One Ford Fusion Out of Ten Is A Plug-In Hybrid


Yesterday, we reported on how Ford CEO Mark Fields is telling anybody who will listen that people have little to no interest in buying electric cars, a message we are getting from BMW as well. Today, Inside EVs released their most recent EV sales figures, which show that one out of every ten Ford Fusions sold is a the plug-in hybrid Energi model. In fact, Fusion Energi sales are up 70% for the year through the end of November.

Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid sales Nov 2016

Since January, sales of the Fusion Energi have surged, despite the fact that gasoline prices remain at historically low levels. Fields may believe that consumer have little interest in electric cars, but he clearly overlooks their strong interest in cars that are fuel efficient. Last month, Ford sold 1,817 Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids. That is up 92% over November, 2015. In all, the Fusion is one of Ford’s best selling cars, accounting for 44% of all its car sales last month. Since the Fusion Energi was introduced, Ford has sold over 42,000 of them.

What’s the takeaway from all this? Mark Fields should definitely get out of his office more and talk to his senior managers. While he is yapping about how there is no market for electric cars, the market is making him look like a fool. Part of the surge in Fusion Energi sales may be traceable to Ford’s claim that it has the longest range of any PHEV in America. While that is technically true, the vast majority of that range comes from burning gasoline in the car’s internal combustion engine. The Fusion Energi only has a fairly modest range on battery power of just 21 miles.

The success of the Fusion Energi is good news for one of Ford’s competitors. The new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is also a plug-in hybrid and actually has even more total range than the Fusion Energi. It has a battery only range of 30 miles, which is close to how far the average American driver travels during a normal day. That means the owner of a Pacifica Hybrid could potentially drive most of the time on electric power alone.

Interests in plug-in hybrids seems to be climbing as more and more people learn how efficient they are. Although they are not true battery electric vehicles, they offer many of the same benefits at significantly lower cost. Plug-in hybrids may prove to be the critical link between conventional cars and electric cars. In battery only mode, the look, feel, and sound like an electric car. That’s a good thing. The more people who learn the pleasures of driving on electrons rather than hydrocarbons, the sooner the electric car revolution will be complete.

Source: Inside EVs



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I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I'm interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.
  • trackdaze

    Fords just cut the price of the cmax plug in. Perhaps to remain competetive with the pacifica hybrid?

    1in10 sales of the fusion show just how quickly sales of plug ins could get to 10% of the market given battery supply and a reasonably compelling offering in most models.

    • Steve Hanley

      Agreed. I did a story recently about how the tipping point where new technology starts to go mainstream is at about 15% of the market. 10% would be a pretty good start.

      Everyone says once a person drives an electric car, that person will become much more likely to want an electric car. I get that PHEVs are not “true” electrics, but they are pretty darn close for the everyday driving experience. People still have to get used to plugging them in and dealing occasionally with using public chargers.

      Every mile driven in a PHEV brings society a mile closer to accepting the itdea that electric cars are “normal.” It takes years if not decades to change attitudes. PHEV will be vital to changing people’s minds about electric cars.

      Plus, too, and also, a PHEV totally eliminates the whole range anxiety thing. Fear of running out of battery power is perhaps the #1 reason people continue to shy away from buying an electric car.

      I get that some decry lumping PHEVs and BEVs together and calling them both electric cars. But if the purists are to get their wish, PHEV will lead the way to that brave new world in which everyone drives on electrons instead of molecules.

      • t_

        Most PHEVs are actually electric cars with the ice attached.
        The reasonable price is VERY important.

  • gbs

    This makes no sense. Maybe in the Bay Area. Ridiculous. Ford sold 300,000 Fusions in 2015. You are saying 30,000 are Fusion Energi models? Energi sales are an asterisk (1,939 sold in 2015).

    [full disclosure — proud owner of 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid — and loving it. Tried for 3 months to buy an Energi Platinum within 200 miles of my midwest home. No luck.]