Currently, Ford Motor Company has three plug-in vehicles, including the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle [PHEV] Ford Fusion Energi, C-Max Energi, and a pure electric vehicle, the Focus EV. Regarding these plug-in vehicles, it takes a few months to adjust to the new fuel, electricity, that is.
One great way to promote your product is to show how it’s being used in the real world. It’s one thing to say that your vehicles get “X” miles-per-gallon [mpg], but it can be so much more of a statement when you can instantly retrieve actual fuel economy numbers from real-world drivers.
In the last couple of years, automakers have been called to task on real-world fuel economy numbers, as it was found that some artificially inflated their numbers to seem more competitive. Customer dissatisfaction and lawsuits ensued, and the Environmental Protection Agency is looking at learning how to properly test vehicle fuel economy, especially non-conventional vehicles, especially plug-in vehicles.
Most recently, buyers of the Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi, both plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, complained about not getting the promised 47mpg, but maybe they just needed to learn how to drive the vehicle? Some recent real-world number retrieved by Ford Motor Company shed some light on the habits of their PHEV drivers.
All PHEVs have a limited electric-only range, after which the conventional internal-combustion-engine [ICE] powertrain kicks in. Plug in the vehicle overnight or while at work, and you may never have to use gasoline but, apparently, it takes some time for drivers to adjust, to take full advantage of the plug. Ford’s research has concluded that, in the first few months, their plug-in vehicle drivers make just 20% of their trips fully-electric, but after six months or so, that percentage jumps to about 30%.
Currently, Ford PHEV drivers rack up over 203,000mi of pure electric driving every day, adding up to about $16,650 in gasoline and 42.4 tons of carbon dioxide saved, assuming 47mpg for the Fusion Energi PHEV and $3.857/gal gasoline. Way to go Ford PHEV drivers, but can you do better? Once you’ve learned how to take advantage of the PHEV’s secondary fuel, why not take the next step and make it your primary fuel in a pure electric vehicle?