• 39
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

The Ford Fusion Hybrid we talked about yesterday, the one that had as of our last report cleared 1,000 miles on its hypermiling publicity stunt, has finally reached the end of the road its fuel supply. The final number: 1,445 miles on a single tank of gas.

For the high-mileage odyssey, the 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, as the event took place on city streets and public freeways, not on a closed course. Better still, the entire 69-hour event raised $8,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. You can read the details of how the driving teams managed the 80 mpg in the official press release after the jump – and no, they didn't find a thousand-mile downhill road. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

[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."

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't care what driving techniques were used, 81.5 is damn impressive.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great idea by Ford. It was worth it for the publicity alone.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Awesome. This seriously needs to be marketed to appeal to the consumers.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Market what? Hey consumers if you drive on average 21 mpg hypermiling, you can drive 1,400 miles on a tank of gas! This is just a PR stunt.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Example of the idiotic process of Pulse and Glide. Main technique to achieve high MPG in bogus stunts like this one.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This PR stunt is a complete joke. How does thios show off the abilities of the car?

      I can hear the headlines from Ford now:

      "If you drive like a complete moron (hypermiler) and never go above 23 miles per hour, you too can see 81 miles per gallon out of our silly hybrid".

      Ford should be concentrating on making their products something other than the American equivalent of a Toyota (bland and boring) rather than doing these stupid PR stunts that accomplish nothing.
        • 6 Years Ago

        Stop sucking on that Toyoda tailpipe and read for once. "

        I dislike Toyota. Which is why I won't drive a Ford. Too boring and bland...like a Toyota.
        • 6 Years Ago

        big surprise, Matt is here to type up another anti-Ford comment.

        I am convinced that whomever surmised that you're first love was stolen by someone driving a Ford was correct. Funny thing is, she probably didn't even know you exist.

        You're such a tool.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Get out of the bubble...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I am...that is why I can look at this objectively and not through blue blinders.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They drove the speed limit on all roads.

        It was an event to see how many miles they could get out of tank of gas. It's is not being touted as anything but a "challenge".

        Nowhere in any press release or related article does it say you'll get the same mileage in everyday driving.

        Stop sucking on that Toyoda tailpipe and read for once.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Boring and bland" also describes the level of comments we get from Matt. Nothing is ever useful or informative. Just the same old tripe he is probably being paid to deliver. Get a real job, and a clue.
      • 6 Years Ago
      more like someone hit 80 with their demo' 'lock
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is soooo cool. Happy to see Edwards get involved too. Also, glad he is okay from Sunday's crash.

      We need more mileage drive events like this in the states.
      • 6 Years Ago
      1,445 miles!? THAT'S AWESOME!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      How does hypermilling impede traffic? Are you treating your throttle like a toggle switch!? If I am going 65 mph in a 65mph zone, that means you are breaking the law and wasting more gas if you think I am going too slow. If you think I am too slow by giving myself at least 2 car lengths of room from the car in front of me, it means you are the bad driver, especially when you rear end the car in front of you.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Can someone explain to me how they managed "more than 69 continuous hours of driving"? Or does "continuous driving" not actually mean continuous driving?
      • 6 Years Ago
      If Ford didn't do events like this and the Fusion Hybrid NASCAR Pace car, and if the Fusion Hybrid sold poorly, the same people complaining here about the "PR Stunt" would be complaining about Ford not supporting the Fusion.

      Ford is supporting efficient cars. They are not just pushing F150s and SUVs. This is a good thing. How else would you get attention for a Ford Hybrid? These are two good moves by Ford, and they are more interesting to enthusiasts than some boring commercial showing the Hybrid's new IP and it's EPA mileage.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Take that, toyota!!! Good for ford..

    • Load More Comments