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?