• Apr 28th 2009 at 6:33PM
  • 33
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

The Ford Fusion we talked about earlier today, the one that went on the hypermiling publicity stunt, has come to the end of the road its fuel supply. The final number: 1,445 miles on a tank of gas, giving wannabe Lisa Nowaks a new vehicle of choice. On the 1,445.7-mile trip, the Ford Fusion hybrid was pushed to an average of 81.5 mpg. Even considering that hypermiling techniques were employed to reach these numbers, we're quite impressed. I mean, this is a production midsize sedan that got over 80 mpg driving on regular streets, including many in Washington, D.C. The entire event took 69 hours and raised $8,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. You can read the details of how the driving teams managed the 80 mpg after the jump - no, they didn't find a thousand-mile downhill road.

[Source: Ford]



The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid 1,000 Mile Challenge Car

* Drivers trained in mileage-maximizing techniques achieve 1,445 miles on a single tank of gas in a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid – averaging 81.5 mpg in Washington, D.C. – and set world record for gasoline-powered, midsize sedan
* The Fusion Hybrid 1,000-Mile Challenge proves that fuel-efficient driving techniques can nearly double a vehicle's EPA-rated fuel economy
* The demonstration of the Fusion Hybrid's ultra high-mileage potential also raised more than $8,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2009 – Drivers trained in mileage-maximizing techniques such as smooth acceleration and coasting to red lights were able to get an extraordinary 1,445.7 miles out of a single tank of gas during a fund-raising effort in Washington, D.C. that concluded today. They did it by averaging 81.5 miles per gallon in an off-the-showroom floor, non-modified 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, the most fuel-efficient midsize car in North America – nearly doubling its U.S. certified mileage.

The Fusion Hybrid 1,000-Mile Challenge started at 8:15 a.m. EDT on Saturday, April 25, from Mount Vernon, Va., and ended this morning at 5:37 a.m. on George Washington Parkway in Washington, D.C. After more than 69 continuous hours of driving, the Fusion Hybrid finally depleted its tank and came to a stop with an odometer reading of 1,445.7 miles – setting a world record for gasoline-powered, midsize sedan.

The challenge team, which included NASCAR star Carl Edwards, high mileage trailblazer Wayne Gerdes and several Ford Motor Company engineers, raised more than $8,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) by exceeding the goal of 1,000 miles on a single tank of gas. The Fusion Hybrid's official estimated range is approximately 700 miles per tank.

"Not only does this demonstrate the Fusion Hybrid's fuel efficiency, it also shows that driving technique is one of the keys to maximizing its potential," said Nancy Gioia, director, Ford Sustainable Mobility Technologies and Hybrid Vehicle Programs. "The fact that we were able raise much needed funds for JDRF while raising the bar on fuel efficient driving performance made the effort doubly worthwhile."

Maximizing mileage
A team of seven drivers prepared for the challenge by learning a few mileage-maximizing techniques, most of which can be used in any vehicle to improve fuel economy, but are especially useful in the Fusion Hybrid where the driver can take advantage of pure electric energy at speeds below 47 mph.

CleanMPG.com founder Wayne Gerdes, an engineer from Illinois who coined the term "hypermiling" to describe the mileage-maximizing techniques, provided the pointers. They include:

* Slowing down and maintaining even throttle pressure;
* Gradually accelerating and smoothly braking;
* Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles and anticipating traffic conditions;
* Coasting up to red lights and stop signs to avoid fuel waste and brake wear;
* Minimize use of heater and air conditioning to reduce the load on the engine;
* Close windows at high speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag;
* Applying the "Pulse and Glide" technique while maintaining the flow of traffic;
* Minimize excessive engine workload by using the vehicle's kinetic forward motion to climb hills, and use downhill momentum to build speed; and
* Avoiding bumps and potholes that can reduce momentum

"You become very aware of your driving because you're constantly looking for opportunities to maximize mileage, and a more aware driver is a safer driver, too," said Gil Portalatin, Ford hybrid applications manager.

In addition, it is important for Fusion Hybrid drivers to manage the battery system's state of charge through the use of regenerative braking and coasting, and balancing the use of the electric motor and gas engine in city driving to avoid wasting fuel.

Fusion Hybrid drivers also can stay more connected to the hybrid driving experience with Ford's SmartGaugeTM with EcoGuide, a unique instrument cluster that helps coach drivers on how to optimize performance of their hybrid.

The Challenge
The Fusion Hybrid 1,000-Mile Challenge team took turns driving several routes in and around the national capital over the course of approximately three days and nights. The route involved elevation changes, and ranged from the relatively open George Washington Parkway to a 3-mile stretch in the heart of the city that is clogged with roughly 30 traffic signals.

"The Fusion Hybrid works brilliantly," Gerdes said. "When you don't need acceleration power while driving around town, the gas engine shuts down seamlessly. There's not another hybrid drivetrain in the world that does that as effectively. The Fusion engineering team really knocked it out of the park."

Ford NASCAR star Carl Edwards took time away from the high speed world of professional car racing to contribute to the Fusion Hybrid team's success in D.C.

"It was exciting to be an active part in this challenge. The fact that it will help spread the word about the Fusion Hybrid's great mileage, and help out a great charity, makes it even more special," said Edwards, whose '99' team has used fuel-saving techniques to win races. "There's no question that the Fusion Hybrid will help consumers save fuel when they drive it. Having driven the car, I feel strongly about how great it is – so strong that I've purchased one myself."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      What makes you think he went 21 mph. Actually any car gets its best mpg at around 50 so i would assume they were going around that fast. A car going 21 mph actually would be getting pretty bad mpg.If you just did a quick division of miles/hr i would think they slept at some point....
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like this car a lot. I'd love it in a diesel. It keeps it low key and doesn't have the 'look at me!' design of the Prius or Insight.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is to laugh at. The Volt has been computed to have a 320 mpge rating, if your daily use is below 40 miles per day, which 80% of Americans do. The 80 -20 rule was why they aimed at 40 miles for electric driving. If 80% of Americans drove 45 miles per day the Volt would be aimed at 45 miles of electric driving.

      Who cares about a mere 40 or 50 mpg then?

      The HEVs are gasoline powered cars with occasional electric assist.
      The EREVs are electric powered cars with occasional gasoline assist.

      And that makes all the difference.

      In petroleum substitution, genuine toxic emissions and mileage economy. The only area that the Volt fails in comparison is that it doesn't add much fertilizer to the air, to feed the stunted plants .

        • 6 Years Ago
        What Volt? There is no Volt. And it's quite doubtful that Government Motors will have the financial well being to put it into production. Unless Obama dumps another huge wad of our money into GM and the gangsters at the UAW.
      • 6 Years Ago
      81 mpg is pretty impressive. Not in Prius territory, but the Fusion is a much more fun car to drive. It would be nice, won't happen, but I would buy it, if Ford could strengthen the electric motor and lighten up the ICE, keep the acceleration or improve it, and get the mpg figure up near the Prius. But 41 mpg city vs. 50 mpg vs. 40 mpg for the Fusion, the Prius and the Insight respectively... Those are some nice numbers, I would be going to the gas station every 20 or 22 days instead of every 10 or 11 days, with the Prius I might get through February without stopping for gas! I would rather drive a Fusion, but 50+mpg in town is awfully cool, the options are starting to look a lot better. I would rather have a Volt, if it costs less than or the same as the FFH, but that day won't be coming soon. Economies of scale won't kick in until 2012 at the earliest, and about the time they do reduce the price, the tax credit will probably lapse. All electric for weeks at a time, now that is sweet!
      • 6 Years Ago
      You guys would be on your knees, if this was Toyota, kissing their ass with praise.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, I would be saying Hypermiling is BS. I hate it regardless of which car they do it with. I have said the same when the did it with diesels/Hondas/Toyotas and now Fords.

        I like real head to head comparisons driving like real people, not nonsense Pulse and Glide BS of one car on its own.

        FWIW, I have been driving my Ford since new in 1999.

        • 6 Years Ago
        No, I call a stupid publicity stunt.

        A stupid publicity stunt. Being passed by people on bicycles is embarrassing for Ford.
      • 6 Years Ago
      every federal,state and local governments should be driving there cars all of them period..they should set the example from the top on down, how many times do you see state and local governments driving big v-8's or diesels etc..all buses,cop cars,everything fed,state,city..thank you
      • 6 Years Ago
      The point is, even at 25% US/CDN content, this is a REAL car and available to purchase NOW. Not a promise or a pipe dream; years away.

      It drives very nicely (from a car-guy) and we are seriously considering it. It delivers better fuel economy that our Smart with a lot more room, power, et. al. I found it as comfy as the 745Li with very good road feel, especially for a FWD car.

      Driving in too many metropolitan areas, sadly, the average speed is snail-like, oft easy to surpass with a bicycle, but the exercise, whether publicity stunt or whatever the nay-sayers are free to say, what is possible in the real world, serves a purpose. The political hyperbole belongs elsewhere, IMHO.

      The Fusion deserves a long look and Ford deserves accolades for getting its corporate head out of its butt. From a long-time GM and BMW guy, who was 'hypermiling' before it was a term.

      Nice work, Ford.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Seeing that GM and Chrysler are to be government and UAW owned (yes, workers owning the means of production-Marxism courtesy of Obama) after restructuring, Ford will be the only choice for American car buyers who want no part of it. It's good to see they are making some very good products. Support them.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great for Ford. But compare the price to Toyota and Honda and a puzzled Ford will keep asking for the government to raise the gas tax because no one is buying the more expensive fuel efficient Fusion and they can't understand why.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How much would their mpg numbers be if they took out all the numbers from which they used illegal ways of getting better milage like coasting with the engine off? (i mean the whoel car off)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why does this PR stunt remind me of Seinfeld where Crammer is with the car salesman to see how far they can go without refueling the car? Then the car craps out and they salesman over celebrates the moment (just like the guy in the picture with the Fusion Hybrid above.)

      Agreed, it is a pointless PR stunt. I'm sure I could dramatically improve my mileage driving 21 MPH on average, though, I may fall asleep at the wheel due to boredom.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Anyone else find it ironic that they're pointlessly driving fuel efficient cars to raise funds... Maybe planting trees for diabetes would be a bit more helpful for charity and the environment.
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