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Posts Tagged ‘Ford Fusion Hybrid’

The Green Zone: Ford System Knows When to Switch From Battery to Gas and Back Again

Map-based system also could control transmission, lights and other vehicle functions.

by on Aug.22, 2014

With Ford's Green Zone technology, this hybrid Fusion could run alternately on its battery or its internal combustion engine without any driver input to meet the requirements of the area the car is traveling.

As the Ford plug-in hybrid travels down Village Road, a short distance from the maker’s corporate headquarters, the driver notices a subtle shudder from under the hood. A quick glance down at the instrument panel reveals that the car’s four-cylinder gas engine has shut off, leaving the sedan to run solely on battery power.

A few miles later, the process reverses itself, the car’s engine automatically firing up again as it exits out of an area marked in green on the Fusion’s video navigation screen.

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Though still in the development stage, Ford’s Green Zone system promises to improve the energy efficiency of its battery-based vehicles. It could also help motorists avoid tolls and penalties as a growing number of cities enact restrictions on driving conventionally powered automobiles in inner cities, such as London. The technology also could be used, Ford researchers say, to improve the functionality of other vehicle functions, including headlights and transmissions. (more…)

Ford to Re-State Fuel Economy as EPA Preps Revised Mileage Testing

Maker to acknowledge gap between sticker and real-world numbers.

by on Aug.15, 2013

Ford is about to re-state the fuel economy rating on C-Max Hybrid - and the EPA may follow with changes in its own testing and labeling procedures.

Ford Motor Co. will announce significant revisions to the fuel economy rating of its C-Max Hybrid later today, an estimated 10% reduction reflecting the gap between what has been posted on the “people-mover’s” window sticker and what most buyers are getting in real-world use.

Ford has been taking some hits for the fuel economy ratings of several vehicles, especially hybrid models, and now faces several lawsuits from disgruntled owners. But it is far from alone. A number of makers have been criticized – and occasionally sued – for what critics have called unrealistic and overly optimistic ratings.

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Manufacturers like Ford, in turn, have pointed the finger back at the Environmental Protection Administration, the federal agency overseeing mileage testing and approved mpg ratings. The EPA is expected to follow Ford’s lead by announcing on Friday that it will revise the way it determines fuel economy for vehicles – particularly hybrids, which frequently deliver lower real-world numbers than motorists were led to expect. (more…)

Ford Fix Aimed at Boosting Lagging Hybrid Mileage

Free software update could resolve concerns about lower-than-promised fuel economy.

by on Jul.17, 2013

Ford hopes to reduce concerns about the real-world mileage of hybrids like its C-Max people-mover.

Ford has come up with a software update it will offer owners of more than 77,000 of its hybrid vehicles that it says should reduce the “variability” of the fuel economy they’re getting.

That’s a cautious way of saying the fix should boost mileage that, in many cases, has been lagging well behind the figures found on the Munroney, or window, stickers of a number of Ford gas-electric models, such as the new Fusion and C-Max Hybrids. The shortfall has generated sharp criticism – and at least several pending lawsuits.

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“We want satisfied customers,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s director of Global Product Development, adding that the maker “determined we could bring (fuel economy improvements) to vehicles already in the market.”


Speeders Pay – at the Pump, Anyway

Magazine says driving 75 mph instead of 55 costs $30 more.

by on Jul.11, 2013

Consumer Reports found that driving 75 mph compared with 55 mph costs drivers an extra $30 on a 1,000-mile trip.

So you dodged the speed traps and cut an hour off your drive from New York to Boston, but you’re still going to pay for that lead foot.

The faster you go the worse your fuel economy, studies have routinely demonstrated, but just how much may come as a surprise. A new study by Consumer Reports magazine suggests that the penalty of driving 75 rather than 55 can add up to as much as 14 miles per gallon – which can add up to an extra $30 in fuel costs over a 1,000 mile trip.

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In fact, on long drives, the increased fuel consumption may have an unintended consequence. By burning more fuel you’re likely to stop more often to fill up, the magazine notes, and that means you may lose much of the extra time you hoped to save by speeding in the first place.


Honda to Add New Accord Hybrid for 2014

New, two-motor lithium-drive system delivers up to 49 mpg.

by on Jun.20, 2013

The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid will adopt an all-new gas-electric drivetrain.

Honda will launch a new version of the Accord Hybrid this coming October featuring an all-new two-motor drivetrain that should deliver up to 49 miles per gallon in the city, the maker claims.

The 2014 Honda Accord will be one in a wave of new hybrids utilizing the Japanese maker’s new Earth Dreams technology which features three distinctly different gas-electric drivetrains tuned to specific driving applications.  Honda hopes the approach will expand its presence in the high-mileage market and help it challenge rival Toyota’s long-standing leadership in the hybrid segment.

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The basic look of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid will be familiar to those who already know the look of the sedan as redesigned last year. Features distinct to the gas-electric model will include a blue-accented grille and light lenses, LED daytime running lights, unique wheels, a decklid spoiler and hybrid badging.


Ford Gaining Traction in Hybrid, Electric Market.

Maker claims it’s chipping away at arch-rival Toyota.

by on Feb.01, 2013

Ford is offering both a conventional hybrid and a plug-in version of its new C-Max people mover line.

With a significant surge in recent months as it rolls out new product, Ford Motor Co. is betting it has begun to close the gap with the long-time leader in the hybrid market, Toyota Motor Co.

Ford is reporting a more than threefold increase in sales of its various gas-electric offerings for January, following strong gains during the latter months of 2012. Some of that has come from updated offerings like the latest-generation Ford Fusion Hybrid, but the maker is also claiming preliminary success with the all-new C-Max, a dedicated line of hybrid people-movers directly targeting Toyota’s familiar Prius “family.”

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Even so, few expect Toyota to readily relinquish its lead. And analysts caution that Ford’s aggressive push into battery power hasn’t been without its problems.

“We’re bringing new hybrid buyers into the market, many of whom wouldn’t be considered traditional hybrid buyers,” said Amy Marentic, Ford’s marketing manager for small and medium Cars, a list that includes a number of the maker’s new gas-electric models.


Ford Faces Lawsuit Alleging “False” Mileage Claims

Concerns growing about the gap between advertised and real-world mileage.

by on Dec.27, 2012

Ford's mileage claims for the C-Max Hybrid have come under question.

Ford Motor Co. is facing a class action lawsuit alleging the maker’s mileage claims for two new hybrid models are “false and misleading.”

The maker has made fuel economy a major part of its advertising pitch for new products, notably including the 2013 C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid models. But its official ratings have come in for criticism, notably from such influential sources as Consumer Reports magazine.

But Ford is by no means alone. Korean siblings Kia and Hyundai recently had to roll back their own mileage numbers by as much as 6 mpg after conceding they fudged the official government testing process.

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“In its advertising and marketing campaign for the vehicles, Ford claimed that the C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid achieved a class leading 47 Miles Per Gallon,” reads part of the lawsuit filed by California-based law firm McCuneWright. “These materials helped Ford achieve record sales for the first two months of C-MAX Hybrid sales, outselling its rival, hybrid sales leader Toyota, but there was a problem. These ads were false.”


Did Ford Fudge Mileage Numbers?

New report says two Ford hybrids fall far short of ratings.

by on Dec.07, 2012

Consumer Reports claims the Ford Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid fall well short of mileage claims.

Did Ford fudge the mileage numbers on two of its new hybrid vehicles? That’s been a topic of discussion in recent weeks as the Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid have been put through their paces by automotive reviewers.

According to influential Consumer Reports magazine, the maker’s two new models fall well short of their heavily promoted 47 mpg sticker ratings.  The C-Max “people-mover,” for example, delivered an average 10 mpg lower than promised during the non-profit publication’s testing.

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“Yes, the disclaimer on EPA fuel-economy labels notes that ‘your results may differ,” CR said in a blog posting. “But the overall mpg for these C-Max and Fusion models is off by a whopping 10 and 8 mpg, respectively, or about 20 percent. Our overall-mpg results are usually pretty close to the EPA’s combined-mpg estimate.”


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.