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Ford’s 20 Miles: the PHEV Sweet Spot?

September 21, 2012 in Electric Drive, EVs, Hybrids by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Fusion Energi Hybrid Will Be Between Volt’s 40 and 12 for Prius

Ford has opted for about 20 miles as the battery-only range of its Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for 2013, and for this has the blessing of Cal Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation.

2013 Ford Fusion Energi

Citing extensive study of consumer behavior with Toyota Prius and developmental Toyota Prius Plug-In cars, Timothy Lipman of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley said that if consumers “were going to take the trouble to plug in, they really wanted more” than the 12 miles or so of all-electric diving afforded by the plug-in Prius.

Noting that the Chevrolet Volt’s bigger battery yields about 40 miles of all-electric driving, “We picked a spot we felt was right in the middle,” said Chuck Gray, Ford’s chief engineer for hybrid and electric vehicles. He also noted that battery economics depend on maximum battery use, and that with the 20-mile capability, more drivers would use the full electric range.

Maximum Choice

At the same time, Gray said, many would be able to get by with little or no gasoline at all. “Roughly it satisfies about half the people for all their trips,” he said.

Lipman and Gray spoke at a Ford Driver Assist Technology, Sustainable Mobility and Mobile Connectivity event in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Ford emphasized that its new Fusion line-up allows drivers a choice of several gasoline engines, a start-stop hybrid, a conventional hybrid, and the Energi plug-in to come. Gray noted that Fusion Energi drivers will be able to control whether the vehicle would run as a conventional hybrid or in all-electric mode.

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Source: Ford Sustainable Mobility Seminar coverage by Fleets & Fuels

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