Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ford FTW!

Just a week after rival automaker Chrysler filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors, and with industry titan General Motors teetering this week on the edge of its own similar filing, I found this little tidbit coming out of #2 American car company Ford to be seriously refreshing, so much so that I have been looking forward to mentioning it here.

Take a look at the stats on that Ford Fusion Hybrid, Ford's newly-redesigned 2010 midsize sedan model.

The Fusion Hybrid uses a combination of gasoline engine and electric battery-driven motor, switching quickly to batter power whenever gasoline is not required to power the vehicle, including when coasting and in between pumping the gas while driving on the highway. Although the base model Fusion gets a much more ordinary mileage, the hybrid version costs just $3,200 more and gets nearly 50% better fuel economy: 41 mpg highway/36 mpg city. Take a look at those numbers up there again. 41 miles per gallon on the highway. Truth be told, that is probably just about twice as much as most of you out there are getting out of a gallon of gas, and for some of you like Hammer Wife who drives a larger crossover SUV, it's a lot more than twice as fuel-efficient. Even other similar hybrid vehicles nowadays generally come in closer to 25 mpg than the 36 that the new Fusion is said to get even during the start-and-stop of city driving.

The 2010 Hybrid Fusion operates up to 67 mph in electric mode, and is expected to have a driving range of 700 miles on a 17.6-gallon tank of gas. I know that my Accord gets under 300 miles to a tank, and it's not like I'm driving some kind of truck over here. 700 miles on one tank of gas. It's so significant that you can start to do the math of how much you would save in gas almost right from the getgo -- figure I would need to get gas in my car somewhere around 45% as often as with my current car, and figure for sake of argument I am putting in $40 of gas each week in driving a normal commute to and from the office Monday through Friday. That would equate to savings of about $22 a week, or somewhere around $1000 a year. So choosing the hybrid option would pay for itself over just a few years of owning and driving the car with any regularity, and that's at current gasoline prices which are much lower than a year ago, not to mention the pleasure and the convenience of not needing to head to the Mobil or the Citgo every week like I end up having to do, either at night when all I want to do is get home, or in the morning when I'm trying to beat the traffic into the office.

My point is, I am really proud of Ford for creating a car like this, one that clearly stands out compared to the competition in an aspect that the American car companies as a rule have been woefully behind in -- fuel efficiency. It still very much remains to be seen whether or not Americans are really ready and willing to embrace fuel-efficient, hybrid-type of cars en masse, but with more and more options like the 2010 Ford Fusion hitting the market, demand for such types of vehicles is sure to continue to increase. Selling at around $30,000, the midsize Fusion is already a hit: Ford sold 18,321 during the month of April, a record for the company for any type of vehicle, all-time. Even without President Obama doing what I believe he should have done and requiring these companies to produce a majority of fuel-efficient and hybrid-technology vehicles within a few years as a condition to the provision of federal aid, it is refreshing to see one of our own taking aim at the Japanese and trying to claim back a slice of the cost-conscious, green-conscious American consumer out there. Here's hoping there is more news to come in the near future like word of the new Fusion coming out of Ford Motor Company.

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Blogger Bayne_S said...

Fusion specs do look great.

I will not be running out to trade in my Prius to get one but definitely feel the getting 450-500 miles on a tank of gas with my tiny 10 gallon tank is a huge plus.

12:02 AM  
Blogger OES said...

Hey Hoy, not sure if you read the Globe or this story is national news, but you might be interested in this:


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7:17 PM  

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