Ford's sales of its two Energi plug-in hybrid models climbed steadily throughout 2013, and now it appears the company will add a third model to the Energi family for 2015.
If rumors are correct, the 2015 Ford Focus Energi will add a plug-in hybrid model to the existing gasoline and battery-electric versions of its compact hatchback and sedan.
Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept at CES 2014
Its existence was first mentioned by Autocar, which noted it as an addition to a range of updated 2015 Focus models. The British magazine said only that it would use the same 2.0-liter engine as the C-Max Energi.
We did a bit of asking around, and confirmed that Ford has been quietly talking to fleet managers and others about the potential new model.
Company representatives, our source said, have quoted an electric range of 25 miles--up from the 21 miles rated for the C-Max and Fusion Energi models--and a price of about $27,500. (That could be a fleet price, however, with the actual retail price a few thousand dollars higher.)
The 2014 Ford C-Max Energi is pricier, starting at $32,920, and the Fusion Energi tops the range at $34,700.
A Focus Energi would be more expensive than any gasoline Focus, though less pricey than the Focus Electric. A bare-bones 2014 Focus S sedan starts at $16,810 (plus delivery), with prices ranging up to $23,575 for the high-end Focus Titainium hatchback, and then $35,170 for the low-volume Focus Electric hatchback.
Assuming the 2015 Focus Energi were to use the same powertrain and battery pack now seen in the other two Energi models, it would qualify for a $3,750 Federal income-tax credit and a $1,500 California purchase rebate.
The 2012 Ford Focus Electric and 2013 Fusion Energi on Jay Leno's Garage
Since it appears the Focus Energi will be sold in Europe too, we suspect it will be built into the hatchback model--just as the Focus Electric is--rather than the sedan, since European buyers prefer hatchbacks to sedans.
But the possible launch of a Focus Energi begs the question: Will there be a Focus Hybrid as well--just as there's a conventional Hybrid version of each of the other two Energi models?
Like all automakers, Ford does not officially comment on its future product plans. So we'll just wait and see whether its plug-in hybrid lineup expands this fall or early next year.
Meanwhile, the company sold more than 13,000 Energi model last year--more than Toyota sold of its single Prius Plug-In Hybrid model.
Adding in 2012 sales as well, Ford has sold 9,528 C-Max Energi compact hatchbacks and 6,089 Fusion Energi mid-size sedans.
If a 2015 Ford Focus Energi joins the lineup of plug-in hybrids, which of the four plug-in Fords would you prefer?
Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.