Hypermilers Squeeze Ford Fusion Hybrid

 

Team member Tom Rolewicz driving in Washington D.C. The team went an amazing 1445.7 miles on a single tank of gas in Alexandria, VA, ending at 5:37am Tuesday April 28, 2009. The car had been running for 69 hours continuously. Photo by: Sam VarnHagen/Ford Motor Co.

Team member Tom Rolewicz driving in Washington D.C. The team went an amazing 1445.7 miles on a single tank of gas in Alexandria, VA, ending at 5:37am Tuesday April 28, 2009. The car had been running for 69 hours continuously. Photo by: Sam VarnHagen/Ford Motor Co.

By now, you may have heard reports about a Ford Fusion Hybrid achieving fantastic gas mileage, much higher than the EPA certified 41 mpg city, 36 mpg highway. Amazingly, a team of hypermilers squeezed the Fusion to deliver an astounding 81.5 mpg, a figure that should warm the hearts of high mileage freaks the world over.

Nice Publicity For Ford

That feat is a publicity coup for the Ford Motor Company who has been diligently working to raise the sedan’s visibility just as it released its second generation model. And, for the first time, the Fusion (and its sibling, the Mercury Milan) are now offering hybrid versions.

The team of drivers who set out to see how far the Fusion Hybrid could go on a full tank of gas included mileage maximize experts. These are the kind of drivers who can also drive everyone else nuts, coasting down hills and slowing moving away from an intersection from a dead stop.

Maine To Florida On One Tank Of Gas?

By also keeping windows rolled up and avoiding potholes and bumps which can take away from momentum, the team of hypermilers showed that the Ford Fusion Hybrid’s range of 700 miles can easily be achieved. In this case they drove 1445 miles on a tank of gas as they circled the Washington, DC area, a trip that could take someone from Maine to Florida.

The Fusion Hybrid 1,000-Mile Challenge as the event was dubbed also managed to raise more than $8000 in pledges for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  Among the seven drivers who participated in the 69 hour non-stop event was Carl Edwards who was fresh off of destroying his NASCAR Fusion at Talladega the day before. Edwards survived a wreck that saw his race car slam into the fence, spiral through the air and flip over several times.

Good Lesson For The Average Driver

Though we can’t all be Carl Edwards nor do we all have the patience to drive as carefully as hypermilers do, the Ford Fusion Hybrid challenge demonstrates that with care drivers can maximize their car’s fuel economy, returning numbers far greater than EPA estimates under certain conditions.

With my own test drive of the Ford Fusion Hybrid I averaged 36.2 mpg for that trip, but I knew that I could eventually raise my numbers with extra special care and practice. Thus, having a goal of reaching higher fuel mileage is attainable, perhaps reaching numbers well above normal when conditions are most favorable.

Photo courtesy of the Ford Motor Company.

Comments

  1. Taylor, I agree! If someone wants to do the hypermiling thing on a regular basis, then please take into account how your driving methods impact the rest of us.

    I would hate to be stuck behind someone who was hypermiling, trying to squeeze the momentum out of ascending a hill or approaching a red light. Dangerous nuisance is a good term for some of these drivers.

  2. Way too much work to try and save a buck. Try not to be too heavy on the pedal, but why ruin the trip being that worried about mileage. (Yah I know they were doing it to prove a point)

    In real life hypermilers are just a dangerous nuisance.

  3. Matt, it’s crazy! I would have hated to be riding behind these guys as I imagine they drove below the speed limit, coasted wherever they could, and probably switched lanes whenever they were rounding a curb. Still, this proves to me that anyone can squeeze more fuel mileage out of their cars — they just have to annoy the rest of us by doing it!

  4. Wow, that is not bad for one tank of gas.

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