Ford tells Toyota: 'Our hybrids are better than yours'
Ford has just put Toyota on notice. The Michigan-based automaker is claiming that their new Fusion Hybrid is superior to Toyota’s line of hybrid vehicles. Ford says that the all-new Fusion Hybrid gets better gas mileage than Toyota’s highly touted Camry Hybrid. Ford recently revealed that their Fusion Hybrid will get 47 miles per gallon city and 44 mpg highway, compared to the Camry Hybrid’s 43 mpg city and 39 mpg highway. According to Ford, they have achieved this feat through much research and innovation, including achieving 461 patents.
Although Ford may currently trail Toyota in terms of hybrid popularity, they were the first U.S. manufacturer to sell hybrid vehicles. Introduced in 2004, the Ford Escape Hybrid was not only the first American-made hybrid, but also the first hybrid SUV ever made.
The stakes are high for Ford according to Wes Sherwood, company spokesman. Sherwood estimates that by 2020, hybrid, plug-in and electric vehicles will account for 10 to 25 percent of global auto sales. This reality makes it all the more important for the Fusion Hybrid to be a success when it goes on sale this fall. Ford also plans on releasing the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid this year. The 2013 Fusion Energi features a plug-in hybrid drivetrain capable of attaining the equivalent of 100 mpg.
Despite Ford’s array of promising vehicles, it will be difficult for the automaker to overtake Toyota in the hybrid market. Toyota, the world's biggest seller of hybrids, currently controls roughly 70 percent of the market. Not to mention, Toyota possesses more than 2,000 hybrid patents, which includes 1,000 for the current Prius model. Toyota’s flagship hybrid, the Prius, is the world’s best-selling hybrid vehicle with worldwide sales topping 3 million units. The Prius hatchback has a fuel economy of 51 mpg city and 48 mpg highway, or 50 mpg combined. These totals are the highest rating amongst all non-rechargeable vehicles.
Aside from hybrid vehicles, Ford also has its 2012 Focus Electric waiting in the wings. The Focus Electric features an all-new lithium-ion battery system and is the first five-passenger all-electric vehicle with a combined fuel economy of over 100 mpg. Ford has also created a 240-volt home charging station, which will charge the Focus Electric in half the time of rival 2012 Nissan Leaf. The 2012 Focus Electric will retail for $39,995, which is more than the 2012 Nissan Leaf ($36,050) and 2012 Chevy Volt ($39,145).
Check out Ford.com for more information about each of Ford’s hybrid and electric vehicles.