Four of 10 Ford Fusion mid-size sedans sold in LA are hybrids


2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid

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In many ways, California is unlike the rest of the country.

That is particularly true when it comes to green cars, which Californians buy with enthusiasm not seen in other states.

Hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and battery-electric cars typically sell in much larger volumes in the Golden State than anywhere else in the U.S.

DON'T MISS: 2017 Ford Fusion Energi electric range rises to 22 miles

Case in point: through May, about four out of 10 Ford Fusion mid-size sedans sold in the Los Angeles area were hybrids or plug-in hybrids.

The Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid represented 42 percent of new L.A.-area registrations through May, according to Ford analysis of data from research firm IHS Automotive.

In June, L.A.-area sales of the Fusion Hybrid increased 35 percent from June 2015, while Fusion Energi sales rose 40 percent compared to the previous year.

2017 Ford Fusion Energi

2017 Ford Fusion Energi

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Ford notes that both June figures are for retail sales only, and do not include fleet sales.

The L.A. figures contrast the situation nationwide.

Low gas prices and increased consumer interest in trucks and SUVs have hurt sales of the Fusion and other hybrids.

ALSO SEE: 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid, Energi: Software Tweaks For Drivability Improvements

In addition, the plug-in hybrid Energi faces particularly stiff competition from a new Chevrolet Volt, and plug-in versions of the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima mid-size sedans.

June happened to be the first month of sales for refreshed 2017 models of both the Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi.

2017 Ford Fusion Energi

2017 Ford Fusion Energi

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The plug-in hybrid Fusion received a bump in total electric range to 22 miles, with 21 miles of that delivered continuously on the EPA's test cycles.

That compares with 20 and 19 miles, respectively, for last year's model.

MORE: Plug-in electric car sales in July: Volt passes 100,000 with strong numbers (more updates)

Efficiency ratings rise to 42 mpg combined when operating as a hybrid, and 97 MPGe when running entirely on electricity—up from last year's 38 mpg combined and 88 MPGe.

(Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, or MPGe, measures the distance a car can travel electrically on the same amount of energy as that in 1 gallon of gasoline).

2017 Ford Fusion Energi

2017 Ford Fusion Energi

Enlarge Photo
When it launched in 2014, the Fusion Energi was originally rated at 43 mpg combined and 100 MPGe, but Ford was forced to reduce those ratings—along with those of five other models—after it discovered errors in its testing procedures.

Ford attributes the efficiency and electric-range increases to changes in the Fusion Energi's powertrain control software and regenerative braking algorithms.

MORE: Ford Cuts Gas Mileage On 6 Models: What You Need To Know, And Open Questions (Jun 2014)

The Fusion Hybrid gets new software as well. Ford claims the changes to both cars will create a more pleasant driving experience.

Both cars also get the same exterior and interior updates as the rest of the 2017 Fusion lineup, including mildly restyled grilles, new LED headlights, and a new rotary gear selector meant to free up space on the center console.

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