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Published on April 30th, 2009 | by Christopher DeMorro

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Ford Fusion Hybrid Gets 1,445 Miles on Single Tank of Gas.

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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.


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About the Author

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. When he isn't wrenching or writing, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • RC

    If this is possible then why can NOT the other 2 make cars like this. All 3 auto manufacturers SHOULD have been required to make vehicles of this caliber 10 years ago as well as the other auto makers in the world!!

  • RC

    If this is possible then why can NOT the other 2 make cars like this. All 3 auto manufacturers SHOULD have been required to make vehicles of this caliber 10 years ago as well as the other auto makers in the world!!

  • Christopher DeMorro

    Basically because ten years ago, no one except Toyota thought they could make money off of cars like this.

  • brian

    To date, i think, Toyota has lost money on the prius.

  • brian

    To date, i think, Toyota has lost money on the prius.

  • ChuckL

    Great demonstration, but the 20.86 MPH speed average is rather low. Still, it shows that if you usually commute on slow roads and short distances with good capabilities of regenerative braking usage, you might buy only a half a dozen tanks of gasoline a year. Not bad for a full size comfortable car.

  • ChuckL

    Great demonstration, but the 20.86 MPH speed average is rather low. Still, it shows that if you usually commute on slow roads and short distances with good capabilities of regenerative braking usage, you might buy only a half a dozen tanks of gasoline a year. Not bad for a full size comfortable car.

  • Mkkby

    My accord idles at almost that speed. I know because I had to do that to get by one of those speed cameras the other day. If I even brushed the accelerator I was speeding.

    Any car will go a long distance if you just turn on to a road and let it idle. Pretty silly “demo”. I’d call it “fraud” in advertising. It might con a few people into buying it, who will then be highly disappointed later.

  • Mkkby

    My accord idles at almost that speed. I know because I had to do that to get by one of those speed cameras the other day. If I even brushed the accelerator I was speeding.

    Any car will go a long distance if you just turn on to a road and let it idle. Pretty silly “demo”. I’d call it “fraud” in advertising. It might con a few people into buying it, who will then be highly disappointed later.

  • Bob

    Mkkby, I don’t think it is fraud to drive on 30-35 mph roads, stop at lights and stop signs and end up with a 21 mph avg. That is what many of us experience everyday who don’t commute on highways. Sounds like you need to get your Honda repaired; idling at 20 mph is a problem requiring too much braking and higher rpms than your engine should be experiencing.

  • Bob

    Mkkby, I don’t think it is fraud to drive on 30-35 mph roads, stop at lights and stop signs and end up with a 21 mph avg. That is what many of us experience everyday who don’t commute on highways. Sounds like you need to get your Honda repaired; idling at 20 mph is a problem requiring too much braking and higher rpms than your engine should be experiencing.

  • http://blog.mapawatt.com Chris Kaiser

    I’m looking forward to the new Fusion Hybrid. My neighbor works for Ford and I keep encouraging him to get in with the Hybrid program because that is the future.

    I recently wrote a blog on how to improve mileage no matter what type of car you drive. Filling up your tires is easier than you once thought:

    http://blog.mapawatt.com/2009/04/19/put-some-air-in-your-tires/

  • http://blog.mapawatt.com Chris Kaiser

    I’m looking forward to the new Fusion Hybrid. My neighbor works for Ford and I keep encouraging him to get in with the Hybrid program because that is the future.

    I recently wrote a blog on how to improve mileage no matter what type of car you drive. Filling up your tires is easier than you once thought:

    http://blog.mapawatt.com/2009/04/19/put-some-air-in-your-tires/

  • http://www.ubuntu.org Bruce Arkwright, Jr

    They did have cars ten years ago under Clinton, he gave them millions to com up with the next generation car, under the Partnership for a New General of Vehicles program. GM made a 80-100 mpg car, flat out said they will not make the car, and that no one would buy it. Between that and the EV1 that they crushed instead of selling it to tho lease owners, I vowed never to buy a gm vehicle ever. So the people not under the PNGV, who did not get millions, Honda and Toyoda, came out with their own hybrids and brought them to the Market in 2000. I have owned a Honda Insight since then and never looked back. Thank God or Japan.

  • http://www.ubuntu.org Bruce Arkwright, Jr

    They did have cars ten years ago under Clinton, he gave them millions to com up with the next generation car, under the Partnership for a New General of Vehicles program. GM made a 80-100 mpg car, flat out said they will not make the car, and that no one would buy it. Between that and the EV1 that they crushed instead of selling it to tho lease owners, I vowed never to buy a gm vehicle ever. So the people not under the PNGV, who did not get millions, Honda and Toyoda, came out with their own hybrids and brought them to the Market in 2000. I have owned a Honda Insight since then and never looked back. Thank God or Japan.

  • Dave

    Hybrids will never be worth the money. It takes about 10-15 years to finally get your money’s worth out of it. Plus, hybrids use electrically-powered accessories like power steering, a/c, the water pump, etc. People have had problems with these things. I will never be one. If I wanted good mileage, I’ll just get a motorcycle with a 250cc motor. My neighbor has one and he gets about 80mpg on the highway. I don’t know of many vehicles that can top that.

  • Dave

    Hybrids will never be worth the money. It takes about 10-15 years to finally get your money’s worth out of it. Plus, hybrids use electrically-powered accessories like power steering, a/c, the water pump, etc. People have had problems with these things. I will never be one. If I wanted good mileage, I’ll just get a motorcycle with a 250cc motor. My neighbor has one and he gets about 80mpg on the highway. I don’t know of many vehicles that can top that.

  • Rick

    Hybrids will never be worth the money? MSRP on an Insight is $19,800, MSRP on a Civic LX is $18,855. Sorry Dave, but your 10-15 year payback was valid years ago, but is not true today. Non-hybrid cars are also beginning to use electrical-powered accessories. Soon the only way you’ll be able to avoid the “problems” with such systems will be to drive an Amish buggy.

  • Rick

    Hybrids will never be worth the money? MSRP on an Insight is $19,800, MSRP on a Civic LX is $18,855. Sorry Dave, but your 10-15 year payback was valid years ago, but is not true today. Non-hybrid cars are also beginning to use electrical-powered accessories. Soon the only way you’ll be able to avoid the “problems” with such systems will be to drive an Amish buggy.

  • http://www.president101.com political info

    But the oil companies will go out of business! s

  • http://www.president101.com political info

    But the oil companies will go out of business! s

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