Test Driving a Ford Hybrid

Ford Motor Company has lent Environmental Advocates a 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid car; the company knows the electric car industry has some misconceptions about the reliability of hybrids to fix, and that as a climate leader, that we understand the importance of transitioning away from dirty fossil fuels of the past by modernizing our transportation practices with vehicles powered by clean energy, which don’t spew emissions that make people sick or contribute to a changing climate.

Our experience is not bound by any expectation from Ford – Environmental Advocates will express our opinions, the good and the bad, freely. Ford loaned us a hybrid so “Environmentalists” could really put it through the ringer and then some insight as to why the general public isn’t clamoring to the dealership to purchase one. 

Here is my experience:

Hybrids have come a long way since they first rolled off the assembly line. In fact, they have improved considerably since my family purchased one about 2 years ago. They are not your “grandmother’s car” anymore!

While I thought my car, the hatchback Toyota Prius V, was pretty snazzy, it didn’t stand a chance against the Ford Fusion. 

Pros: it drove smoothly, runs on all electric (albeit only for the first 17 miles), feels like a “regular” combustion engine car regarding speed of acceleration, great gas mileage (approx. 41mpg), warning light on exterior mirrors to notify you if another car is in your blind spot, and finally the dashboard is like a mini computer (which could also be a con for some).  

Cons: it only runs on all electric for the first 17 miles, absolutely no trunk space (as it appears that is where the batteries are located) and, most importantly, the price. Spending upwards of $30K on a car is not something all families can afford, and not something I would consider. Thanks, but I already have a mortgage. 

Another plus for the tech-savvy Ford drivers is that the dashboard is packed full of efficiency information and everything is right at your finger-tips. Although this may be a con for older drivers since there are so many darn buttons to figure out.  There is no need to take your hands off the wheel to change the radio station/song that’s playing, or to switch back and forth between menus to see how efficiently you are driving.  There is even a small symbol of a vine with leaves that fall off when you are driving non-efficiently. Don’t worry, though, they grow back as you become more conscious and efficient in your driving.

Since my commute to and from work is right around the 17-mile range mentioned above, I can only make it one way on full electric.  I do not have access to a charging station while parked during work, so how much I use the brakes during my commute will determine if I gain any additional regeneration miles for my ride home. 

If Ford can find a way to move the batteries to give you more truck space and reduce the price so it’s a little more comparable in price to a combustion engine car, I think more non-environmentalists would definitely consider purchasing one.

You should give a hybrid a try; you may be surprised at the strides they have made in the hybrid field.  If you haven’t driven one before, it will make you rethink the stereotypes. And just imagine how good you’ll feel about the reduction of your carbon footprint.

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