Ford Tries to Improve Disappointing Hybrid Fuel Efficiency with New Software Update
July 17, 2013 8:40 AM
comment(s) - last by
Software update won't change window stickers
Ford has announced that it will be applying a software update to its hybrid vehicles with the intention of
improving the real world fuel efficiency for owners
. The software update will be made available for approximately 77,000 Ford Fusion, C-Max, and Lincoln MKZ hybrid vehicles.
The update will also be made available for all 2014 model year hybrids. Ford has said that the update will "reduce the variability in MPG" many owners see. The update will help optimize active grill shutters to reduce aerodynamic drag, and increase the electric-only top speed from 62 mph to 85 mph among other things.
The software update is a response to owners of Ford hybrid vehicles who have complained they can't achieve the 47 mpg average promised by the EPA.
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
Ford hybrid owners over at Fuelly.com have reported real world combined ratings of 40 mpg and 41 mpg respectively for the
. This is well short of Ford’s claimed 47 mpg combined rating for the two hybrids.
Ford claims that many of the complaints of poor fuel efficiency have come from owners in the Midwest. Some of the issue for these owners is linked to the colder climate and higher speed limits, both factors that can negatively impact hybrid fuel efficiency. The software update will not change window sticker fuel economy ratings according to Ford and the EPA is aware of the new software.
currently fighting lawsuits
over the fuel efficiency claims after some of its hybrid vehicles were unable to achieve the promised fuel efficiency. The
and Fusion hybrids have been criticized for not being able to meet fuel efficiency claims in real world consumer and third-party tests.
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RE: Edit needed
7/25/2013 5:50:31 PM
-The C-Max has an electronically-governed top speed of 115 MPH.
-The software change simply raises the top speed the car can run on battery only from 62 MPH to 85 MPH.
-Depending on your battery charge, A/C load, terrain, etc the car may be running on EV only, EV/ICE split, or ICE only at any speed; the only speed at which there is no possibility of EV-only operation will be 86 MPH or higher.
I think these software changes will have zero effect around town, but may increase freeway mileage by 1-2 MPG. It is more efficient at speeds below 60 MPH and the laws of physics suggest that this heavy 3,600+ pound car with wide 17" tires and a tall roofline is not designed to get its best mileage at 80 MPH.
I have been able to get 55+ MPG around town -- great little car.
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