Fusion Energi signals that ‘Hybrid Era’ has arrived

Ford Fusion Energi

Ford’s Fusion Energi gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 108 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway and 100 MPGe combined.

The 2014 Fusion Energi is Ford’s newest plug-in hybrid and it has an EPA-estimated range of up to 620 miles and the capability of traveling up to 21 miles in the electric-only mode. That means you could drive the car from Miami to Atlanta on one tank of gas and one full charge, or even make one-half of the average commuter’s daily trip — estimated at 20 miles each way — on a single charge.

For the record, the Fusion Energi gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 108 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway and 100 MPGe combined, which Ford literature crows is up to 5 MPGe more than the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid. The EPA says these numbers could help save customers about $6,850 in fuel costs over five years.

As a side note, Ford recorded its best hybrid quarter ever in the first quarter of 2013, with sales totaling 21,080 vehicles — the first time Ford has sold more than 20,000 hybrids in a quarter. Ford’s hybrid sales were up 324 percent nationally over 2012, achieving 16 percent share of the electrified vehicle market — up from 4 percent last year. This was the first quarter in which Ford offered all four of its new hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, including Fusion Hybrid, Fusion Energi, C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi. Ford says the design, fuel efficiency and smart technology of its new hybrids are attracting an entirely new group of customers to Ford showrooms.

The Fusion Energi is the culmination of 20 years of research and innovation behind the software and hardware technology, incorporating many of the nearly 500 patents Ford holds in hybrid technology. The acclaimed Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid powersplit technology — which allows for efficient operation — consists of more than 200 patents alone. Fusion Energi delivers a total of 195 hp with a fully charged battery — 60 hp more than the Prius.

Fusion Energi also boasts standard features such as leather seats, MyFord Mobile and SYNC with MyFord Touch. Other available features include active park assist and the latest generation of SmartGauge with EcoGuide. Designed to help drivers get the most from Fusion Energi, information such as instantaneous fuel economy can be displayed on one of two 4.2-inch LCD screens, helping drivers more closely monitor how their driving behavior affects vehicle efficiency.

In the right cluster, imagery of green leaves shows overall driving efficiency. The left cluster can display numerous screens that contain information about the vehicle and how it’s being driven. Brake Coach, for example, helps drivers optimize their use of the regenerative braking system so that driving range can be maximized through proper braking techniques. The base MSRP on the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi is $40,500.

Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to <LetsTalkCars@aol.com>.

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