Jump to content

Custom Search

Welcome to the C-MAX Hybrid Forum

Sign In  Log in with Facebook

Create Account
Welcome to the C-MAX Hybrid Forum. You must register to create topics or post in our community, but don't worry this is a simple free process that requires minimal information for you to signup. Here's some member benefits:
  • Start new topics and reply to others
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get email updates
  • Get your own profile page and make new friends
  • Send personal messages to other members
  • Create photo albums and post images. . .more!
Click here to create an account now
Guest Message by DevFuse

Get you C-MAX Hybrid Registered in the official Ford Authorized Registry. More here.


C-Max "Tuned as" Series Hybrid?

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   themacguy


    New Member

  • C-MAX Hybrid Member
  • 11 posts
  • Region:U.S. Mountain
  • LocationWest of the Pecos
  • My C-MAX's Year:2013
  • Current Vehicle:C-Max SE

Posted 25 February 2014 - 02:25 PM

I'm at almost 900 miles now on my 2013 C-Max. 41+mpg on my first tank; now on my second. This is my first hybrid car.


As I'm driving I find that almost all hills—even small ones—force the ICE to come on when I'm not really in a hurry even though I am trying to drive with the proverbial "raw egg between my foot and accelerator pedal". I've read (elsewhere in this forum) that one should drive trying to keep the ^ arrow lit so the battery stays in a somewhat charged state but doesn't that mean you're either going downhill (half my driving, at best) or running the ICE to keep the battery charged? Therefore, I'm using gas to charge the battery the other half of the time and, if I'm going back up the hills I've gone down, the ICE is providing motive power, as well.


I especially enjoyed the "sweet spot" topic and I believe I've experienced this on drives between El Paso and Las Cruces where the road is essentially flat. 65mph seems to be very efficient.


What I was wondering, however (and this is the gist of my topic title), if the best practice is to keep the battery fairly charged and utilize driving practices to otherwise keep the ICE from running, wouldn't it make sense for Ford to provide a "Super-ECO" mode that simply runs the ICE to produce electricity for the battery but, otherwise, lets the electric motor actually move the car? I realize that when you "step on it" you're asking the car to provide add'l power for which the ICE is used (like a steep hill) but, let's say Ford provides a couple of dashboard widgets that give you feedback so you know when you're approaching the threshold where the ICE would kick in and can back off if desired. This behavior would essentially make the C-Max a Series Hybrid where the ICE is only used to produce electricity for the electric drive motor. This would, presumably, be more efficient as the ICE only needs to spin the generator.


I am not an engineer but it would seem that a fairly straightforward software update would provide this capability to all C-Maxi on the road. What do you think?



Lose this advertisement by becoming a member. Click here to create a free account.

#2 OFFLINE   GS Dave

GS Dave

    New Member

  • C-MAX Hybrid Member
  • 10 posts
  • Region:Decline
  • LocationJupiter, FL
  • My C-MAX's Year:Decline
  • Current Vehicle:2000 Regal GS

Posted 25 February 2014 - 03:40 PM

I have the Energi, and on the left screen I can set it to the Empower mode which will give you a visual as to when the ICE will kick in compared to your current EV state.  I think the Hybrids have this screen as well.  Sometimes while cruising in hybrid, as the battery is depleted the threshold comes near.  If there is not traffic behind me, I will back off a little to extend the amount of time I am in EV.

#3 OFFLINE   ptjones


    C-Max Hybrid Member

  • C-MAX Hybrid Platinum Member
  • 3,744 posts
  • Region:U.S. Southern Atlantic
  • LocationNewnan, GA
  • My C-MAX's Year:2013
  • Current Vehicle:2013 C-MAX SEL

Posted 25 February 2014 - 03:50 PM

Number one, it is going to take awhile for your computer to learn the most efficient way to operate the ICE and 6kmi to break-in. I don't worry about charging the HVB passed half way and instead watch the terrain ahead and drive accordingly. I EV as far as I can then two bar ICE to the top of the hill or 5mph over speed limit and then coast over the top and down the other side. Once I'm going 5mph under I kick in EV power to maintain speed until ICE kicks in and two bar power until 5mph over again. ETC. Expect it will take you a while to make this a habit. You should be using the Empowered screen.  Happy Hypermiling   :)



Edited by ptjones, 25 February 2014 - 03:51 PM.

  • hybridbear likes this

#4 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

Plus 3 Golfer

    C-Max Hybrid Member

  • C-MAX Hybrid Member
  • 2,088 posts
  • Region:Decline
  • Location"Valley of the Sun" - AZ
  • My C-MAX's Year:2013
  • Current Vehicle:2013

Posted 25 February 2014 - 05:05 PM

If you review the C-Max transaxle, it does not operate in "series" mode (engine spinning MG1 to charge HVB and MG2 propelling MG2 independently of engine and MG1 operation).  The engine, MG1(starter motor / generator), and MG2 (traction motor) are physically connected.  Whenever the car is moving MG2 is always spinning. Because of the physical connection of the 3 components, either MG1, the engine, or both must also be spinning along with MG2 when moving.   So one cannot simply operate / optimize the engine efficiency (most efficient part of the Brake Specific Fuel Consumption curve) in charging the battery like one can do on the Volt and then let the electric traction motor (MG2) propel the car.  So, the optimization of the powertrain algorithm in the C-Max is significantly more complex as there are three major dependent components in the C-Max to control.  Operator input and driving conditions also play a significant role.  


One cannot tune the C-Max for series operation.  One can likely detune certain inputs with an eco-button so as to kick in ICE later, less frequently, and with less power / torque but there would likely be a performance penalty.  The best "tune" is using one's brain and right foot.  The algorithm cannot "see" the conditions ahead.


One other point and that is all energy used in the C-Max Hybrid comes from the gasoline in the tank.  You cannot "not" run ICE.   The three coaches (acceleration, braking, and cruising) let you know whether you've done a pretty good job of optimizing fuel economy for your driving style. You'll likely have to change your driving style to maximize fuel economy (accelerate moderately, braking to 100% score, and reducing your average speed),  Most "hypermiling" methods sacrifice to some extent time for better fuel economy.  There is likely a different "sweet spot" given time as a factor for every driver.  For example, I'm not going to drive on secondary roads at lower speeds as opposed to the freeway at higher speeds but I might drive the speed limit on the freeway as opposed to keeping up with traffic at 5-10 mph over the speed limit. 

  • ptjones and hybridbear like this

#5 OFFLINE   MacGyver


    C-Max Hybrid Member

  • C-MAX Hybrid Member
  • 141 posts
  • Region:U.S. Pacific Coast
  • LocationLos Angeles CA
  • Current Vehicle:2013 C-max SEL

Posted 26 February 2014 - 05:31 PM

Welcome to the forum and the wonderful, surprising and counter-intuitive world of hybrid driving!


I typed up a big long thing o tips last night, then accidentally erased it when the text field lost focus and I back-spaced, taking me back a page... ouch.


Quick and dirty; read the tips, you can improve your MPG 10-20% easy, lots of advice to be had here.


Drive faster than you'd think would be efficient. C-max is engineered to not only save fuel, but to be the least amount of compromise necessary to do so. In other words, a more pleasurable car to drive.


Use the "Hill Assist" on downhills to recharge battery faster. That's straight from a ford engineer from one of their online chats. I leave mine on pretty much always now, wish there was a way to have it stay on when the car turned on.


Use the "Empower" screen, which tells you when you're on the verge of engaging ICE via blue bar=EV. Press just a smidge harder on the gas, engage ICE.


Get briskly up to speed, then cruise vs. long slow climb to speed. Long slow climb to speed=low battery=bad. Briskly up to speed=high battery & NO long drain on battery, less time at low mpgs.


Get a $9 bluetooth OBD2 off amazon and free "Torque" app for iphone and android to get a NUMERICAL INSTANT MPG READOUT to see when you're driving most efficiently. Lots of other info too

Edited by MacGyver, 26 February 2014 - 05:32 PM.

  • ptjones likes this

#6 OFFLINE   themacguy


    New Member

  • C-MAX Hybrid Member
  • 11 posts
  • Region:U.S. Mountain
  • LocationWest of the Pecos
  • My C-MAX's Year:2013
  • Current Vehicle:C-Max SE

Posted 26 February 2014 - 06:09 PM

Thanks to all the respondents.


- I had been using the "Engage" screen (tip of the hat to Captain Picard) but, sorry, no warp drive. :D

- The Empower screen does, I think, do a better job of informing me when I've about to go ICE.

- Brickly up to speed vs long, slow climb. *Check*


I'll try the Hill Assist switch (that's the one on the side of the shifter, right?)


Plus 3 Golfer says: "...One can likely detune certain inputs with an eco-button so as to kick in ICE later, less frequently, and with less power / torque but there would likely be a performance penalty..."


I would be happy to have such an option made available to me. Ford's marketing of the C-Max (better accel. than Prius) convinced me to come in for a test drive and, IMHO, it has the pickup of a V8 when you need it—better, actually, because the electric motor provides instantaneous torque that an ICE only develops with RPM. But now that I'm convinced that I have the pickup when I need it, I'd love to kick dirt in Toyota's face with an option that might give me another 10mpg without having to tap-dance on the accelerator in a complicated manner. In other words: I should not have to do more than push a button to sacrifice some horsepower but use the ICE as a fairly efficient generator. When I'm on "EV", the ICE is off. When I need electricity to charge up the battery, "ICE on" as required. But the electric motor should be sufficient to cruise at 65mph (about 30-35HP req'd IIRC). So why not let us set our cruise control for 65mph and let a "Super-ECO" mode be even more miserly with the gas? Or let it run at only lower speeds so driving around town might give us 55mpg? I know Ford is counting on the C-Max to be one of its "green leaders" so why not take advantage of the technology's capabilities? It may not be perfect but I've learned that you shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. :D

#7 OFFLINE   chrisl


    C-Max Hybrid Member

  • C-MAX Hybrid Member
  • 64 posts
  • Region:U.S. Pacific Coast
  • LocationLos Angeles
  • My C-MAX's Year:2013
  • Current Vehicle:CMax Hybrid SE

Posted 26 February 2014 - 06:38 PM

I live at the bottom of a small hill that's at the top of a big hill, and after about 4300 miles I've come to accept that the ICE will almost always turn on when going up even a small hill.  There are a few exceptions:

- If I need a little juice to maintain speed getting to the top of an exit ramp, I can light foot it and do it EV only

- as I approach home, the EV+ kicks in and I can go up a very steep (~10+% grade) for about 1/3 of a mile entirely in EV mode if I keep it under 25 mph.  EV+ is good here, because as soon as I crest the hill, I have a downhill that charges the HVB back up to a bit over halfway.  Before EV+ figured out where I live, I'd always pull into the driveway with a full charge.  It would be nice if there were a way to set EV+ to kick in a little farther out, because I know that once I crest the hill from any direction, I have a nice downhill recharge to my driveway.

Edited by chrisl, 26 February 2014 - 06:38 PM.

#8 OFFLINE   ScubaDadMiami


    C-Max Hybrid Member

  • C-MAX Hybrid Platinum Member
  • 1,408 posts
  • Region:U.S. Southern Atlantic
  • LocationMiami Beach, Florida
  • My C-MAX's Year:2013
  • Current Vehicle:SEL, 303A, Panoramic Roof

Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:48 PM

It sounds to me like what you want is an ICE High kind of thing for all highway driving in the flats. You are looking for ICE to stay running while drawing the least amount of fuel while also keeping the battery at a constant state of charge.


You were mentioning hills. One thing that you can do on not-too-long and not-too-steep uphills is to arrive at the start of the hill at your maximum speed, and then maintain EV at the most you can draw from the HVB while slowly losing speed.

  • ptjones likes this

Custom Search

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Privacy Policy TERMS OF SERVICE ·