Ford: 60 Percent of Plug-in Hybrid Trips are "Gas-Free"
July 31, 2013 8:23 AM
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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
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.
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.
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7/31/2013 9:37:19 AM
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.
7/31/2013 1:42:04 PM
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.
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