AutoblogGreen's Gary Witzenburg takes a Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid on a long trip to Branson, and discovers a few things he likes, a few he doesn't
Ford Fusion Energi News
Ford is reportedly cutting the price of both the Fusion Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid by $900 for the 2016 model year. The move makes them more attractive to buyers in light of cheaper gas prices and updated challengers on the way.
Ford is recalling an estimated 64,869 examples of the 2014-2015 Fusion, Fusion Energi and Fusion Hybrid in North America because the key can be removed when the vehicle isn't in Park under certain conditions. Specifically, the campaign covers 56,479 units in the US, 6,048 in Canada and 2,342 in Mexico, according to the automaker's tally on November 11.
In editor-speak, Ford may have buried the lede here. The US automaker, which sells the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrids as well as the Ford Focus Electric, was looking to get some press by letting the world know that drivers of its four production plug-in models put on 203,000 miles of electric-only miles a day, or the equivalent of eight trips around the earth.
Oprah Winfrey loves giving away cars. Not only has she given Pontiac G6 sedans and Volkswagen Beetle retro-mobiles to everyone in the audience of her past show, but the other night on Jimmy Kimmel Live! she gave another car away to one lucky audience member, while yelling her now-famous line: "You get a car!"
In a sort of "man bites dog" development for the green-car set, Ford plug-in hybrid drivers are hooking themselves up to charging stations at a greater frequency than drivers of the automaker's pure battery-electric Focus, Green Car Reports says, citing a presentation Ford's Mike Tinskey made in oh-so-green Portland, Oregon.
The Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid has had a charmed life so far. Qualifying for California HOV lane status and getting impressive range and miles per gallon equivalent numbers are all bound to help its market image. Now, the 2013 Ford Fusion Energi has earned a five-star Overall Vehicle Score, the highest possible, from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The approval of the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid for California carpool lanes puts the Blue Oval into the winner's circle; tied with Toyota for the most fuel-efficient models approved for use in the Golden State's HOV lanes.
Drivers of Ford's plug-in hybrids, the C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi, can now navigate to charging stations through their smartphones. The changes come through an update to the MyFord Mobile app and web portal powered by PlugShare and allows Ford to now claim it is, "the only manufacturer to offer real-time charging station location information through its smartphone app."
About one in three US Ford dealers will be certified to sell plug-in vehicles by this spring, as the automaker gets ready to increase sales of its Focus Electric vehicle and C-Max and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids, Automotive News reports, citing the company.
The Ford Fusion Energi, the automaker's second production plug-in hybrid after the Ford C-Max Energi, officially boasts a range of 620 miles between fuel stops when calculated with EPA-rated figures (108 miles per gallon equivalent in the city, 92 MPGe highway and 100 MPGe combined). Of that distance, the sedan is capable of running 21 miles in electric-only mode.
When Ford unveiled the 2013 Fusion Energi Plug-In Hybrid at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, it said it expected the car to get "up to 100 mpge." Late yesterday, Ford announced that official EPA rating is actually 108 MPGe in the city, which makes the Fusion Energi, "America's most fuel-efficient sedan." The Fusion Energi also gets 92 MPGe on the highway, for a combined rating of 100 MPGe.
Car and Driver reports the 2013 Ford Fusion Energi will carry an entry price tag of $39,495 before a $4,000 federal tax credit. That chunk of coin will land you behind the wheel of an SE trim plug-in hybrid, though if you feel like spending a few more pennies, the Fusion Energi Titanium can be had for $40,995. Those both offer a combined driveline output of around 188 horsepower and an all-electric range of around 20 miles depending on driving habits and ambient temperature.
Sure, there are more plug-in cars on the market this year than last, but there's another big sign that EVs are here to say: the rapid growth of charging stations. Ford, which is promoting its updated MyFord Mobile app, says that the U.S. Department of Energy currently counts 9,445 public stations in the U.S., mostly clustered along the coasts, in Michigan and Texas. Two-and-a-half-years ago, at the end of 2009, there were just 2,500 such stations. In fact, Ford says 6,000 have been added in the
Along with the standard and hybrid versions of the 2013 Fusion, Ford brought something completely different – for the mid-size segment, anyway – to the Detroit Auto Show this morning with the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. It's the cleanest of the trio and it shows that Ford is ready to introduce a big change to the competitive (and somewhat staid) mid-size class.