Fusion Hybrid 1,000 Mile Challenge
So the big question—How did they do it? This is where the patience and determination come in. If you remember I wrote a report about the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid packing its bags and traveling to Santa Fe, NM. During this trip the car achieved an average of 39.2 mpg (just shy of the 700 miles per tank) and in my opinion this is very realistic for the average Joe that hops into the Fusion Hybrid and blazes a trail across the U.S. The magic of the 81.5 mpg average is rooted in a technique called “hypermiling.”
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid: The Ford Fusion Hybrid combines second-generation hybrid technology, class-leading styling and features along with the class-exclusive SmartGauge with EcoGuide instrument panel to help customers achieve maximum fuel economy in a sporty package. (11/19/08)Enlarge Photo
• Reduce speed and maintain an even throttle pressure;
• Accelerate gradually and brake smoothly;
• Anticipate traffic conditions and maintain distance from car around you;
• Coast to traffic signals to save fuel and avoid brake system wear;
• Minimize your use of the heat and air conditioning system;
• Close windows when at high-speeds to reduce drag coefficient;
• Apply the “Pulse and Glide” technique when in traffic;
• Use the vehicles kinetic forward motion (momentum) to climb hills and use the down hills to coast and build speeds;
• Avoid potholes and other bumps in the road to minimize momentum loss
I know what you are thinking; they must have modified the car just for this press stunt. Okay, we give—no they didn’t modify the car, but since they traveled 1445 miles in 69 continuous hours that is an average of about 21 mph. This makes sense because the electric motor engages when the vehicle is traveling under 47 mph. The route “involved elevation changes, and ranged from the relatively open George Washington Parkway to a 3-mile stretch in the heart of the city that is clogged with roughly 30 traffic signals.” So no you probably wouldn’t want to drive across the U.S. and try to get 81.5 mpg, but this does show the possibilities when driving in town; in town driving has historically been where a car would achieve the worse mpg.
Bottom line—the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid has definitely made an impression and given the choice, I personally would choose the Ford Fusion Hybrid over other hybrids currently on the market because it has, in my opinion, better styling by keeping with a “real” sedan body and the best gas mileage in its class.
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