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 2:44:42 PM
Hmm...interesting. It won't let me reply anymore.
7/31/2013 2:56:24 PM
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.
8/1/2013 9:15:49 AM
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.
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