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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 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.

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