DEARBORN – With gas prices on the rise, the interest around fuel efficiency and hybrid vehicle options is top of mind for potential car buyers. But are all hybrids created equal? Recent industry studies show that certain hybrid models provide car buyers with much more bang for their buck, and the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid are at the top of those lists, demonstrating the best return on investment compared to competitors.
Edmunds.com lists the Ford Escape Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid as class leaders for best monthly fuel cost in the publication’s annual best and worst monthly fuel cost estimates analysis. The hybrid versions of both vehicles led the pack for best monthly fuel costs, with consumers paying over $100 less for fuel per month, compared to competing vehicles.
Further building Ford’s reputation as a leader in hybrid vehicles, CarGurus.com recently named Escape Hybrid one of the best vehicles for hybrid investment. According to the site, the Escape Hybrid is one of the few hybrid vehicles consumers can justify paying a premium for, compared to the gas-only version, as the Escape Hybrid pays for its own premium once gas prices and savings are factored in.
“In less than 10 years, Ford has become a leader in hybrid technologies that are both advanced and innovative for the market,” said Sherif Marakby, Ford’s director of Electrification Programs and Engineering. “True to our electrification strategy, we continue to invest in hybrids and improve on technologies every year.”
The science behind the fuel economy
Building on 10 years of experience with hybrid technologies, current Ford hybrids use the company’s second-generation full hybrid system, with battery technology that provides 20 percent more power than the first-generation system. To achieve this fuel economy, Ford’s Powersplit technology system uses two motors and a continuously variable transmission that uses the most efficient points of the engine. By doing this, the energy flow between the battery and the engine is optimized to drive the wheels and achieve the best fuel efficiency for all operation modes. To date, Ford’s Powersplit technology has received more than 200 patents.
Additional ways in which Ford hybrids achieve fuel economy improvements include:
- Second-generation Ford hybrid vehicles improve performance by modifying components like inverters, to increase efficiency of electric components to more than 90 percent
- An electric compressor is used for climate control systems, to optimize energy use
- Ford Fusion Hybrid has an added boost converter on the battery, which instantaneously provides power when needed – for acceleration – but doesn’t carry this power in the battery at all times, improving overall fuel efficiency
For more information on Ford’s hybrid vehicles and technologies, please visit http://www.ford.com/technology/electric/.
The power of choice
Electrification is an important piece of Ford’s overall product sustainability strategy. Ford’s aggressive strategy includes five new electrified vehicles in North America by 2012 and Europe by 2013. Ford launched the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van in 2010 and in addition to Focus Electric in late 2011, will introduce C-MAX Hybrid, a second next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrid and the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid in 2012.
Best-in-class fuel economy
Ford invested billions in researching and developing new fuel-efficient engines, transmissions and electrified vehicles, even during the depths of the economic downturn when competitors dialed back product spending. Today, Ford has 12 vehicles with best-in-class fuel economy and four models with at least 40 mpg – a claim no other full-line automaker can match.