2015 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid
John Goreham's picture

Crunching numbers on the 2015 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid

Good luck figuring out your “mileage” but the total energy cost to operate a Fusion Energi is easy math, and the car is easy on your wallet.
Advertisement


My recent story explaining that the cost to operate an EV vs. a hybrid drew sharp criticism from EV owners. Most owners objected to the efficiency ratings assigned to the EV by the EPA, the cost of electricity I used, and the general premise that anyone should ever question EVs in any way. This story will be hard to call one-sided since the car we did the fuel cost calculations for is both an EV and also a hybrid and can be operated in either mode. What I found is that the 2015 Ford Fusion Energi is a very polished car that sips electrons or gasoline.

Ford Fusion Energi Used as an EV
In my examination, I was able to lock out the gasoline engine and operate the Fusion Energi in EV-only mode to see how it does an EV. I recorded 2.8 miles per kWh and 3.7 miles per kWh on short trips totaling 20 miles. The type of driving and the type of driver make a difference just like with a gasoline car. Splitting the difference and calling it 3.25 miles per kWh means that at my 18.8 cents per kWh NSTAR rate for electricity in Mass., the vehicle would cost me 5.8 cents per mile to operate.

Fusion Hybrid
I had intended to do a calculation of the gasoline-only mode, but the car objects. The way the Fusion propels itself, and the way I was able to record the gasoline used, did not allow me to drive simply without the EV mode on for at least part of the time. However, we can use the EPA’s estimated 38 MPG combined to get a guestimate of what the cost per mile might be if the Fusion Energi was able to run strictly a gas-fueled hybrid vehicle. Using the fuel prices in my area of $2.90 for regular unleaded the Fusion Energi would cost about 7.6 cents per mile.

Total Energy Costs of the Ford Fusion Energi
Over 464.5 miles of driving the Fusion Energi consumed 8.345 gallons of gasoline (measured at the pump), and the car tells me it used 35.1 kWh. Doing the math the Fusion Energi provides a very respectable 6.6 cents per mile. By comparison, a Ford Fusion with the standard 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine would cost 11 cents per mile. Fueleconomy.gov says that the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in costs drivers $800 less per year in fuel costs. Over a 10-year life span that would equate to $8,000 in fuel savings.

Fusion Energi Compared to Fusion Gasoline Engine Cost
The 2014 Ford Fusion Energi had an MSRP of $40,535. Deduct from that $4007 in federal tax deduction, and the $1,500 the taxpayers of the commonwealth of Mass. would return to an owner, and finally the $8,000 in fuel savings and the car would “cost” $27,008. Just about the same as a similarly equipped Ford Fusion with a conventional gasoline engine.
- Added post publication However, the 2015 Fusion costs $3k less, and at the time of this story, Ford was offering $5k off the vehicle in incentives. Based on our analysis, the Fusion Energi Plug-in is less expensive by between $3k and $5K. An amazingly great deal.

Related Stories:
2015 Prius hybrid now matches the cost per mile of Leaf EV in some markets
Toyota names fuel cell vehicle Mirai, pledges fueling stations in Eastern US
Buy a Nissan LEAF in Chicago, Get Free Public Charging

Note: Vehicle tested was a 2014 Ford Fusion Energi SE. The drivetrain and ratings are the same for 2015. At the time of publication the 2015 model year vehicles were on dealer lots.


Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.

Comments

Or you can do like the Volt drivers like to do and just make up huge claims of MPG and call it good.
Aaron has probably never even looked at the real numbers of driving a Volt. I have owned a volt for over 2 years now and have calculated exactly how much I have saved. Every year I have owned the car I save over $4500 in fuel. My electricity consumption has been less than $325 per year. The only maintenance I have done is 1 oil change at $45. As time goes on the car actually get more efficient, due to the fact that there are more free chargers available. Some people are so resistant to moving off of fossil fuels, and are so arrogant. The technology is here and works, the proof is already in the pudding.
Mike, tell us more about your experience. How do you save so much money on fuel? According to fueleconomy.gov a Chevy Cruze costs $1550 per year to run on gasoline (15,000 miles per year). Do you drive an extreme amount of miles? Do you live in a place that has unusually high fuel costs? To save $4500 per year by driving a Volt (same size as a Cruze) there must be some unusual situation. Fill us in.
Hi John, thanks for your reply. I do drive a lot. Most drivers drive about 20 25K Kilometers a year, I drive about 60k, Gas is more expensive here in Canada, and I do use premium as recommended for the Volt. The thing a lot of people don't realize about the true cost savings of an electric care are the time spent getting gas, maintenance, little or no smell / pollution, being able to sit in a parking lot with the A/C or Heat on and not being fined for idling, Driving on the HOV lane by myself (saves me 2 hours in traffic a day) the "fun factor" of blowing away many cars off the line in acceleration... This car is quite amazing... I will never buy a gas car again.
I have looked at the "real" numbers from driving a Volt, as I've driven one more than once. What I don't get is why, if all of you Volt drivers are supposedly getting all of this 400+ mpg or whatever and always driving electric and plugging in.. why did you buy a Volt? Why not a better-priced, more economical, full-EV like the LEAF (which seats 5 AND has cargo space)? What's the point of lugging around that ICE all the time if you're going to drive in EV mode all the time? Like you are, Mike. Or are you AFRAID to drop fossil fuels? (back atcha there, pal)
Where did you get the $40,535 number? I'm seeing a starting price of $36,500 for the top-trim Titanium Energi.
From the Monroney sticker that was on the car. Prices may have come down. Thanks for pointing this out. I will check it out and correct if necessary.
With regard to the price, when I go to Ford's site to "Build my own" I see that the price would be about the same after I add the options my cr had (Nav and reverse sensing). However, the Ford site is building in over $5k in incentives. Ford also seems to have lowered the 2015 prices by about $3k. Note the change to the story. Thanks Luke! Good time to buy a Fusion! The regular Fusions also have incentives, but much less.
I donnot know who drives your test, but I have a Ford c-max energi and chevy Volt I get 25-27 miles on charge for C-MAX ENERGI on gas in town driving I avg 57 mpg.I GET 5miles per 1kw per charge on both the C-Max and the volt. It cost me .60 cents to full charge C-Max for 25-27 miles.Total ev and gas combine avg is 155 mpg. volt give me 50 plus milesev $1.00 to full charge avg 250 plus mpg all city driving. I have smart ev meter, so I know what my ev costs. EV is the only way to go if you know how to drive.I have spent $36.00 In two years six month on gas for volt and It made me do that.by auto turn on.
I tested the car. I have polled EV drivers and many do report better than this EV mileage. However, I test a car each week. So far my own mileage has never fallen below the EPA estimated mileage on any vehicle I tested. So my driving is not outside the norm. On fueleconomy.gov the EPA says that the Fusion Energi has a rating of 2.7 kWh per mile (100 miles/37kWh). A Ford C-Max is smaller than a Fusion, right? Perhaps that is part of the difference.
John, New Energi owner and found this post after researching some fuel efficiency comparisons. I'm confused on your calculation, and think you made a mistake. Fueleconomy.gov states 37kWh/100 miles, which means 3.7kWh for 10 Miles. If that is true and you agree with that, then it should be 0.37 kWh per mile. My calculations are in concert with the Energi get 20 miles of pure electric vehicle distance, since the battery is 7.5 kWh and 3.7 x 2 would be 7.4 kWh. Feel free to correct me if I made a mistake. I'm too new to the plug in world to contribute anything at this time, as I've owned the car for just 2 days. I can say it's smooth, but not as smooth as the 2012 fusion hybrid I have.
Dan, thank you for pointing this out to me. After a second look I think my numbers above are the miles per kWh the car reported to me. And they are measured in something like 3.7. A similar issue, but not the same is the kWh per mile consumed which are measured in numbers like 0.37 Let me know if I am mistaken. Thanks again. Much appreciated. By the way, if you would like to do a short story here at Torque News about why you chose those two cars we'd love to have you. Simply use the contact tab at the bottom of the site to reach us and we will e-mail you back. Cheers,
Fuel economy is extremely dependent on the driver, the circumstances, altitude, wind, etc. I consistently get lower than average MPG because we often have cross winds, live where it's mostly highway driving, and are at high altitude (5,400+ ft).
I have a 2015 Fusion Energi and it's been a super great experience. This is a car that perform its best when commuting to work or driving back home on busy SoCal freeways. The constant stop-and-go traffic conditions are ideal for driving in EV mode as long as possible. Since there is no charging stations at my work, I charge at home at night, which gives me about 20-25 miles of EV only range. If the traffic is really bad, I've seen range of about 27-28 miles even. My commute is about 40 miles each way, and usually I average about 120-130 mpg (according to the car) on the way to work (combining EV mode and hybrid mode) and about 53-57 mpg on the way home (hybrid mode only). With the first tank of gas that came with the car, I was able to drive about 900 miles and the low gas warning light did not come on yet. I gased up the car and it took in 10.6 gallons, out of a 14 gallon tank. When I filled up the car, the car was displaying a range of 750 miles. Of course, every time I get to plug in to a full charge from empty, I'll be adding another 20 or so miles to that range per charge. I drove to San Diego once (a round trip of about 220 miles) and the car netted about 51 mpg. I've noticed that driving the car in hybrid mode alone on 'open' freeways averaging about 70 mph, it averages drop to about 43-46 mpg, which by the way is nothing to be ashamed of in a car this big. My wife has a 2014 Prius and that car can only do about 46-47 mpg at constant freeway speed. I do not floor the car and my acceleration is very gentle whenever possible (I won't impede the flow of traffic for the sake of my better mpg, unlike some hybrid drivers out there), and I try to maximize regen as much as possible too. I basically had to reinvent myself to drive a hybrid vehicle the way they were meant to be driven. If you drive this car like you'd drive a regular gas car, the savings at the pump will be marginalized. In all, it's been the perfect car for me, it allows me to drive in the HOV lane by myself and cut down my visits to the gas stations in half compared to my previous G35 coupe (which was giving me around 23-24mpg combined). If you're driving in an area where traffic jams are less of a problem, then buy something else, maybe a Passat TDI but if you're like me, in SoCal, where 90% of your commute is a stop-and-go affiar, this car can be a great vehicle.
Thank you very much for sharing this Andrew!
I have had a 2015 Ford Fusion Energi since April of 2015 (almost 1 year) and I absolutely love it. Keep in mind I used to drive a 2009 BMW 335i sedan (for 6 years). This Fusion Energi is a delight to drive, and its cost to operate and maintain is much lower than a conventional gas-only car of the same size. The car is best on busy freeways/streets (such as in southern California, where I am). It is even better if your primary commute is within the EV range My commute to work is 15 miles one way and I am able to charge it at work for about $5 per month (pennies per day). I typically get around 25 miles EV miles per charge (and sometimes close to 30). I usually drive around 14,000 to 15,000 miles per year. Over this past year, I calculated I have saved around $2,340. (Next year, my savings may be a bit less if I take more trips beyond my EV only range). Here is the calculation… I spend around $30 on electricity at home per month (just for the car), plus $5 at work plus around $20 on gas per month (for trips beyond EV only range), which is $55 per month and $660 per year. (On a per charge basis, it costs me around 88 cents to charge it from empty). My BMW was costing me around $3,000 on gas per year, plus thousands more in maintenance (especially years 5 and 6). I haven’t had to do an oil change on my Fusion Energi yet. And the best part is I didn’t buy the car… I am leasing it. I got a great deal, got rebate from state of California and clean-air decals to drive in HOV lanes by myself. I save at least 90 minutes a day on my commute (on 405 freeway). Getting this car was a no brainer! Then when I return the car in 2018, battery and hybrid technology will be even better --- and so I will get something even better! John Goreham, I calculate my cost per mile to be no more than 3 to 4 cents. My utility charges me 16 cents per kWh and it takes around 5 and a half hours to charge from empty, which equals 88 cents. On that charge I usually get around 25 miles, which equals 3.5 cents. Your cost for electricity must be higher than mine.
I have had a 2015 Ford Fusion Energi since April of 2015 (almost 1 year) and I absolutely love it. Keep in mind I used to drive a 2009 BMW 335i sedan (for 6 years). This Fusion Energi is a delight to drive, and its cost to operate and maintain is much lower than a conventional gas-only car of the same size. The car is best on busy freeways/streets (such as in southern California, where I am). It is even better if your primary commute is within the EV range My commute to work is 15 miles one way and I am able to charge it at work for about $5 per month (pennies per day). I typically get around 25 miles EV miles per charge (and sometimes close to 30). I usually drive around 14,000 to 15,000 miles per year. Over this past year, I calculated I have saved around $2,340. (Next year, my savings may be a bit less if I take more trips beyond my EV only range). Here is the calculation… I spend around $30 on electricity at home per month (just for the car), plus $5 at work plus around $20 on gas per month (for trips beyond EV only range), which is $55 per month and $660 per year. (On a per charge basis, it costs me around 88 cents to charge it from empty). My BMW was costing me around $3,000 on gas per year, plus thousands more in maintenance (especially years 5 and 6). I haven’t had to do an oil change on my Fusion Energi yet. And the best part is I didn’t buy the car… I am leasing it. I got a great deal, got rebate from state of California and clean-air decals to drive in HOV lanes by myself. I save at least 90 minutes a day on my commute (on 405 freeway). Getting this car was a no brainer! Then when I return the car in 2018, battery and hybrid technology will be even better --- and so I will get something even better! John Goreham, I calculate my cost per mile to be no more than 3 to 4 cents. My utility charges me 16 cents per kWh and it takes around 5 and a half hours to charge from empty, which equals 88 cents. On that charge I usually get around 25 miles, which equals 3.5 cents. Your cost for electricity must be higher than mine. I appreciate your feedback. Thanks.
David, this is an excellent comment and I thank you for taking the time to give us this level of detail. Yes, my electricity is about twenty cents per kWh and when I wrote the story it was a bit higher if my memory is correct. The timing of your story is funny to me because I just wrote a preview for another publication of the Kia Optima Hybrid (not the plug-in). Right now, the Optima Hybrid is about the same price to run on either source of energy in my area (about 5 cents). As time goes on, and I test more green cars, the plug-in hybrids make more and more sense. I loved the way the Fusion drove when in EV mode.
I've owned the 2015 Ford Fusion energi for 4 months now. Figured it's a good time to give my opinion. The decision to purchase was not financially motivated. Gas prices were so low (under $2 per gallon) that there was no way I was recovering the cost in a reasonable amount of time. We bought this car because we loved our 2012 fusion hybrid which we gifted to my daughter, and my wife wanted a comparable replacement (I wanted a sports sedan). We both liked the look of the newer model fusion, loved the feel and comfort of our old fusion (figured the new one would be even better) and enjoyed the gas mileage of our beloved 2012 (usually averaged around 37-38 MPG). We went to the dealership expecting to get the newer hybrid and they pushed the energi on us (it had been sitting there for a while). First they pushed the lease but I was scared of getting hit with extra miles, so I pushed for the purchase. Plus, we usually keep our cars around for a while. They were willing to negotiate so we landed what I thought was a pretty good deal (out the door for 38k - SE model with remote start and navi, driver assist, collision avoidance, leather, adaptive cruise control, inflatable seat belts, extended warranty and paint protection etc.. etc..) Financially, unless gas goes back up to $3 a gallon, it will likely not make sense. Here's why. We live in MD, where winters can be cold, and summers can be super hot. The climate control sucks up a ton of power. For all you getting over 20 miles on a charge, you must be driving without anything running, because the moment I turn the climate control on, my distance drops to 13-14 miles on a charge. Having said that, I really do like the car and the features. Our utility company charges us 13.9 cents per kilowatt hour, which means if we ONLY consider gas cost, anything under $2.10 per gallon means we lose money. (7.6 kwh gives us 20 miles on a good day, so 40 miles is 15.2 kwh. The gasoline engine is supposed to get about 40 MPG. So, 1 gallon of gas gets us the same as 2 charges, or 15.2 kwh. For us, 15.2 kwh costs $2.11). Right now, end of March 2016, after a few months of $1.60-$1.90 per gallon, we're creeping up over $2. Still doesn't justify the extra cost to purchase the car, but my wife justifies it as us helping the environment. I'm confident gas will eventually go up, making this car more economical. Also, we plan to keep this a long time, so the reduced maintenance cost will factor in as well. Additionally, I went solar at home with a power purchase agreement, so my cost for electricity right now is 10.5 cent per kwh. That makes my break even point with gasoline at $1.52 per gallon. What bothers me here in MD is the fact that there aren't many reasonably priced charging stations. Most of the privately owned ones charge 1-2 dollars per hour of charging, making the break even point at somewhere between $5-$10 per gallon. The best we can find here for charge by kwh is 20 cents, making that break even at over $3 per gallon. I wish the car had a faster charge capacity, then the timed charges could make it worth it. The free ones aren't convenient location wise. The inside of the car is fantastic. The EV driving is so quiet and smooth, it handles well and responds well when you need to accelerate hard going into engine mode. It takes a bit of getting used to hearing the engine spin harder than you would expect when you go from 20 miles of EV driving. The engine turns on to warm up, and stays on until it reaches peak temperature, all the while charging the battery, but making extra noise. It's not that it's super loud, it's just noticeable because you may be stopped at a light and the engine is churning, more than a gasoline engine would be idling. The online tracking with myfordmobile and starting/unlocking via the internet is a pretty cool feature. I've driven clunkers and sport sedans and ride motorcycles. You get a certain "feeling" when you drive something fun or nice versus a piece of junk. When I get into this vehicle, even though it's just a ford, it feels luxurious. The leather is soft. The cabin is roomy. The gauges are well placed and intuitive. The sync system could use some upgrading. The awkward delays and pauses for the system to "think" are really annoying when putting in an address. It's sad when I can tell google an address and I'm being routed there within 10 seconds, whereas the ford navigation takes about 25 seconds and I still have to hit "confirm". Overall, I am happy with the vehicle. I probably would buy the hybrid rather than the energi if I had to redo it, as gas prices being low and lack of affordable charging stations don't make this financially sensible for my/our usage. However, the wife got the car she wanted and feels good about doing her part in saving the environment... and that my friends, is PRICELESS (plus, I am building up credit for my sportscar one day). If you live in a colder climate, get the heated steering wheel. We didn't have that option on this one and I regret it. My SUV has it and I love it! Never thought I'd use it and I use it everyday in the winter.
Hello Folks, I have a 2015 Ford Fusion, I bought in late August of 2016 with 10,442 miles on her, I paid $19,500. The commute to my office is 4.9 miles one way. I have a 40 amp "Juice Box" charger mounted in a secure box on the back of my office, I use the "little" charger that came with the car at home. In a year, I have driven appox. 12,000 miles. I like the car, the only draw back is the heating. In order to use the heat on cold days the gas engine has to warm up. Fortunately, I live in the Deep South and our winter are very mild. I am able to go weeks at a time without ever using gas. My overall mpg including gas consumption is 98 mpg. On average my vehicle will go 26 miles on a full charge until you get into the gas, without A/C almost 30 miles. The upfront cost of the charger was $400 and the cost to add the appropriate electrical wiring and conduit was another $ 300. I believe the future will be in electric vehicles, it's not for everyone, but it has worked well for myself.
Charles, thank you for adding this comment. Like many Plug-in hybrid owners, you are already basically living the electric car life. If you have time, tell us if you occasionally have used the car from long trips that the gas engine enabled.