ASSOCIATED PRESS • December 23, 2008
Ford Motor Co.’s much ballyhooed 2010 Fusion Hybrid will get 41 city miles per gallon and 36 m.p.g. on highways, based on final certification figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the company said Monday.
The move is one of the final steps in getting the vehicle to dealerships next spring. Certification of the vehicle was recently completed at the company’s testing laboratories in Allen Park.
Ford said that the Fusion Hybrid tops Toyota’s Camry hybrid -- its main competitor -- mileage by 8 m.p.g. in the city and 2 m.p.g. on the highway.
The Fusion can travel up to 47 miles per hour using only battery power. After 47 miles, the car’s four-cylinder engine turns on to power the car and recharge the battery.
The Fusion’s nickel-metal hydride battery is lighter and produces 20% more power than the Ford Escape hybrid. It also devised a way to get 28% more power out of the battery cells, said Praveen Cherian, program leader for the Fusion Hybrid.
“It’s not just one thing, but thousands,” he said of the improved mileage numbers. “We’ve optimized the heck out of that vehicle, it’s individual components.”
The battery also can tolerate higher temperatures, and Ford has eliminated its battery cooling system in the Fusion, allowing the battery to cool using regular cabin air.
The company also has improved its regenerative braking system, which captures energy lost through brake friction and stores it for battery usage. Ford said 94% of brake friction energy is recovered in the new model.
The Fusion also includes SmartGauge technology, which helps drivers adjust their driving to get more mileage out of the car.
Ford unveiled the Fusion Hybrid at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month, along with the Mercury Milan hybrid.