This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

First Drive: Ford C-Max Energi

So which one to buy? The Ford beats the Toyota on every metric except the tiny luggage space. This is a deal killer for some, but not for others.

For just a couple thousand dollars more, the Chevy Volt gives you superior electric range (38 miles vs. 21) and much more powerful acceleration and sport dynamics. However, the Volt sits low, and with smaller doors making it relatively difficult to get in and out. The Volt's back seat fits only two people easily if they're shorter than 5'11.

In conclusion, there is no clear-cut winner for every person's needs in this comparison. The Prius wins if you need to transport five people and the most amount of luggage. The Ford wins if you need to transport five large people and can't stand the Toyota's lesser performance. The Volt wins if you want a 2+2 sports car with superior electric car performance.

Where does Ford need to go from here in order to achieve plug-in electric car dominance? There are two major metrics where Ford needs to invest:

1. Bring models to market with larger battery capacities. If the battery is at least 16 kW, it becomes eligible for the maximum federal tax credit, $7,500. This is therefore the sweet spot in the market. Then place that bigger battery either in the center tunnel, or in the floor as with so many other electric cars such as the Tesla Model S, Nissan LEAF or the upcoming BMW i3.

2. Bring larger cars to market. The biggest complaint I hear from prospective electric car buyers is that they fit too few (or too small) people and too little luggage. Ford needs to bring to market three-row minivans and SUVs, and they need to have a lot more luggage space to boot.

Electric car buyers are not as concerned with price as they are with other key metrics. They want the all-electric range to be at least 35-40 miles. They want the car to offer as much utility as a minivan (Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Chrysler/Dodge Town & Country/Caravan) or SUV (Chevy Suburban).

Tesla is making an all-electric stab at this market with the Model X due by early 2014, but there is an opening for Ford, Toyota, GM and others well, if they just realize what the true consumer preferences in this market are.

3 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
F $16.01 0.00%
GM $37.35 0.00%
TSLA $190.41 0.00%
TM $143.11 0.00%
AAPL $124.24 0.00%


DOW 17,678.23 -40.31 -0.23%
S&P 500 2,056.15 -4.90 -0.24%
NASDAQ 4,863.3620 -13.1570 -0.27%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs