It has long been said that its not what you drive that determines your gas mileage, but how you drive. Stomping the gas pedal at every stop light, even in the most frugal fuel sippers, will suck up more gas than slow and even acceleration. Drivers have been applying hypermilling techniques to get the most out of their mpgs, and in an effort to promote their new Fusion Hybrid, Ford launched its mid-size family sedan on a 1,000 mile journey with just a single tank of gas.
That was on Saturday, April 25th. Yesterday, the 28th, the Fusion finally ran out of dinosaur juice after a staggering 1,445.7 miles on a single tank of gas over the course of three days. This publicity stunt not only showcased the Fusion Hybrid’s ability to get an average gas mileage of 81.5 mpg, but also raised more than $8,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Piloting the Fusion was NASCAR driver Carl Edwards (who jogged across the finish line at Sunday’s Talladega 499 after his car went airborne a few yards from the finish), green blogger Wayne Gerdes, and several Ford engineers. They applied basic hypermilling techniques such as slow acceleration, coasting when possible, avoiding potholes, and using the heat and A/C as little as possible as well as keeping the windows closed. So while it sounds like it might have gotten a little stuffy with four dudes crammed in a closed car, the end result is hard to argue with; for less than $40 in gas and 17 gallons of fuel, the Fusion team was able to cover half the distance of a trans-America trek.
The Fusion hybrid has been earning rave reviews, and having effectively doubled its government-established fuel economy of 41 mpg, this is one of the more brilliant publicity stunts to come out of Detroit in quite some time. Make sure you read the press release on page 2 for interviews with Edwards and Gerdes.