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Chevrolet Volt Plugs into the Battery Car Sales Lead

Nissan Leaf loses momentum despite increased range.

by on Jun.02, 2016

The second-gen Chevy Volt got a new, roomier design, better performance and longer EV-mode range.

After seemingly coming unplugged, the newly redesigned Chevrolet Volt has charged into the U.S. sales lead among plug-based vehicles, overtaking long-time rival Nissan Leaf.

That’s based on the likelihood that at least 10% of the demand for the Tesla Model S has come from abroad through the end of May, a strong likelihood considering the long-range electric sedan now is being marketed in a number of countries, including China and the European Union.

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Even factoring out those overseas sales, and with a number of manufacturers not yet breaking out May battery-car numbers, there’s good reason for EV advocates to celebrate. After taking a tumble last year in the wake of a sharp downturn in gas prices, sales of plug-based vehicles have been recharged in recent month.


Ford Teases 2017 Fusion

Updated sedan set for Detroit Auto Show debut to include plug-in Energi model.

by on Dec.11, 2015

Ford isn't expected to make many major changes to the updated 2017 Fusion.

Ford set automotive design on its head when it launched the current Fusion sedan four years ago. How do you follow up on such a big hit? We’ll find out when the 2017 version of the sedan makes its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

Ford teased the new model during a media briefing on Thursday, a draped sedan marked with a sign declaring, “Top Secret: Do not move until 01.11.2016.” Based on some recent spy shots, the 2017 Ford Fusion is expected to undergo relatively modest design tweaks. The biggest news is expected to be found under the hood in the form of an updated plug-in hybrid drive.

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The next-gen Ford Fusion Energi model is part of an aggressive push by the maker that will see it invest $4.5 billion in “electrified” vehicles between now and 2020. Ford’s list of hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, will grow by 13 nameplates. It currently offers six battery-based vehicles.


Ford, Coca-Cola Partnering to Save the Earth

Companies make seat fabric out of special PlantBottles.

by on Nov.15, 2013

Ford and Coca-Cola are teaming up to produce fabrics made from the beverage maker's PlantBottles, including the seats in this Ford Fusion Energi.

Ford Motor Co. is teaming with Coca-Cola to save the planet.

It may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the corporate behemoths are partnering in a venture to make interior fabric out of recycled plastic bottles. While Ford has been doing this for some time, the difference now is that the companies are using Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle material, which is composed of plastic and plant materials, which is friendlier to the environment that just using recycled plastic alone.

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Since 2009, Coke has produced 18 billion PlantBottle containers, saving 400,000 barrels of oil in 28 countries combined. (more…)

Ford To Quadruple Sales Outlets for Battery Cars

Maker hopes to charge up sluggish sales.

by on Feb.06, 2013

Ford's C-Max Energi plug-in.

Call it Supply-and-Demand 101. Ford Motor Co. is betting it can sell more battery cars if it has more places where potential customers can find them.

The Detroit maker plans to more than quadruple the number of outlets for its plug-based vehicles in the months ahead in an effort to boost demand. Ford ended 2012 with just 200 dealers certified to carry the three battery models, the Focus Electric, Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi. It expected to have 900 turned on by spring.

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That will not only increase the raw number of dealers but also expand their footprint beyond initial launch markets like New York and California.

“The newest approach is based on a key market coverage strategy to ensure we have good representation on a national basis to meet customer demand,” said Ford Field Operations Manager Paul Russell.


Ford C-Max Energi Gets 108 MPG Rating – But Will Buyers Notice?

Ford hopes higher mileage numbers will carve into Toyota's battery-car dominance.

by on Oct.12, 2012

Ford gets a critical endorsement from the EPA that could help it target the Toyota hybrid family.

Ford has been taking aggressive aim at Toyota this year and borrowing a page from the Japanese giant’s playbook in the process, focusing not only on new battery-powered models like the Fusion Hybrid and C-Max but also by bragging that some of Ford’s newest offerings deliver better mileage than the Toyota alternatives?

The latest salvo follows the EPA’s official assessment of the Ford C-Max Energi, the plug-in version of the new “people mover.” Despite being the size of the larger Prius V, the EPA has rated the C-Max Energi at 108 miles per gallon in city driving and 100 in the highway and combined measurements.  That’s 5 mpg better than the smaller Toyota Prius Plug-in, a version of the original member of the new Prius “family.”

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But will potential buyers care?

So far, Ford has had only modest success in the battery-electric market.  While Toyota currently produces about half of all battery-based models sold in the U.S., Ford’s market share has slipped by more than half over the last year to barely 4%.


2013 Ford Fusion Grabs Mileage Crown

Hybrid will nudge 47 mpg.

by on Sep.18, 2012

The 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid gets 47 mpg Highway, 8 mpg better than the Toyota Camry Hybrid.

The 2013 Ford Fusion has snatched the brass ring, winning certification as the most fuel-efficient model in the critical midsize passenger car segment.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has the last word on the mileage numbers that appear in a vehicle’s Munroney, or window, sticker, the hybrid version of the 2013 Ford Fusion gets 47 miles per gallon.  And that number holds for the new model’s city, highway and combined ratings, an unusual bit of news.  In the highway category, the 2013 Fusion’s numbers are 8 mpg better than the current midsize champ, the Toyota Camry Hybrid, with a 4 mpg advantage in the city.

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Ford didn’t displace the new king-of-the-hill when it comes to its conventionally powered Fusion, however.  The EPA says the Fusion with a 1.6-liter EcoBoost inline-four still lags one mile per gallon behind the 38 mpg Nissan Altima, itself newly remade for 2013.