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Ford gathers data from the MyFord Mobile app

Ford is looking to pour ice-cold water all over Toyota’s hybrid hot streak and is making some very good progress with its current lineup. The Fusion Hybrid and C-Max are both rated at 47 mpg EPA combined (however, those numbers are highly suspect in real-world testing).  But more importantly, both vehicles look more like traditional vehicles instead of wind tunnel-sculpted tadpoles on wheels.
Ford is stepping up its efforts even with further with the “Energi” plug-in versions of those aforementioned hybrids. Both the C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi can travel 21 miles on battery power alone before falling back on the 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine. Using data gathered from its MyFord Mobile App (available for the Fusion Energi, C-Max Energi, and Focus Electric), Ford has been able to determine just how customers are using their new plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Fusion Energi
Ford was able to determine that nearly 60 percent of the trips that drivers make are gas-free (the figure stood at 41 percent earlier in the year). As drivers become more familiar with their vehicles, how far they can travel on battery-only power, and learn where charging stations are located, the "gas-free" percentages start to creep even higher.
“The daily percent driven in electric mode continues to inch upward, suggesting drivers are using the information provided by MyFord Mobile to change how they drive and really get the most out of their vehicles,” says Joe Rork, project manager for MyFord Mobile.
Other data gathered from the MyFord Mobile App shows that the average charge time for a Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi is 185 minutes, and that most drivers search for charging stations between noon and 2 p.m. Not surprisingly, the most actively searched areas for charging stations include “green hotbeds” like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and the northeast corridor.
Ford hopes to use the wealth of data that it gathers to help improve the functionality of both the MyFord Mobile app and the next generation of plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Source: Ford

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By mgilbert on 7/31/2013 9:06:53 AM , Rating: 1
People get too caught up in MPG numbers. The difference between 40 and 50 MPG doesn't amount to all that much in savings unless you drive a lot, and shouldn't really be a factor in deciding which vehicle to buy. And, you need to consider how long it is going to take to recoup the extra thousands of dollars you spend buying a hybrid. It's often several years - if ever.

I drive an older Avalon - I don't drive much. Because anything in the same age range as my Avalon that gets 30 MPG or more is so much more expensive, I'm better off spending less on my car, and more on gas. In the long run, it's the better deal. And I'm driving a much safer, much more comfortable car.

And, Toyotas are reliable, and not much else - boring and plain, but at least they aren't in the shop every other weekend like most German and American cars. And I agree - the Prius is one of the ugliest cars ever built! Reliable, and fuel efficient, but just plain ugly. I'd never own one.

By Monkey's Uncle on 7/31/2013 9:22:58 AM , Rating: 2
It is arguable that MPG does not always seem a big deal.

I have 2 cars: A 2013 Ford Focus and a 2010 Toyota Venza. The difference in gas usage between the two cars is like night and day for me. For instance:

In the focus it takes $40 to fill up from bone dry. The Venza on the other hand takes $70 to do the same. In both cars I would drive the same number of miles before they are empty. So in which car am I spending almost 75% less?

I would suspect that the difference between gas usage with the Prius and the Avalon even more pronounced.

Looking at your remarks, you are stating your opinion only as it would pertain to you personally. Sure 40-50MPG is not a huge difference (though I would call 20% a pretty big difference) BUT if everyone focused on 40MPG cars and disregarded the 50MPG cars, you would find oil for personal use running out 20% sooner. Personally I would find running out of gas until a viable replacement exists a pretty major personal issue even if it does cost a little more to buy into doing my part in conserving it.

By Shadowmaster625 on 7/31/2013 9:37:19 AM , Rating: 2
There is a big difference between 22mpg and 37mpg. I would expect you to be able to drive about 70% further on the same amount of gas.

If the toyota got 40mpg and the Ford got 50mpg, then you would only be able to drive 25% more miles on the same amount of gas. I dont see that difference as very significant.

By Solandri on 7/31/2013 1:42:04 PM , Rating: 4
That's not quite right either. MPG is just a screwed up way to measure all this since it's the inverse of the number you really want - fuel consumed per distance traveled.

e.g. Yes 50 mpg is 25% better than 40 mpg. 20 mpg is also 25% better than 16 mpg. But going from 16 mpg to 20 mpg will save you a lot more gas than going from 40 mpg to 50 mpg. How can that be even though both are saving you 25%?

If you drive 15,000 miles in a year:
- going from 16 mpg to 20 mpg will save you 187.5 gallons
- going from 40 mpg to 50 mpg will save you only 75 gallons

The 16 and 20 mpg burn a lot more fuel to cover the same distance as 40 and 50 mpg. So a 25% improvement of a bigger number is a bigger number.

Or in terms of the mileages you've given, going from 22 to 37 mpg saves 3.7x as much fuel as going from 40 to 50 mpg. Much more than you'd expect from 70% vs 25% (a 2.8x difference).

Most of the rest of the world uses the equivalent of 1/MPG so they don't have to deal with this misleading measure (they use liters per 100 km). But here because of MPG exaggerating the benefit of high mileage ratings, we're mistakenly emphasizing high mileage vehicles, instead of working to improve the efficiency of low mileage vehicles where the bulk of our fuel is actually burned.

By mgilbert on 7/31/2013 9:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
My point was this: Depending on how much you drive, a car that gets better mileage might be so much more expensive that the savings it yields by burning less gas might never pay for the extra cost of the car. In my case, that is certainly true. This is especially true of older used cars - ones that get better mileage are often much more expensive. It's also true of new hybrids. A hybrid can be several thousand dollars more, and it takes a long, long time for a few extra MPG to save you that several thousand dollars. You have to do the math.

By SeeManRun on 7/31/2013 12:36:14 PM , Rating: 1
Isn't this the argument that companies use to justify pollution? If the cost of doing it clean is less than the fine, then just keep polluting and pay the fine.

There is more to driving a hybrid or electric vehicle than just saving on gas. People are willingly paying more to do less harm on the environment (some argue that hybrids do more harm because of batteries and so on, but I think most people don't consider/believe that when buying the hybrid).

So in pure economical sense, a hybrid for you might not make sense. But if you want to have lower run costs with more upfront costs, or use HOV lanes with only one person where applicable, or park in preferred spots, or just feel better that you are putting less pollution into the air, then a hybrid might be worth the cost.

By JediJeb on 7/31/2013 3:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
If companies with huge profit margins use that justification then it could be argued as a problem, but if those that must decide if paying the fine and staying in business versus cleaning up and going under decide to pay the fine, then there is some justification for it.

Same with vehicles. If you can afford to feel good about being green and spending the extra money then that is good. But if the decision is "go green" or loose my home because I went green, then I would decide to not "go green" not matter how good it made me feel.

If I want to trade vehicles for something that will double my mileage from my current 18mpg to something that gets 36mpg, with the miles I drive each year and current fuel prices I have to find a vehicle that will cost me $100 per month in payments to break even. If it costs more than that, well I am loosing money to save money on fuel, just doesn't make sense. Also a newer vehicle will definitely cost me more in insurance than my 16 year old vehicle currently does and that has to factor in also.

By Dr of crap on 7/31/2013 12:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
You missed his point -
Its MORE costly to buy a newer car that gets a few more mpg or buy a hybrid/EV that is higher priced, than just keep his car and spend a few more dollars on his old car. What everyone forgets is the impact to the buyers wallet to the go from 40 mpg to 50 mpg or to a hybrid.

MOST cars buyers are not in the wanting to save the planet mode with their purchases. THAT'S marketing and personal preferences. The majority will buy with their pocket book and try and not over spend.

By SeeManRun on 7/31/2013 12:38:26 PM , Rating: 2
If that was his point then it was rather pointless. No one said that non hybrid buyers should go replace their functioning cars with hybrid versions. I think most people understand that when you are in the market for a new car, that is the time to consider a hybrid and if it makes sense for you; not when your car has 6 years of life left.

By Dr of crap on 7/31/2013 12:42:22 PM , Rating: 2
Again missed the point. He didn't state replace your existing hybrid. He said replace his Avalon with a new hybrid!

By SeeManRun on 7/31/2013 12:54:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but why would he do that? It seems a bit out of left field. This article is talking about Fusion Hybrid Energi and how people are managing to use no gas on many trips. Then he says that replacing his functioning car with a hybrid doesn't make sense.

Of course it doesn't. You have a functioning, paid off car and you want to replace it with a 30k car (and finance it) that uses less gas? Can't imagine anyone saying that is a wise decision based on economics alone, especially since he loves his car so much.

So again, what is the point?

By Dr of crap on 7/31/2013 3:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
This IS the point as YOU stated it -
"Of course it doesn't. You have a functioning, paid off car and you want to replace it with a 30k car (and finance it) that uses less gas? Can't imagine anyone saying that is a wise decision based on economics alone, especially since he loves his car so much."

If you have a good car that isn't on its last legs, WHY spend money on a new vehicle, and have that expense, JUST to save a few hundred a year on gas????

THAT is the point!
YET you here over and over again from that fantastic marketing forces at work that you NEED to get one of those new shiny hybrid high mpg cars!

By SeeManRun on 7/31/2013 5:45:29 PM , Rating: 2
You hear that from marketing in every industry. No company ever tells you to wear out your existing item before replacing it.

This is not unique to hybrid cars. Damn, I am on an F150 forum, and it blows my mind the number of people that buy a 2011 F150 and then decide to trade it in for a new 2013 model that has very limited changes (no full model redesign). Some people replace cars like purses, so for those people upgrading to a hybrid is a realistic possibility.

For myself, my wife and I wanted a hybrid, but we did the math and for the amount we drive it didn't make sense to buy a new hybrid for 30k, and instead bought a 2005 Accord for cash.

By Samus on 7/31/2013 4:00:23 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, where MPG shock comes into play is literally at the pump. The difference between filling up a 12 gallon tank in a focus and a 17 gallon tank in an Escape is the difference of $25. Both fills will get the vehicles the same ~350 mile range.

By alpha754293 on 7/31/2013 10:11:34 AM , Rating: 2
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.'d be surprised.

Even if you don't necessarily drive a lot, the disparity in fuel economy numbers can have quite a big impact.

Here are two scenarios:

A) Lots of highway driving -
I have a 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid and I drive 40,000 miles a year, 80% of it is highway. The S Hybrid MSRP is $26,200. The regular S (non-hybrid) MSRP is $21,900. That's a difference of $4300. The cost of gas at $4/gal for 40,000 miles a year is $3400 for the hybrid and $5350 for the non-hybrid. That difference is $1950/year. That means that it will only take 2.2 years for me to make up the difference between the cost of the two vehicles.

It's really not that long. Yes, I realize that it's MSRP. Yes, I realize that it's the base model, but even if you were to do the same calculation for the top-of-the-line Titanium trim (MSRP $32500 for the hybrid, and $30,500 for the non-hybrid), it'd only take 1.03 years with the exact same calculation/assumptions to make up the cost difference.

So that's scenario 1.

Scenario B is where you have 80% city driving. Since you can use the electric mode more in the city than you can on the highway, you might not have to drive nearly as much (per year) to make up the difference. So I'm going to pick 3-years as your target pay off time and how much do you have to drive to make up for that difference?

So same setup. MSRP for S Hybrid is $26200. MSRP for S (non-hybrid) is $21900. 80% city driving. $4/gal. Price difference between the S Hybrid and S is $4300. For three years time to cover the cost differential in gas, you only need to drive about 17,500 miles/year. At that, the hybrid will run you about $1500 in gas per year while the non-hybrid costs about $2900.

If you go with the Titanium models for both the hybrid and the non-hybrid, it takes even less driving (per year) to make up that $2000 difference (between the Titaniums). You'd only have to drive about 8000 miles/year to have it pay off in 3 years, which means that if you drive more than that, it'll take less time to pay off the difference. (25,000 miles a year would pay off the difference between the Titaniums in a year of 80% city driving at $4/gal).

And I picked the comparison between the gas, non-hybrid Fusions and the hybrid Fusion. If you are coming in from another vehicle, that may or may not be older, which may or may not be starting out with lower fuel economy; your analysis will likely show that it takes even less time to may up the difference.

Your mileage will vary of course. Actual mileage will also vary as well. But suffice it to say that switching from my 2003 Chevy Cavalier 4-door to a 2013 Fusion Titanium Hybrid, I'm currently sitting at 37.4 mpg average combined real-world, and my calculations for 40,000 miles/year at $4/gal STILL shows that it'll pay itself off in 3.5 years of driving for me. And I am at at least 80% highway, and I've already clocked in 8700 miles on that thing in 3 months of owning it.'d be surprised. And if you don't drive much, it probably WOULD be nice if you don't have to pay more than $1000/year in gas because you have a high-mpg (presumably city) car.

By mgilbert on 7/31/2013 10:20:14 AM , Rating: 2
I drive less than 10,000 miles a year. Using your example of a car that costs $4300 more, It would take me closer to ten years to recoup that difference. And if I have to finance the car, I'd be paying hundreds more in interest on the loan for the more expensive car.

My Avalon costs me about $100 a month in gas. A car that gets 35 MPG might save me $40 a month. The safety, luxury, longevity, smoothness, quietness, and comfort of the Avalon over, say, a Corolla, is worth every penny of $40 a month, not to mention the larger V6 engine is going to last much longer than a tiny four cylinder engine.

By alpha754293 on 7/31/2013 12:25:57 PM , Rating: 3
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.

So, if it takes you over 10 years to recoup $4300 difference, you have to be driving, at $4/gal and 80% city, you have to be driving only 5000 miles/year for it to take > 10 years for you to recoup $4300 worth in price difference.

So IF that is true, then of course, the analysis shows that a hybrid (any hybrid, or pretty much any new car really) is probably not the best for you. (You'd do better getting a $10k used 2006 VW Jetta TDI).

There's absolutely no evidence to support the statement that a larger engine is going to last longer. You DO realize that there are LOTS of cars still running on the road that have over 300,000 miles on it that are running on "tiny four cylinder engines", right?

And depending on where you live, if you have accessible public transportation or you can bike to most places or you can get away with getting and using an e-bike (for going to and from places), that would be a MUCH cheaper alternative for you.

I'm not saying that it's for everybody, but to counter some of your claims with some basic analysis, numbers, data, evidence, etc. - that all that's showing.

You can run the analysis yourself (provided that the analysis is done correctly) to determine whether that is the best thing for you, depending on how you drive, how much you drive, your lifestyle, etc. etc. etc.

But to say that there's not a heck of a lot of difference between 40 and 50 mpg is just well...simply put - plain wrong.

Just ask someone who owns a pick up truck that's at least 10 years old now and someone who just bought a new one.

By Dr of crap on 7/31/2013 12:40:24 PM , Rating: 1
"Just ask someone who owns a pick up truck that's at least 10 years old now and someone who just bought a new one. "

That IS the point he's making.

You have to spend money by buying a new car to get the mpg savings.

NOT buying new and just driving the existing car doesn't cost any extra other than the cost of the gas used.

It's not that hard of a concept!

By alpha754293 on 7/31/2013 1:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.

Well...OBVIOUSLY if you're looking to get a new hybrid, there's more of a reason than "JUST BECAUSE you're looking for a hybrid".

I fully agree - if you already have a working car, then why would you buy a new hybrid? But more importantly than that, MY question to him would be "if you already have a working car, why are you looking at all?"

At that point, it doesn't matter whether what you're looking at is a hybrid or not. Your car works. Why are you looking for a new one?

OBVIOUSLY, I would suspect that if you're looking at a new car (hybrid or not) there's going to be SOME driver, SOME motivation, SOME reason behind why you're looking for a new car (including non-hybrid) in the first place.

Furthermore, no one is suggesting that you replace your working car that's paid off to then go out and spend more money just so you can save a little bit.

I bought my new car because the engine seized on my old one after trying to fix it twice (and it was going back into the shop the third time before I said this is not worth my time and effort). Plus there were questions that if I had to go back in TWICE after replacing the entire engine, how much longer is that car going to last?

By alpha754293 on 7/31/2013 1:42:20 PM , Rating: 4
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.

"Just ask someone who owns a pick up truck that's at least 10 years old now and someone who just bought a new one. "

That IS the point he's making.

That WASN'T the point that @mgilbert was making those. In fact, the very first sentence of his very first post tells you exactly what his point was.

"People get too caught up in MPG numbers."

And that assertion just simply isn't true.

So, couple of ways to cut/slice that (statement).

First off, I am not aware of ANY gas-only powered vehicle (non-hybrid) that gets 40 mpg average combined real world.

Second, I'm not aware of any vehicles that get 50 mpg average combined real world. (And just to be clear, just because I haven't found it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. I just haven't seen it.)

Third, for all the people that complain about the window sticker fuel economy - lemme ask you this - if you were to devise a test or a series of tests that has to capture the ENTIRE range of operating conditions, and the ENTIRE range of ALL of the different ways how people drive their cars, AND all of the tests (themselves, exclusive of set-up time) has to finish in an hour; what would that test(s) look like? I've read a lot of people complaining about how the test suck for measuring real-world fuel economy (especially for hybrids and EVs because the cycles weren't originally developed in 1975 with hybrids/EVs in mind) but it seems like no one is able to tell me how to make the test more fair, more real, and something that you can use to make apples-to-apples comparisons between two vehicles - ANY two vehicles, whether it's a 1-ton pickup truck, a Bugatti Veyron, all the way to the Scion iQ EV and make it so that the way that you're testing one is EXACTLY the same as testing another car. It has to represent driving in Colorado as much as it represents driving in Louisana. AND you have to make sure that the results have meaning outside the laboratory environment where the testing is conducted. So, if you can think of a better way that will accomplish and meet ALL of those requirements, tell it to the EPA.

Fourth: for people do a lot of city driving or for people that just drive a lot-period, as gas prices go up - fuel economy became a more important consideration for vehicle ownership.

Why do you think that there was such a sudden uptake in the Prius in 2008 when oil was hitting $146/barrel? Surely it can't all be just the eco-mentalists that were buying them up? And in places like California, where the state-wide average was $4.65/gal in 2008 and again in 2012.

How would you feel/what would you think if gas costs as much, if not more (a month) than the monthly payment of your car? Think about that one.

By Brandon Hill on 7/31/2013 10:23:40 AM , Rating: 3
40,000 is NOT normal ;)

Most people do between 10,000 and 12,000 a year.

By DukeN on 7/31/2013 11:44:05 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of people, especially frequent-leasers and people in sales/customer-facing positions drive that much.

Also families where the spouses share a car drive that much, or more.

Not as rare as you think...

By Brandon Hill on 7/31/2013 11:59:18 AM , Rating: 3
I'm talking the AVERAGE American consumer. The U.S. average is actually 13,400:

I'm not saying that no one drives 40,000 miles a year, but most people that buy a hybrid will not recoup their added expense in just 2.2 years like the poster above.

By alpha754293 on 7/31/2013 1:08:12 PM , Rating: 2
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.

Well, there are a lot of factors that go into that calculation.

MY ABSOLUTE highest fuel economy that I've been able to hit in my hybrid is 145 mpg (heading back to the office from lunch, where I was able to drive ALMOST entirely on pure electric).

In Windsor(,Ontario), I've been able to get as high as 60 mpg going from the bank back home, over a 6 km trip.

So it depends GREATLY on how you drive. OBVIOUSLY, the more economically you drive, the greater the difference is going to be between your ACTUAL city fuel economy and whatever your last car was getting, keeping in mind that stop-and-go traffic (or just stop-and-go stop lights, stop signs, etc.) is what REALLY hurts your fuel economy. (I've clocked it in at around like 5 mpg when I am accelerating from a stop sign in my neighbourhood).

But there is no denying that the electric/part-time EV portion of a gas-electric hybrid isn't going to help you with that. It's also been well known and well documented that gas engines are actually very efficient at highway speeds whereas electrics are less so. So if you can do all of your take-offs from the light/stop sign/traffic using electric, it will help a lot. I've also done tests where on the highway, I was only getting 37-38 mpg, but once I got off the highway and I was able to use more electric, it doesn't take much driving around in EV mode to start dramatically boosting the entire trip's overall fuel economy.

IF you want the numbers to work out so that you actually WILL pay off the difference in 2.2 years, there's absolutely NO reason why you can't make it happen. Course, 2.2 years is also shorter than most leases, which either makes me wonder why you didn't buy the car outright or you're wanting to change your car at the end of your lease term (or there's a tax benefit for you if you own a business that you can write off part of the lease expense against your business which might be the only other reason why you'd lease a car then buy it out instead of trading it in for a new/different one).

I've already figured out based on how I drive, how much I drive, where I drive, etc. that my payoff is in 3.5 years. But with this new firmware update to the PCM where now my electric motor can run at speeds upto 85 mph, there's a strong potential for me to start bumping my actual highway fuel economy where I would be able to cycle in and out of the EV mode more, so it'll be interesting to see what happens then.

But 2.2 years isn't impossible. And it always depends on a lot of factors. (Course, if you do the same kind of analysis between two different gas, non-hybrid cars, even taking the average real world reported by the various owners (the Fusion hybrid is sitting around 40 mpg average both on and on; you're STILL apt to come out ahead.

Do your analysis. Make it fair (so it'd be silly to compare the top of the line hybrid with all the bells and whistles against the most basic non-hybrid you can get, or like comparing the hybrid against the massive tank of a SUV). Let the numbers and the math work itself out. Yes, there will have to be certain assumptions in terms of how much gas costs now and how much it will cost in the future, and for the life of your vehicle, but suffice it to also say that the probabilty of the cost of gas going up is quite likely (albeit at a much slower pace now than it was 5 or 6 years ago).

By alpha754293 on 7/31/2013 12:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.

From what I've found - it depends a GREAT deal on where you live.

If you live in big cities like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, NY, LA, Chicago, etc. - where there is public transportation available or you'd have to be INSANE to drive (because of all the traffic) - people tend to drive less.

In the US midwest, Southwestern Ontario, and Western Canada where it's a 20-minute wait for the bus at best, with LOTS of places where you have to wait at LEAST an hour for a bus; people are going to drive, and they're more likely going to drive more because that's the only way they can get around that's reasonable/sensible.

In Southeast Michigan for example, it is NOT uncommon for people to be doing about 50-100 miles-a-day commute to work. You'd have people that live in Sterling Heights that would commute down to Dearborn to work. If you want to go anywhere interesting, it's at LEAST an hour drive away from anywhere (which in Michigan, would be at least 70 miles then).

If you're chauffeuring the kids around to do this and do that and this lesson and that tutor or sports, you very quickly realize how fast the miles add up. During the regular school year, I'm up to 109 miles/day average. It's not hard. Add a summer road trip here and there, and boom, before you know it, you're pushing 40-50 thousand miles a year.

And the problem that I've found with the whole "average driver is 12,000 miles a year" is it works REALLY well for people that live in cities, but for people that live outside of that (or pretty much like in between cities) - it doesn't work at all. If I were to do only 12,000 miles a year, I'd basically have to live like a hermit and I would be a pastey-face shut-in where I would only go out for work and groceries, and that's about it. I'd be Ted Kaczynski.

By Reclaimer77 on 7/31/2013 8:47:38 PM , Rating: 3
DISCLAIMER: What's with the disclaimer spam!?

By Brandon Hill on 7/31/2013 9:38:36 PM , Rating: 3
TRANSLATION: I work for Ford. Ford makes the best hybrids on the market :)

By alpha754293 on 8/1/2013 9:45:22 AM , Rating: 2
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.

No, haha..well..maybe. It's more like how if you watch the interviews for like television shows, that they always have the disclaimer. You can thank your litigious scoiety for the disclaimer spam. ;o)

By ERROR666 on 7/31/2013 12:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
Why do you think so? I was always interested where this 10k-12k / year number came from.
In the last 10 years while I moved 4 times and worked for 5 different companies in different locations. My mileage varies between 25k-32k / year. I've never came even remotely close to 12k.

By retrospooty on 7/31/2013 12:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
That is close to the average, I think the 13,400 he posted afterward is correct... But that includes retirees that do 2-3000 per year and people that have long commutes and fleet cars that do well over 50,000 per year. If you are doing 40-50k miles per year or more, the "average" drive #'s mean nothing to you. Hybrids start looking like a better option at that point.

By Jaybus on 7/31/2013 12:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
Here is the problem. By the advertised fuel economy, the non-hybrid comes out at 31.6 for city/hwy ratio of 20/80. The hybrid always comes out at 47 MPG, since it is listed as 47 city and 47 hwy. Only, the real measurement shows it at 37.4, almost 10 MPG less than advertised. The non-hybrid will be lower in the real world too, but not by 10 MPG! More like 4. So instead of a 16 MPG advantage, it is more like 10. Instead of 3.5 years to break even, it will be more like 6.

My wife is in the same boat, having to drive 40k miles per year. As far as I can see, it's a wash, so why bother? Just more parts to break. I find it hard to believe it wouldn't cost a lot more in the long run due to increased maintenance cost, especially the expensive battery.

By JPForums on 7/31/2013 12:47:01 PM , Rating: 2
Interestingly, my vehicle is rated (in mpg) for 18 city, 26 highway, 21 combined. I average 25.7 over the last 5 years if I exclude trips. I manage to get something like 31 during trips. No, I don't hypermile or whatever you call it. All I do is get up early to avoid some of the traffic and pay enough attention to what's going on around me that I'm not riding the breaks like about 70% of the traffic in the city. I rented a hybrid car for a week when I was on a business trip and never got above 39 MPG. I'm not saying I wouldn't notice a difference between the two, but I'm even more skeptical than you about the actual vs rated MPG of hybrids.

By alpha754293 on 7/31/2013 2:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.

My ACTUAL average right now is 37.4 mpg. But that's combined city/hwy over 8700 miles.

My 2003 Cavalier was averaging around 27 mpg. (Same runs/trips/commute).

My old 1998 Pontiac Grand Am was averaging around 24 mpg.

The ACTUAL posted average on both and is actually sitting at ~40 mpg (39.7 on and 41.1 on for 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrids), so I'm actually running at slightly below average.

That means that the average of all 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid owners is actually between 5.9 to 7.3 mpg less, NOT 10 mpg less (except for me).

Despite that, when I did my original analysis, I did it with the 47 mpg average combined number. Obviously, once I bought it and I was able to get my actual data from real-world usage, I was able to re-run the analysis and that's how I came up with the 3.5 years payoff period.

If your wife does 40k miles/year with 80% city, chances are, she'd be able to blow past me in fuel economy numbers. If your wife does 40k miles/year with 80% highway, and depending on the options that she puts of the vehicle (because it affects the weight, which is one of the reasons why I am not able to get an average combined as good as everybody else), then she might be able to more realistically expect to see numbers closer to what I'm getting.

And I can't really "hypermile" (it's not even hypermiling, it's just driving economically to maximize my savings potential) because in and around Southeast Michigan/Detroit area, it's too dangerous for me to try that. We have CITY streets where the nominal cruising is 50-65 mph. The nominal highway is closer to 80 mph (although THAT I do stay at 69 mph (110 km/h) and keep to the far right lane (though with the software upgrade, I might not have to do that anymore).

But in and around Toronto though, where there's more traffic, which puts downward pressure on the highest nominal cruising speed (both city and highway), I was able to reap the benefits of the hybrid system more. (Same thing when I was driving around Alexandria/Washington, D.C./Baltimore on I-295 at 10 PM on a Saturday night between the construction and the traffic).

If you're getting a new car anyways, then it's worth doing the analysis for. But if you already have a car that works and it works just fine, then while I wouldn't say "no" to shopping around and doing your research, it might not be worth it (at least for purely fuel economy reasons if your other car is completely paid off).

I will add one caveat though - well two. 1) My insurance actually DROPPED switching from a 2003 Cavalier to the Fusion Titanium Hybrid. 2) The Fusion is a MUCH safer car (it actually got an "acceptable" rating on the small overlap crash test from IIHS, which BTW, the Camry (which is very similiar in architecture to the Avalon) got a "poor" rating on).

So while this discussion has been largely focused on the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in purely fuel economy terms, there are other considerations that is not captured in here that helps makes the car a win. (And I'm not just saying that cuz I work for Ford, I actually spent about 8 months researching the car, and comparing it against the entire competitive field before settling down on the Fusion.) THOSE details won't be captured in a fuel economy CBA.

By JPForums on 7/31/2013 1:39:30 PM , Rating: 2
Lets try a more reasonable scenario.
I believe I saw a link below that showed the driving habits of the average U.S. driver netted around 13500 miles per year. To make it easier lets use 15000.
The original post made a statement about going from 40 mpg to 50 mpg , so lets use these two numbers directly.
You mention a fuel price of $4/gal. We'll go with that.

Traveling 15000 miles with a 40 mpg car at $4/gal would cost $1500 a year.
Traveling 15000 miles with a 50 mpg car at $4/gal would cost $1200 a year.
So, someone who travels a little more than the U.S. average would only make up $300 per year by moving from a 40 mpg to a 50 mpg car.
The difference rises to $400 per year for the same vehicles traveling 20000 miles per year.

To break even in 10 years, the price difference between these cars can only be $3000 or $4000 respectively. If you are a 40000 mile per year driver you can break even from a $4000 price difference in about 5 years, but you've still put 200000 miles on the vehicle. The universal here is that at $4/gal it takes 200000 miles of travel just to break even if the difference in cost is $4000 no matter how many miles you drive per year. That's more than half the life of the car any way you slice it.

Consider also, if you take out a loan, the actual cost difference has to be less. Furthermore, at this point you have to consider the differences in maintenance and whether one will wear better than the other, but I digress. If you want a significant difference, you have to increase your fuel economy by more than the 25% represented by a move from 40 mpg to 50 mpg. Your example, representing a better than 50% increase in fuel economy starts to make a little more sense as you are looking at less than 100000 miles to break even.

By alpha754293 on 7/31/2013 2:44:42 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm...interesting. It won't let me reply anymore.

By JPForums on 7/31/2013 2:56:24 PM , Rating: 2
That's too bad. Though, my analysis really just showed that each of you were correct for your particular scenario.

It did occur to me that the increase in fuel prices over time would probably cancel out the cost of financing. Depending on your interest rate, the length of financing, and how fast you put the miles on the vehicle, you could end up behind or ahead here.

By alpha754293 on 8/1/2013 9:15:49 AM , Rating: 2
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.

Yeah, I typically start my analysis assuming that the price of gas is constant. I've done the analysis before where I assumed a 3% annual inflation rate for the cost of gas, and it can really make a difference.

Thankfully, the actual gas prices haven't followed that trend, but the one week here where there was a supply shortage in Michigan and we suddenly shot up from like $3.61 state-wide average to $4.256 state-wide average, I'll admit it - I was feeling a little good about driving a hybrid then, cuz I didn't have to gas up nearly as much. In fact, I was able to nearly ride the whole wave out without having to fill up smack dab at the height of its peak.

I'm finances for 72-months right now (6 years) at 1.49%, and my current running average is 676.92 miles/week (which will go back up to ~800 miles/week once the regular school year starts back up again).

And I fully agree that if you only drive 5500 miles/year, then hybrids probably isn't for you.

By alpha754293 on 8/1/2013 9:17:06 AM , Rating: 2
Let's try splitting up my post and see if that'll work.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.

All this really shows is what we already know - if you're alreadya high mileage driver, then hybrids makes more sense for you.

There's no debating that.

And there's two ways of looking at that. Well...three.

1) If you only drive 15k miles/year, and IF the price difference between the non-hybrid version of car A and the hybrid version (hopefully of car A to make the comparison fair) is $3000, then it takes 10 years to make up the difference. Sure (and again, there's no debating that either). But, as I have also already illustrated, the difference between the Fusion Titanium non-hybrid and the Fusion Titanium Hybrid is $2000 (MSRP), so that CAN actually be accomplished.

2) If you're already going to be doing 40k miles/year, than regardless of the car, in 5 years, you're still going to be putting 200k miles on the car. The question then isn't that you're going to be putting that much (because you're going to be doing it anyways, because your needs dictate that), but how much is it going to cost you in gas to do that?

By alpha754293 on 8/1/2013 9:18:40 AM , Rating: 2
3) What that also means is that okay, the first 5 years, you are making up the difference between the cost of the hybrid and the non-hybrid. But what happens AFTER you've passed the break-even point? What does that mean for you then? (See, notice how people mostly talk about "how long does it take for me to make up for the difference in initial cost?" but very few people then further extend the question to "what does it mean AFTER I've broken even?") ;) Think about that one.

The engineers for the original Prius wasn't sure how long the battery was going to last, so they designed the battery electronics control module to be VERY conservative and there are still cars that are running around that were the original North American Prius, 16 years later.

By alpha754293 on 8/1/2013 9:20:30 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure how long the Li-ion battery is going to last, but honestly, I'm sure that there were same kinds of thoughts that were running through people's heads and minds when the first Prius launched in North America. Some would be willing to take that risk. Others aren't. And there's nothing quantitative that I can do about that. Heck, I'm sure that was the same kind of thinking when the first car showed up ( doesn't seem to like the name of it) 127 years ago. And look at where we are now.

By alpha754293 on 8/4/2013 10:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
Welp, I did it. I maxed out of the Fusion hybrid's fuel economy. Just got 999.9 mpg over 0.9 miles with 0.8 miles on EV mode and 0.1 miles on regen coming back from McDonald's in Downtown Windsor back to my place.

By overlandpark4me on 8/5/2013 4:13:03 PM , Rating: 2
I get "caught up" in mpg numbers because every dollar counts, period.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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