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 9:58:04 AM
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.
7/31/2013 12:36:14 PM
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.
7/31/2013 3:29:02 PM
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.
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