he wrote wall-to-wheels 1. because I can't read, but 2. also because it is too close (visually) to well-to-wheels. Pump-to-wheels and plug-to-wheels are more commonly used, partly because they can be abbreviated PTW (which can then be interpreted according to context).

I'd quibble with your wording a bit: I would start "MPGe[EPA] is anything but Well-to-Wheel..." Using the average grid mix efficiencies (per GREET tables), well-to-wheels figures are about half of PTW. The LEAF, 2 years ago, was thought to be about 55 MPGe (well-to-wheels) by Nissan which gives it a 367 MPGe[CAFE] rating. The alternative fuel multiplier for CAFE is 6.67, so 6.67 x 55 = 367. So after Chevy claimed 230 mpg for the Volt, Nissan claimed 367 MPGe for the LEAF. (Nissan had a legal leg to stand on. The number is incredibly misleading, but is is the CAFE number. Chevy, however did not have any basis in standards: you just pick a trip length that supports whatever gasoline mpg figure you want -- it doesnt' measure the car, it just measures a particular, synthetic driving pattern. My Zing gets 3000 mpg, using the same logic and a different arbitrarily chosen daily mileage. Does that sound too high to be marketable? Just let me know what figure you want and I'll change the daily mileage to fit.)

(The actual LEAF figures are a little lower than envisioned 2 years ago, so I imagine the CAFE figure is also lower than 367.)

I can find very very little utility in MPGe (other than for legal purposes such as the CAFE law, where consumption of particular resources are to be encouraged).
1. Few consumers (even pretty active EV people) actually know what it really means. There are also so many MPGe's used for different purposes, that there is no consistent meaning: some are well-to-wheels (most college competitions for alternative-fuel vehicles, most environmental determinations, and the basic CAFE calc, before political multipliers). Others are from plug-to wheels (Monroney sticker) and others are battery to wheels (some small manufacturers who did not understand the EPA system, and people who have not read the standard.) Others have used their own version in which it means "it's like getting 100 mpg on gas, economically". (This last one varies daily and regionally, based on relative prices of gasoline and electricity.)

2. It is of no real utility. If you want to know how much your EV will cost to run, then you need miles per kilowatt hour, measured at the plug. Working backwards from MPGe to the electrical value just ads an unnecessary calculation. Almost any EV owner knows what 3 miles per kilowatt means in local cost... many without even having to do any real thought. MPGe[EPA] tells you nothing about the environmental cost of your EV, because that depends upon where you live.

For plug-in hybrids the numbers get really bizarre. Mine, for example would be rated 100 mpg on gasoline, 330 MPGe on electricity (given my test results so far, which are admittedly not precise). In my state, I consume roughly the same resources and generate the same amount of CO2 when I run it on electricity as on gas. That ratio (100/330) does not show the cost difference; it does not show the resource depletion difference; and it does not show the CO2 creation difference. The only thing it does do is make the calculation of these factors difficult. Using 10 miles per kilowatt-hour (the number 330 MPGe is based upon) means that anyone who wants to know cost can quickly to the math in their head, in a second.

The EPA fuel economy site now allows you to see what the carbon footprint of any production EV is for your location, by zip code. That's a huge improvement, if you are interested in the environment, and can serve a motivator to call your representatives in states like ND where electricity is unusually carbon-intensive.

So... 100 MPGe. How much will it cost to drive my Focus? Lets see 33,700/100= 337 wH/mile. That's 1000/337 = 2.96 miles per kWh. A kilowatt costs me 10 cents: so about 3 cents per mile. If they'd just told me 2.96 miles per kilowatt hour in the first place, I could have done the math more quickly. I happen to have things like 33,700 memorized, but for most people, getting the figure, how it is used, etc, would require some internet work.

· · 2 years ago

Whoops, my html thing didn't work: only anything but was supposed to be in bold.

· · 2 years ago

Hi Indyflick,

>> I estimate the FFE will actually come in at 93 MPGe combined. <<

A reasonable assumption. However all it takes is a few (to numerous) optimizations to get the number right. There are remarkably large differences in motor efficiency from one model or vendor to another. The Azure Dynamics 24 , for example, spends a lot of time around 70% efficiency at 2000 rpm. (It's not all that great at peak efficiency either, but it gets up to the high 80's.) Copper bars (for one example) in an induction motor can increase its efficiency, etc. Small changes in gearing (which can reduce top speed or, conversely, reduce acceleration) can have a significant effect on consumption.

I don't want to pick on any particular manufacture, but some EVs have much higher consumption than others of comparable weight. In the Zing!, just changing motor model type and brand can have a 20% effect -- between worst fit and best fit.

I bet they'll hit their target. But I'd love to know just how much is spent to do so -- it could be 100 little optimization projects at $100,000 each.

But you could be right too. They might weigh the marketing disadvantage of appearing to exaggerate with the advantage of forestalling some LEAF sales: people say "This sounds good, I think I'll give the Ford a look. They get to the dealer, and the salesperson pitches the quicker charger, downplays the lower than projected mileage... It will be fun to see how it works out.

· · 2 years ago

Hi Brian:
You wrote:
>> If MPGe is truly "wall-to-wheels", we face a new problem - the charger itself. <<

In the X Prize, it was definitely plug-to-wheels, (i.e including charging losses) and their test was based on the developing SAE standard at the time. The EPA was planning to use that standard. I have not followed up recently, but think I have read something that indicates that the measurement is PTW.

Many Leaf owners claim much higher than EPA results based on reading the in-car display. This supports the EPA number being based upon PTW.

(In the Zing!, some of the early tests were really impressive, based upon the quite accurate BMS display, which totalizes discharge and regen current over time. Then I charged it up and things still looked pretty good, but not as impressive half way through the charge. Then charge finishing and cell balancing took place, and I was in tears... not really but the differences can be larger than you'd expect from the charger promo material.)

· Anonymous (not verified) · 2 years ago

_Ford says the ability to charge more quickly means that owners "can more than double the vehicle’s range with multiple charging stops during a busy day of driving."_

Yes, with Leaf 30min. CHAdeMO DC fast charge, but Focus three hour "fast" charge is prety much useless.

· · 2 years ago

Didn't Nissan say that they were going to put a 6kW charger in the LEAF at the same time they are going to be made in Tennessee?

· · 2 years ago

@Ken Fry
There is a lot to comment on here but the first thing is that all of my comments are on the EPA's definition and procedure of MPGe since this is the number that can be directly compared from vehicle to vehicle. If you start comparing individual MPGes you will get a huge range depending on the individual driver, where he/she lives, terrain, etc. The EPA MPGe is what Ford is referring to when they say they will be the first (5 passanger car) to get 100. This is the number on the label and this is the only number that counts. " I estimate the FFE will actually come in at 93 MPGe combined., as Indyflick stated, will not happen. Ford would not come out and say they will be > 100 and then come back later and say they are only 93. That would be a media disaster. If they say they will be 100, the label will be at least 100. If you search old stories of the Hybrid Fusion, you will find that in October 2008, Ford preliminarily gave a city MPG of at least 38. They came in at 41. If history repeats itself, I wouldn't be surprised if they come in at 105 MPGe for the FFE.

· · 2 years ago


See ... useful info in that FOIA request.

· Charles (not verified) · 2 years ago

I am going to keep harping on this. We do not have enough data to compare the FFE and the Leaf. If the FFE has 100 MPGe and a 23KWH battery and the Leaf is 99 and 24, Ford would need to cycle their battery just 3.3% deeper to get the same range of 73 miles. Does the difference in battery cooling allow Ford to go deeper? Does the difference in battery chemistry make up for the cooling difference? Did Ford or Nissan sacrifice more battery life for range? Some of these questions will be answered when we have the EPA data. Some will take many years to answer.

· · 2 years ago


We already know that charging at 120V (L1) is less efficient than the 3.3 kW for Leaf. So, this 1 MPGe increase could simply be because charging @ 6.6 kW is more efficient than charging at 3.3 kW.

· · 2 years ago

There is a lot of information that we don't know yet and I never made any prediction of what the label range will be. We don't know what rate of charging this is (effects charging efficiency)? We don’t know how much energy they are using during charging to condition the battery. We don't know what the useful battery kWh of either the FFE or the Leaf is. Gas vehicles are easy, you take the MPG and multiply by the gallons in the tank. For electric vehicles, you can't just take the MPGe and multiply by the kWh of battery and divide by 33.7 to get the range (because of the unknowns listed above). Another unknown (not mentioned yet), is that the test procedure requires that the test is stopped when the vehicle can no longer follow the test cycle. An OEM may choose to start limiting speed or limiting acceleration below a SOC but it may have several miles of range left. If the vehicle has a poor SOC algorithm (like the leaf may have by evidence of the distance to empty accuracy), it could prematurely go into a limited driving state and the EPA test would shut down.

· Charles (not verified) · 2 years ago

@EVNow and @regman, I did not mean for my list of unknowns to be complete. All we can say for now is that the Leaf is the best value 5 passenger EV car that you can buy today. I hope in a few years CR has enough data on a lot of EVs to be able to tell which battery chemistry and thermal control method is the best. As for now the early adopters (such as those who read this blog) are taking a calculated risk. I plan on joining the plug in car club within the next 18 months or so. I do not expect to have enough data to make a fully informed decision. So gut feeling will be part of the decision process. Not something I am all that comfortable with.

· · 2 years ago

@ Charles - before you buy you will have the EPA official numbers on the FFE. Although this may not be a perfect measuring stick, comparing the numbers to each other is not necessarily all that bad of a criteria of efficiency. So long as you understand that your numbers will be different. If you drive in city a lot, probably you will have better numbers. If you drive through hills or mountains a lot you will probably do worse. But the point is there is at least a relative number to use to compare.

The bottom line, however, is which vehicle is actually available for you to purchase. The LEAF and the i are likely to be around in numbers such that you can actually get one in the next 12 to 18 months. I have my doubts if any of the others are going to be easy to get a hold of within that period of time.

And it is pretty easy to see how a LEAF and an i compare to each other and therefore which one might be the best match for you. The i is quite a bit cheaper but is smaller and has less range.

If you can't get an FFE then it doesn't really matter what its specifications are. But should they be available, they will be a more stylish car (to most people) with less cargo room and a range an efficiency close enough to a LEAF not to worry about much one way or the other. At a higher price.

One more thing to consider is that Nissan definately stands behind the LEAF. But the powertrain of the FFE is made by vendors and the way Ford is pricing the FFE suggests that they are not that into it. Ford seems more interested in the plug-in hybrid Energi coming out later. So their level of future support of the FFE may not be quite as strong as Nissans. This could be important later when it is time to replace the battery pack and perhaps upgrade to better chemistry.

· Charles (not verified) · 2 years ago

@alt-e, I am not looking at the Leaf or FFE for my next car. My SO and I have very bimodal driving patterns. One day I drive 20 miles almost all city and the next 75+ miles almost all highway. My SO drives 36 miles most days, but a few times a month will unexpectedly have to drive twice that. The current affordable pure EVs just do not meet my requirements. I hope the C-Max Energi (I hate that name) will work out. The PiP and Volt do not have the cargo volume that I want. The Prius V comes close in that it is long and wide enough, but it needs to be 3 inches taller and it is not a plug in. If the C-Max does not have the cargo space, then I am going for the best MPGe that works. Right now the Volt seems to have the edge.

The current car stable for myself and my SO consists of an 04 Focus wagon (30 MPG, PZEV with 159K miles) and an 06 Prius (48 MPG, 109K miles). I hope to replace my Focus with the C-Max plug in in about a year or so. After that I would like to add a pure EV such as the Leaf or FFE, and keep the Prius for the rare days that both of us need 75+ mile range. An alternative would be to a straight replacement of the Prius with a Volt. I am not sure I can get my SO to drive a Chevy. She really only wants a Toyota or Honda. She has seen that the Focus has been a very good car, so a Ford is a possibility. The Nissan may work, but only with a bit of pressure.

For us to significantly reduce our CO2 output without changing our lifestyle, we will have to go with some type of plug ins. Our goal is to get greener with each new purchase. That includes cars, house and all of the devices in the house. For the cars, I would say we are very good at this point, which makes improvement hard.

· · 2 years ago

@ Charles - The C-Max Energi is tailor made for you. It has a cargo volume of 25 cubic feet with the seats up and 54 with them down. The regular Prius has a much smaller 15.6 and 21.6. The Plug-in Prius will certainly not have more than the regular Prius. And the Prius V is not plug-in and has lower mpg then the Energi will have even after the battery is gone. The battery content is unknown, but it should be more than the plug-in Prius and it should get pretty decent mpg after the battery is spent. I can't think of a better choice to go 20 miles per day on most days and unlimited on still frequent days and a need for a lot of cargo space. In city the Energi might be an EV for 20 miles a day. Or pretty close to it depending on your exact driving speed and the exact amount of battery they put in the Energi. The Energi will undoubtedly have a lower mpg then the regular Prius. But at 75 miles it wouldn't really be worth worrying which one might slightly have the edge, given the battery kicking in maybe 20 miles worth. If you go real long distances than the Prius would start to take the lead. But you have to balance that with what it costs to have another car insured, maintained, etc.

It sounds like your SO would do just fine in a LEAF as there are right now. Double 36 miles is about the limit that someone should expect. And it would be important to not enter any speed derbies on those days. But it can be comfortably done.

Or your could get the Energi to replace the Focus and keep the Prius as you said and then get a LEAF when they upgrade the battery pack at some unknown number of a few years in the future.

· · 2 years ago

@alt-e · "The C-Max Energi is tailor made for you. It has a cargo volume of 25 cubic feet with the seats up and 54 with them down. The regular Prius has a much smaller 15.6 and 21.6. "

Not correct. See my blog ...

"C-MAX Hybrid provides 54.3 cubic feet of space behind the first row and 24.9 cubic feet behind the second row. In C-MAX Energi, there is 43.3 cubic feet behind the first row and 19.1 cubic feet behind the second row."

PIP is 20.1 with seats up.

· · 2 years ago

Thank you, EVNow. I didn't realize that the Energi version was 20% or so smaller in cargo then the traditional hybrid version. Pretty clear where they put the expanded batteries.

But I still think it is a perfect match for what Charles described as his need for a vehicle. It is almost as though the Energi designers went to Charles's house to get their design requirements :)

· · 2 years ago

@Charles "If the C-Max does not have the cargo space, then I am going for the best MPGe that works. Right now the Volt seems to have the edge."

Energi has only 19 cu. ft. of volume with seats up. That is less than both PIP & Leaf. Our current ICE, Santa Fe, has 30 cu ft. (and 77 when seats are down).

So, even though I've been interested enough in Energi to start a blog, not sure whether it meets our needs. We'll have to check it out in person before deciding. The other option Mitsu PX-iMiEV/Outlander Plugin will be coming in 2013, not next year. That will also be an AWD, probably a better fit.

· · 2 years ago

BTW, I should add, Volt doesn't work at all. It is too low for my wife, has a very small trunc and doesn't have the 5th seat. It seems to be the car for empty nesters only.

· · 2 years ago


We agree that Ford would be foolish to claim 100 MPGe without being quite sure that they can support that figure. We also agree that the EPA (Monroney sticker) version of MPGe serves as a consistent means for comparison of electric vehicles. (I would prefer miles-per-kilowatt-hour, but an EPA study showed that most Americans don't have a clue what a kWh is – apparently they blithely pay their electric bills without looking at them.)

The reason I addressed my post to you had to do mainly with just a couple words. You had written “MPGe is not quite Well to Wheel... “ and my suggested correction was “MPGe is anything but Well to Wheel...”

Well-to-wheels analysis (as has been used for a couple decades for CAFE purposes) differs from plug to wheel by a factor of 12,307/33,705 (about 1:2.7). WTW takes into account all the upstream losses, (for both electricity production and gasoline production) and is the commonly used means to determine the actual resource consumption and environmental impact of one alternative fuel vs another. The difference between Ford's 100 MPGe and Nissan's 99 MPGe is insignificant. But the difference between the well-to-wheels and plug-to-wheels is huge.

The WTW standard remains in use for CAFE purposes. (Thus, when Mazda suggests that they will be forced into making electric cars in 2018, it will be to reduce their CAFE number. Their first EV sold here will probably get about 50 MPGe[WTW], which becomes 333 MPGe[CAFE]. If they can then ramp up to making EVs 10% of their fleet by 2025, they will have met the 2025 54.5 MPGe[CAFE] goal, even if the rest of their fleet averages 25 MPG.)

To see the degree of flexibility in tweaking the efficiency of EVs, we can look at the Smart EV: smaller and lighter than the Leaf, but returns a pretty dismal 87 MPGe. Engineering counts.

· Chad (not verified) · 2 years ago

It is the lack of availability that will cause the Ford Focus EV to not be very relevant compared to the LEAF

I hope that Ford has learned from other manufacturers.

· Andrew Hogg (not verified) · 2 years ago

A few points to make (i have owned a Leaf since July):
1. You guys can argue all day about wall to wheel and well to wheel and MPGe etc. Its all moot. Buyers for the most part are interested in three things: price, amenities and distance (70 miles or so for the LEAF).
2. Id argue that most current and near future buyers of all electric cars are buying to a) get a fat discount from the fed and state ($10k if you live in CA), drive in the car pool lane with one person and finally, insulate themselves against rising gas prices. Sure, being green factors into to it to a degree, but without those first three people just aren't that willing to sacrifice that much to be green. These three reasons are, i think, the main reasons that the Volt is not selling well, comparatively speaking.
3. The FFE is going to be a nice car i think. Well built, ability (i assume) to get leather, heated seats etc., known entity in it being built on the Focus platform, and of course its a Ford - they're making great cars now. However, for $5k more than the Leaf, id expect about 40 miles+ more range - based on how Tesla is charging for battery upgrades on their Model S. And of course I'm not going to get that. So, tell me why exactly I'm going to pay $5k more for a car? I for one do not know.
4. Having driven a LEAF for 6 months, with a one way commute of only 16 miles, and driving with a bit of a lead foot, and at 70 on the highway for a good 10 miles of that 16 (i get about 70 miles on a full tank) say i would feel more comfortable with another 30 miles of real range. I've cut it close (3 - 5 miles left) too many times. Id say the Model S with its minimum 160 mile range (i think) is about right as a minimum to cover 99% of trips in a year for someone like me.


· ajWant's a Leaf (not verified) · 2 years ago

Took a Leaf for a week as I work as a Nissan Tech and looking to cut my $350.00+ per monhoth fuel bill and possible buy one. I loved it at first but when I challenged it to keep up with my lifestyle (and @ 40 is not too fast paced) Leaf couldn't. I have a 35 mile commute to work, all highway, per day. That's where the Leaf is lost. Commuting 70 miles per day/charge and wondering if I'll make it home un-sold my wife and I at this point. BUT it's great for non high way drivers because the quality of this car is top notch. Nissan Master Tech. A Ma

· · 2 years ago

Andrew: Yes the base model S has a range of 160 miles, but I'm guessing that's the optimal range, kind of like how Nissan say's the LEAF is a 100 mile car. I'm thinking 110-130 miles will be more reasonable to expect for the 160 mile S.
It will be interesting to see what the EPA rates all three Model S's at. I bet it's close to 120, 180 & 235. Still, all of them are better than anything else out there.

· · 2 years ago

"AjWants a Leaf - Commuting 70 miles per day/charge and wondering if I'll make it home in-sold my wife and I at this point."

Are you saying that where you work as a Nissan Master Tech that they won't let you charge while you're at work? Is this a Nissan facility?

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