Reduction in rare-earths save $’s and Li-Ion saves $’s at the pump.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Sept. 13, 2012
2013 Ford C-MAX -- $25,995 to start (incl D&H) and a 47/47/47 mpgUS city/highway/combined triple. There is already $1,000 on the hood even before it goes on sale?
While Ford is pushing the C-MAX as a Prius v competitor, it is not quite large enough for that comparison but is larger than the base Prius hatch. At 47 mpgUS across the board, it has nearly matched the ubiquitous fuel economy leader too!
The EPA certification is certainly significant and probably has more to do with the top EV/Glide speed of up to 62 mph than anything else. And it is yet another one of the recent "super cars" we cannot wait to take for a drive someday.
Like the Fusion and Lincoln MKZh Hybrids, the C-MAX Hybrid is equipped with the beautiful, upgraded and mostly functional SmartGauge with EcoGuide. Another new feature I have not read about is ECO Cruise which is surely a DWL CC similar to that found in the current Honda Civic Lineup under their particular ECO mode.
Rare Earths reduction
Ford's third-generation hybrid system using Li-Ion batteries follows up on the R&D of the first and second generation in the Ford Escape and Fusion Hybrid that were equipped with NiMH batteries. The use of Li-Ion and less rare earths in the motors that drive the new lineup could reduce the company's use of the very expensive rare earth metals by up to 500,000 pounds a year depending on how may C-MAX and Fusion Hybrids are sold.
According to Ford, by reducing the composition of rare earth metals in the switch from NiMH to Li-Ion and in the motors themselves reduces costs by 30 percent while allowing improved fuel economy.
Among the rare earth metals used in NiMH batteries are neodymium, cerium, lanthanum and praseodymium, none of which are used in the new Li-Ion packs in either the C-MAX or Fusion HEVs. Additionally, Ford has reduced its use of dysprosium by approximately 50 percent in magnets employed in the hybrid system's motors. Dysprosium is the most expensive rare earth metal used and the reduction is the result of a new diffusion process that is used in the magnet manufacturing process.
If the savings actually makes it to the consumer in the near future, Ford has really got something!