The EPA has just announced the Ford Fusion Energi delivers a 620-mile range, with 21 in EV mode and the rest using its on-board gasoline engine. The new Fusion Energi sedan, Ford’s newest plug-in hybrid hits the market with fanfare and claims a high range without having to stop for gas or to recharge.
Ford Fusion Energi. I’ve been anticipating Ford’s new plug-in hybrid, the Energi for sometime now. It nearly triples the electric-only range of its closest competitors, the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid and doubles the Honda Accord plug-in hybrid and has only been available since November. These two new vehicles, the C-MAX and Fusion Energi bring Ford’s alternative energy cars portfolio to five Ford since late 2011. So far the vehicles have done fairly well, with December marking the second consecutive month in which the company set a record for hybrid vehicle sales, nearly 20,000 Ford hybrids were sold in the fourth quarter.
620 Miles Gets You Far. Be gone range anxiety myth, plug-in hybrids, PHEV got you covered. The 620 mile range means the Fusion Energi can travel from Boston to Virginia Beach, or Sacramento to San Diego on one tank of gasoline and one full charge. With its 108 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway and 100 MPGe combined, the Fusion edges out its competition by up to 5 MPGe better. The latest numbers from the EPA estimates customers could save up to $6,850 in fuel costs compared with an average new car over the course of five years.
With a serious push toward better fuel efficiency, Ford’s entire lineup of cars has helped it climb to number 1 position in fuel efficiency customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power. In fact, it even claims Ford now beats Toyota for leading fuel efficiency in every segment where both compete.
Hybrid Sales Up. Ford has much to celebrate with its sales of hybrids, it sold more in the fourth quarter of 2012 than in any other three-month period during the company’s entire history with 19,554 units sold. According to Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development: “Fusion Energi rounds out Ford’s list of available electrified vehicles perfectly by delivering another option to those who want to drive a hybrid without sacrificing comfort and convenience. In fact, Fusion Energi’s ability to drive up to 620 miles without stopping for gas or to charge a battery almost epitomizes convenience.”
Technically Speaking. The vehicle’s top electric-only speed of 85 MPH places it comfortably on a highway with a full 23 MPH faster than a Prius plug-in. The Fusion Energi achieves this by way of a 195 HP drivetrain and a fully charged battery pack. With its active park assist and SYNC with MyFord Touch, the Fusion also offers the latest generation of SmartGauge with EcoGuide. These apps are designed to help drivers get the most from their Fusion, for instance information such as instantaneous fuel economy can be displayed on one of two 4.2-inch LCD screens. One of my favorite, EV+ allows the vehicle to learn frequent destinations by combining the built-in GPS of Ford SYNC and other algorithms developed by Ford engineers. As a result, vehicles deliver more drive time in electric-only mode, saving on gasoline and fuel budget.
The soon to be available MyFord Mobile smartphone application will also allow users to monitor the charge state, as well as receive alerts, find charge stations and plan trips directly from their smartphones or connected devices. The new MyEnergi Lifestyle we covered last week; Ford MyEnergi Lifestyle Lowers Your Home Energy Bill, adds energy efficiency management to homes and smart appliance with solar panels.
In many ways, plug-in hybrids will be the best introduction to pure electric vehicles for many. As increasingly drivers understand how to minimize their short trips on electricity alone, they will achieve greater fuel economy than any EPA estimates. In the meantime, we look forward test driving the Fusion Energi, plug-in hybrid very soon.
This page is updated on April 1, 2013.