Successful Launch for the C-Max HybridIf we compare the initial 2-month launch periods for all hybrids on the market, the Ford C-Max hybrid holds the record for the fastest-selling. In its first two months on the market, it sold 8,030 units. That's about 3x faster than the original sales of the Prius and Honda Insight, but the comparison isn't entirely fair since the grandaddy hybrids were introduced many years ago, back when people had no clue what a hybrid was and fuel prices were lower. Still, it's a nice success worth highlighting, and I'm partly happy that Ford decided to bring the C-Max to North-America with only hybrid drivetrains (either the regular hybrid, or the plug-in hybrid version, which they call 'Energi').
“Dealers are seeing an overwhelmingly positive response to C-MAX hybrids and are excited to finally take on Prius, with some offering comparison test drives right on their lots,” says C.J. O’Donnell, group marketing manager, Electrification. “Our customers also are excited to have a fresh hybrid option, with leading fuel economy that does not sacrifice driving fun, performance and technology – choices typically not offered with hybrids.”
Indeed, it's great to see more options and competition. It was never good for the Prius to dominate the field because it let off pressure from Toyota to keep improving it. The real cutting-edge stuff might be happening with pure electrics and plug-in hybrids now, but there's still lots of opportunity to improve the fuel efficiency of regular hybrids and to make them more affordable.
Consumer adoption of hybrid technologies has slowly grown over the last several years, but research shows 60 percent of today’s buyers are considering hybrid vehicles. And, for the first time ever, electrified vehicle sales captured nearly 4 percent of the total industry in November.
If people are going to drive, they might as well drive something significantly more fuel efficient than the average gas-only car, and hybrid are also usually SULEV or AT-PZEV when it comes to smog-forming tailpipe emissions, so that's another plus. But I still believe that the future is electric, and that many people would leave the car home more often and commute by foot, bike, or public transit if we work to improve the transportation infrastructure of our cities to make alternatives to cars more convenient.