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#51754 Why hybrids are so efficient

Posted by hybridbear on 07 May 2013 - 11:00 AM

We all know that our hybrids are more efficient than a gas only car, but have we really thought about why? I believe that understanding why will make all of us more efficient drivers. There are 3 main ways that our hybrids increase efficiency over a gas only car:

  • Driving in EV mode
  • Turning off the ICE when not needed
  • Regenerative Braking

I will examine each method and how it increases the efficiency of the car.


Driving in EV mode

Given that all of our energy comes from gasoline, why is driving in EV mode better than driving with an ICE only? The answer can be found from examining the EPA ratings for PHEVs or BEVs. The MPGe ratings of these vehicles are often around 100 MPGe combined, with numbers as high as 120 MPGe in city driving.


So, what is MPGe?

Saying that the Fusion Energi gets an EPA rated 108 MPGe city means that on 33.7 kWh of electricity a Fusion Energi can go 108 miles on the city test cycle. 33.7 kWh is the amount of energy contained in a gallon of gasoline as measured in kWh. Each gallon of gas contains 125,000 BTUs, or approximately 31,000 calories if we think about it as a source of energy like we measure food. 125,000 BTUs equals 33.7 kWh of electrical energy.


Why are the MPGe ratings so high?

Electric motors are much more efficient than gasoline engines. According to the Dept of Energy (http://www.fuelecono...v/feg/atv.shtml) only about 15% of the energy in each gallon of gas is converted into kinetic energy in city driving and about 26% in highway driving. Using an electric motor to provide propulsion means that about 60% of the energy is converted into kinetic energy according to the Dept of Energy (http://www.fuelecono...eg/evtech.shtml). This is why driving in EV mode is better and why PHEVs and BEVs can drive much farther on a lesser amount of energy. The battery pack of the Nissan Leaf stores less energy than is found in a gallon of gasoline and can still carry that car almost 100 miles between charges. The C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi store 6.5 kWh of energy in the battery to drive about 20 miles; that is equivalent amount of energy to 1/5 of a gallon or 24.7 ounces of gasoline. With that tiny amount of electrical energy those cars can go farther because an electric motor is much more efficient.


Electric motors do not waste as much energy as heat losses compared to an ICE. They are also not affected by varying atmospheric conditions since they are not using air to initiate combustion. Since as much as 75% of the energy in a gallon of gas is converted to heat energy by the ICE this is a big advantage for the electric motor.


What does this have to do with a hybrid?

Our cars do not plug in to an outlet to charge and get EV only driving, but they do run for upwards of 50% of the miles in the city using only the energy stored in the battery. This means that when we are running in EV mode we are seeing much higher efficiency than if we were driving an ICE only car.


When designing a vehicle the ICE must be large enough to provide sufficient power for maximum acceleration conditions. This means that the ICE is much too big for everyday driving and that there is a lot of inefficiency when running an ICE with a low power demand. The hybrid turns the ICE into an electric generator by artificially increasing the power demand when driving with the ICE to a level where the ICE is more efficient. Hybrids also include a smaller ICE that is able to more often run at its peak efficiency.


This means that the car is most efficient in EV mode at lower power demands, and more efficient running the ICE under higher power demands. For us to maximize our EV mode driving and our fuel economy we want to use EV mode as much as possible when the power demand is low, and use the ICE when the power demand is higher.


Turning off the ICE when not needed

Since our cars can turn off the ICE when it is not needed we don’t waste fuel idling unnecessarily. When decelerating there is no need for the ICE to run and burn gas, yet in gas only cars it does. When stopped there is no need for the ICE to run and burn gas, yet it does in gas only cars. This doesn’t mean that we can sit and leave our cars turned on for long periods while stopped because this will use up the hybrid battery and make the ICE come on to generate electricity.


Regenerative Braking

Another big inefficiency with gas only cars is braking. Brake pads and rotors turn momentum into heat energy, effectively wasting that energy. The regenerative braking system in our cars seems to recover about 70-80% of the kinetic energy the car has when we begin braking. That is a huge improvement over the 0% recovered by traditional friction brakes. This helps our efficiency in city driving.


Driving conditions for peak efficiency

Based on the above information we see that for peak efficiency we want to accelerate using the ICE, then back off once reaching cruising speed and use the electric motor to maintain our cruising speed. Since the electric motor’s efficiency advantage over the ICE is highest at lower power demands we see the highest results at lower speeds in the city. At 25 MPH the power drawn from the battery to maintain that speed is minimal. I’ve cruised for miles without using the ICE when cruising at 25 MPH without stopping. This is the logic behind the hypermiling technique known as DWB (driving without brakes). The DWB technique involves trying to drive in a manner than you brake and stop as little as possible. While braking is much more efficient in our cars than in a gas only vehicle, it’s still better to brake as little as possible since an electric motor only converts 60% of the electrical energy stored in the battery into kinetic energy and regenerative braking only converts 70% of the kinetic energy back into electrical energy. For example, 1 kWh of electrical energy pulled from the battery would only get you 0.6 kWh of kinetic energy and the 0.6 kWh of kinetic energy would be converted into 0.42 kWh of electrical energy back into the battery through regenerative braking. It is much better to use that 1 kWh to drive 5+ miles without stopping than it is to stop and only recover 0.42 kWh of electrical energy.


There are certain routes I have found where I can consistently get better than 60 MPG because I don’t have to stop very often and I can maintain a constant rate of speed. Such routes are the pinnacle of efficiency for a hybrid. I imagine that on those same routes I could get 75 MPG out of a Prius and over 130 MPGe in a C-Max Energi or Fusion Energi.

  • darrelld, gemdc, No1hedberg and 21 others like this

#69835 One Year Ownership Reports - 2013 FFH

Posted by B25Nut on 06 November 2013 - 08:06 PM

I have now owned my 2013 FFH SE for one year.  I drove it off my dealer’s lot without ever seeing a Fusion Hybrid in the flesh before that day (my wife didn’t think that was a smart thing to do).  I knew I was taking what is usually a big chance by purchasing one of the first vehicles off the production line of a totally new car, but I had done a lot of research for 10 months, and I felt the odds were in my favor.

The FFH is my first hybrid.  I never even considered a hybrid before last year, and I still wouldn’t be caught dead in a Prius.  But Ford has made me a convert by producing a hybrid disguised as one of the nicest looking, highest tech vehicles available.  And it was within my $34K budget.

How many times you may have to take a new vehicle back to the dealer to correct problems is a fear most car buyers have, and it is a good gauge of the quality of a car.  This is a list of my dealer trips in 12 months:

  1. Updated to the latest MyFord Touch software.
  2. Had dealer check for the cause of the Battery Saver message.  Nothing was found wrong, battery was charged, I did not leave happy.
  3. Had a total of six TSBs and updates done at one time.(For the first two trips, a shuttle took me to work and picked me up.  For this third, a loaner car was provided.)

     4.  Had Illuminated Door Sills and Ambient Lighting installed (the only time I had an out of pocket expense).


During these trips I tried to keep the sales and service people updated on the information I have learned from this Forum.  This probably contributed to the VIP treatment that I felt I received on my last two trips.

Not bad for a brand new car.  During my first 9 months of ownership, I averaged 37.2 mpg.  The last three months have seen a 43.4 mpg average.  After 12,200 miles, the FFH is like a fine wine.  It gets better with age.

I know I could come close to or match the EPA 47 mpg if I never drove over the speed limit.  But for me, that’s never going to happen.  I have, however, lowered my average speed by 5 mph, and I’ve surprised myself by being happy with that.  If I had been driving my previous vehicle, a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica, I would have spent over $1,600 more on gas over the past year.  That fact makes my very happy, but everything about the FFH makes me a happier person.  One of the best feelings you can have is knowing you’ve made the right decision, and there is no other car on the planet that I wish I would have chosen instead of the FFH.  Although I know there are other factors involved, I truly believe that purchasing the FFH has made me a better person.

My FFH is a White Platinum SE with Dune leather interior (Equip Group 502A), moonroof, MFT Tech Package, Nav, 18” Luxury Wheels and Rear Sensing.  I will probably be happily driving my FFH for the next eight years.  If I were to buy another one tomorrow, however, the only option I would add would be the Push Button Start, which wasn’t available for the SE at the time of my purchase.  I still wish Ford would make the new 10-way adjustable passenger seat an option on the 2014 SE and not just the Titanium.  They should at least make a manual height adjustment available for the front passenger.  In many cases, this adjustment would probably only be done once, just like the tilt adjustment on my steering wheel.

I’ll never qualify as a hybrid “enthusiast” since I’ll never: 1) keep track of my mileage with each fill up, 2) buy a ScanGauge, 3) try to drive over 600 miles on a tank of gas, or 4) post a picture of my MPGs on the car’s display.  But I do think I fit in with the majority of FFH owners who just love driving their Fusion Hybrid, and get great gas mileage as a side benefit.

The FFH is a “luxury” car, but doesn’t qualify for that category since it doesn’t cost enough.  Its fold down rear seats are a major benefit for me.  I use them a lot, and if the FFH didn’t have them, I probably would have purchased a crossover vehicle instead.

If you are already in the habit of driving with smooth acceleration and smooth braking, you should have no problem getting good mileage from your FFH.  Learning to back off the gas peddle at the right time to get into EV mode is probably the major new additional habit you need to develop.

In the category of vehicles that people can afford, I feel the 2013-14 Ford Fusion Hybrid is the best choice a driver can make.  First year FFH owners have had to deal with what really are minor quirks.  Anyone purchasing the 2014 model should be getting a near perfect car.

  • jeff_h, DeeCee, hybridbear and 11 others like this

#67903 It's pretty clear why more hybrids aren't being sold

Posted by dalesky on 03 October 2013 - 10:09 AM

Practically every time I see a car commercial (which thankfully I usually can DVR past at high speed- Praise The Lord- or Directv), the way the vehicle is being driven is either unrealistic or dangerous. High speed, lots of noise, empty streets, getting away, really winding roads, etc. Not at all how people drive 99.9% of the time 


Auto reviewers are pretty consistent also, with their constant pitch for more horsepower, crying about the little 2.0 liter engines, compared to the much better 2.5 liter, etc. Know what I mean? The major criteria given for a bad review is often that a car is not fun to drive. Really, do most people want a fun to drive car, vs one that handles safely and gets good mileage and is reliable? Sure, it would be nice to get everything, but if a car is not dangerous, how about toning down the 'fun to drive' requirement?


I think most of the magazine and newspaper writers have lost sight of what a vehicle like a Ford Explorer or even the F150 really costs to drive. My neighbor sold his F150 (1 year old) because he couldn't stand getting 12-15 MPG and spending a hundred dollar bill to drive between Myrtle Beach SC and Ashville NC , One Way! 300 miles!  Seriously!  He now drives a Ford Focus Titanium hatch, and gets very good mileage. Oh, it is roomy, and fun to drive, and good looking.


Bigger, faster, bigger, faster, and on and on. Wow, what a rat race! Most car magazines pay little to no attention to fuel efficient vehicles, and constantly push the faster vehicles, larger engines and improved handling. Rarely even a mention of the positive trade off with a smaller engine and better mileage. To get good info about hybrids or electric vehicles you have to turn to other sources such as Autoblog Green or Green Car Reports. It’s as if the ‘regular’ magazines don’t want to consider alternatives to any significant degree.


It's as if there is no reason to even consider that much of America could benefit from the considerable savings in gas that are possible with hybrids. And really, isn’t there too much room in these giant vehicles for the usual one person who is in them? If they moved a lot of people and gear AND got decent mileage that would be different. Sure, car manufacturers make more profit with the larger vehicles, but do WE need them? Are we seeing enough information about what is really the more economical method of transporting ourselves?


Note also how the cars often look and drive. The Prius, and the horrible Honda copy of the Prius. Not very attractive, or quiet or good handling vehicles. The Lexus hatch/wagon thingy that is too small to be practical and does not get good mileage. The Prius has become the standard for hybrids, but most people don’t want to drive a car with that many compromises just to gain good mileage. Toyota is finally acknowledging that and also should be commended for their commitment to hybrid/electric technology. The Camry and Avalon are both excellent hybrids.


The half-hearted attempt to make a "mild hybrid" which is disappointing on its face. . The mild hybrids are often easily beaten by regular gas engine vehicles, so what's the point? Those types only end up giving real hybrids a bad name.


U.S. News and World Report has a ranking of hybrids. Here is how they rank from best to not best: Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Camry, Prius V, Prius, Prius C, Chevy Volt, Ford C-Max, and more.. The Volt is of course not the same as the rest, and in fact costs a lot more also. They seem to be getting the idea that normal sized sedans are the future, and that's a positive thing. There seems to be an emphasis on practicality, at least from this source.  Honda makes a great Civic hybrid and now is making an Accord Hybrid. Good on em! Another sedan that is practical and good looking.


The mileage figures given by the EPA are designed to be unrealistic, and thus they tell people that hybrids aren't what they appear to be. Naturally car manufacturers are going to try and tailor their cars to get the highest EPA figures, while knowingly being untruthful. Of course they then draw attention to their hybrids in a negative way, which seems counter intuitive. 


Here's a Quote from Autogreen about the Ford Focus Electric:


In editor-speak, Ford may have buried the lead here. The US automaker, which sells the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrids as well as the Ford Focus Electric, was looking to get some press by letting the world know that drivers of its four production plug-in models put on 203,000 miles of electric-only miles a day, or the equivalent of eight trips around the earth. Which is all fine and good, but what we found more interesting is how quickly those plug-in drivers are learning to take advantage of their non-traditional drivetrain technology. Ford says that, while one in five trips by a new Ford plug-in hybrid driver is all-electric, that number rises to about one in three after six months of ownership. That's because the driver gets the hang of the car's all-electric range and begins to manipulate trips without having to dip into the gas tank. Collecting data through the MyFordMobile app, the company estimates that a plug-in vehicle driver takes an average of four trips between charges, and that the driver recharges the vehicle almost once a day. With the introduction of the two plug-in hybrid models this year, Ford has sold 7,352 plug-in vehicles through August. Through August of last year, Ford sold just 169 Focus Electrics. The figures for hybrids are even much more amazing.


To end on a (hopefully) positive note-  The world of hybrids is changing, as can be seen by the U.S. News list. Toyota, Ford, Honda, and Hyundai- all are doing great things with hybrids. Content, handling, technology attractiveness, and more, are drawing folks to look at hybrids.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but just needed to get if off my pea-pickin’ mind. Thanks for reading.


  • acdii, B25Nut, milleron and 10 others like this

#63652 600 mile club

Posted by jeff_h on 17 August 2013 - 04:51 PM

Here is my best tank thus far and went 28 miles past 0 DTE, but as you can see below it said only 12.33 gallons used with MPG of 57.2 so I figured I had gas left. I then filled up and the actual figures were 13.184 gallons for 53.94 MPG which is not quite as great but darn good nonetheless.  My MPG from display vs actual has always been slightly off, but maybe I should think of it in terms of percentage (higher MPGs meant higher disparity between the two) as this tank was over 3 MPG under on the actual vs the display.


The 13B07 PCM update has helped my car, and several of my past tanks would go well until one bad trip or really hot weather came in and jacked things up.  BUT - this time the whole week had nice mild weather and good trips (with lots of EV) all around, so it was the 'perfect storm' in a good way.




  • ptjones, fusionTX, hybridbear and 10 others like this

#55044 READ THIS FIRST: Useful information for all new forum users

Posted by hybridbear on 30 May 2013 - 12:05 PM

Over the last few months the forum has grown immensely with a proliferation of new users and topics. Jeff_h mentioned the idea of compiling one thread with some useful resources for new members so I wanted to put this together.


This thread explains a bit of information about the EPA 47 MPG rating controversy and helps us to understand why EPA test cycles don't necessarily match your driving style


This thread explains why a hybrid car is more efficient than a gas-only car. It also helps us to see how we can maximize the advantages afforded us with the dual powertrain


This thread explains the operation stages of the FFH and how it warms up


This thread and this thread have some excellent suggestions of how to increase your MPGs


This thread explains what an eCVT is and how it works


This thread explains some ScanGauge observations, the technical knowledge gained from the ScanGauge helps us understand how the car works


This thread explains Engineering Test Mode, a useful tool to further understand your vehicle's operation


If you have just ordered a vehicle and want updates on its progress please see this thread and this thread. Over at the Blue Oval Forum you can also request updates here


You don't need to create a new thread to ask if you're getting a good deal, use this rule - it's a good deal if you're satisfied with it


If that isn't enough then use www.kbb.com to figure out the invoice price of your vehicle with your options and use that as a goal in your negotiations. Some users have been able to buy below invoice, many right at invoice. That is a great deal.


However, feel free to create a new thread to brag about the good deal you got, we're just trying to stop the rehashing of the same questions over and over again


If you recently got your Fusion and are hearing a cracking, popping or clicking noise while braking & accelerating you can review these 3 threads: one, two& three


If you're wondering about oil change intervals you can read the long topic found here, or simply remember this rule posted by another user: "changing your oil more frequently than it is necessary will never hurt your car, it'll only hurt your wallet". The FFH is equipped with an oil life monitor that tells you the % of oil life remaining based on your actual driving data. Ford also puts the guideline to not exceed 10,000 odometer miles between oil changes even if the oil life monitor indicates there is still life left in the oil. You can change your oil more often if you'd like, I do, based on your personal comfort level.


If you want to know how to change oil yourself you can read this thread


If you wonder if an extended warranty is worth it then you can read this thread. You can also just follow the rule mentioned above about your purchase price. An extended warranty is a good deal if you're satisfied with the price you paid for the peace of mind the warranty brings. The actual dollars paid mean little in comparison with evaluating the value you place on your peace of mind


And finally, this thread is a fun one to read to see a smattering of high MPG trips. It's quite long now, but can be browsed through rather quickly because a lot of the posts include pictures which take up lots of screen space. Many of the posters here provide some detail as to what the terrain is like on their trips and this has helped us all to understand the optimum conditions for high fuel economy in the new FFH.


If there is something specific you're looking for the Moderators have tried to keep threads organized in the correct topic groups (General Powertrain Discussion, Interior, Wheels & Tires, etc) to make things easier to find. The search box function in the Forum itself hasn't proven super helpful. I've found that when you do a Google search for "Fusion Hybrid" and whatever you're searching for the Forum often shows up as the top result if it is something we've answered. An example is typing in "Fusion Hybrid shark fin antenna" to Google and getting the results found here. Our topic on the subject is the first result.


I hope others will feel free to add other links to this thread of useful resources for new users so that they can more easily find useful information that will benefit them

  • B25Nut, DeeCee, GrySql and 10 others like this

#71669 Official Ford Service replaced

Posted by FordService on 13 December 2013 - 07:13 PM

Hi, everyone!


My name is Ashley and I’m your brand new U.S. Ford Customer Service rep. :)


My primary role here will be to answer any questions you may have about newer models, to assist with vehicle concerns, and to track any vehicle orders you may be placing. I am in the office M – F 2:30 p.m. until 11 p.m., but I will be transitioning to 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the start of 2014. With the holidays around the corner, there will be a few days I won’t be around, but I’ll be sure to post out-of-office messages when necessary.


Generally speaking, I’ll keep my eyes open for any relevant discussion and jump in publicly to assist whenever possible. If you have something you want to talk to me directly about, feel free to send me a PM. The only time I’ll ask you to reach out privately is when I’m looking for personal information, but I’ll make sure you guys (and gals) know what to send over if and when that time comes.


Some items that I probably won’t be able to help with include: older/high-mileage vehicles, details about future vehicles that aren’t yet made public, vehicle modifications, and questions/concerns about in-vehicle technology. We plan to add an agent who specializes in IVT (including SYNC, MyFord Touch, navigation, and SiriusXM) in the near future. We’ll be sure to let you know when he or she arrives.


I’m excited to finally be here as part of this community and I’m looking forward to speaking with you all soon!



  • Boat Racer, hybridbear, dalesky and 9 others like this

#62898 After the PCM software update/recalibration - observations by Hybridbear

Posted by dalesky on 12 August 2013 - 08:35 AM

My perspective is that Ford has set this car up to look like it gets great EPA numbers, which it does, but which are not necessarily real world figures. I know that is the way of the world right now for any U.S. car manufacturer.

Going in, I did not expect to get 47/47 all day any day. With a couple of months on the car, NO problems or complaints, no defects, mileage lifetime just under 40 for mostly city driving, AND great AC here in the very humid south, I am extremely happy.

Some days I get well over 40 MPG, some just under 40. Once in a while closer to 50. Gas prices are basically no longer of much concern to me, unless I am hot footing the Mustang of course. 

I am seeing what I expected, usually more, driving a car that exceeds my expectations in almost every area, and think it is the best looking family sedan available. 

Whether the update makes any difference other than being able to engage EV at over 62 MPG is of little to no importance to me. Not to take anything away from anyone else here, believe me. I like this blurb I read from the ExtremeTech site:


 If Ford seems like it’s getting a disproportionate amount of bad publicity for its hybrids and infotainment systems, there’s a reason: Ford is pushing harder than any other US automaker to redefine the car and the driving experience, especially in making entertainment and navigation useful and affordable. Ford Sync and MyFord Touch are tougher to learn than Ford engineers believe, but once you’re past the learning curve, no US automaker offers more good stuff such as two USB jacks and free emergency crash notification using your cellphone.

With hybrids, it’s easy to get low mileage because hybrids demand good driving habits, in particular steady starts and light braking. Brake too hard or too late and the regeneration system can’t turn as much kinetic (moving) energy into power in the battery.

Keeping that in mind, to reiterate, I am not feeling let down by the mileage. I like the challenge of driving smarter not harder, and the anticipation of turning off the car and seeing what my trip mileage was. 

This forum has some great members, great advice, passionate postings and true love for members cars. Is there more you can ask for?

Post-update, I will track mileage and report, as many others have. I don't expect much, so I probably won't be disappointed.

  • acdii, hybridbear, rjent and 9 others like this

#62606 HiNimbleTi

Posted by GrySql on 08 August 2013 - 04:07 PM

I  NEARLY got sideswiped on 294 today, but with the awesome handling of the Fusion, I avoided being hit.  Stupid moron in a Jeep didnt even bother to check his left when approaching an onramp with traffic coming, I was right next to him and had he just glanced left he would have seen me. Thankfully I have great peripheral vision and saw the moron in time to git out of its way. 


really nimble, really stable


Love the Fusion!

acdii be nimble, accdii be quick,

acdii look out for the Jeeper dick.


a look to his right,

a look to his left,

acdii avoids a terrible fright.


with a twist of his wrist,

a sly glance behind,

he avoids the collision,

with the Fusion handling sublime.


with grace and great poise,

and so little noise,

the situation is controlled without a car fixin',

as nimble and stable as the great donner and blitzen.


And to all a good night.



Say, I'm a poet and din't know it...

  • jeff_h, acdii, B25Nut and 9 others like this

#55557 Oh Boys! Looky I have Here!

Posted by acdii on 03 June 2013 - 04:01 PM

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words. 





:happy feet:  :shift:  :camera:  :wub:  :drool:

  • Fusion Hybrid Forum, keybman, hybridbear and 9 others like this

#86705 If you could get an Energi Titanium for nothing, would you take it?

Posted by hybridbear on 06 September 2014 - 06:46 PM

I would. And that's exactly the situation we found ourselves in this week. Let me explain...

The recent purchases reported online of leftover 2013 FFHs & FFEs along with 2013 C-Maxes made me curious as to how many 2013s are left new on dealer lots across the country. So I spent a few minutes searching on cars.com and saw that there are still quite a few around. I noticed that a lot of the leftover vehicles seem to be rather basic models, without a lot of the advanced driver assistance technologies. And quite a few of the Fusions have MFT & Nav without many other options. Then I happened upon a loaded Energi Titanium with all the advanced driver assistance options just like we had on the white FFH.

Out of curiosity I e-mailed the dealer to see how low they'd be willing to sell it. The prices on cars.com basically all showed just MSRP or only a very small discount. The dealer e-mailed me back and indicated that they were willing to knock about $15k off MSRP (about 33%).

I then wrote back to see what they'd give us in trade for our FFH. I decided before I wrote them that the only way we'd do anything is if they were willing to give us $1500 above KBB for the trade. I decided upon this price because it would allow us to get the Energi for free, the tax credit basically equals the difference. Their initial response was right at KBB trade-in value.

Before I continue, I want to give you a little background on the dealer. They're a dealer in a small town in Wisconsin, about 4 hrs from Minneapolis. They're not near any big cities. They sell four brands at the one dealer building: Ford, Lincoln, Hyundai & Volkswagen. I had learned at a MNPEVOC (Minnesota Plug-in Vehicles Owners Circle) meeting that you can often find the best deals on plug-ins and battery electrics at small town dealers in the country that get sent a car that they don't know how to sell. A number of the Focus Electric owners in the group got their cars from dealers in rural MN or WI, same story for a few Energi owners in the group. Some of the Nissan Leaf owners also said that they found the best deals by getting a Leaf from a rural dealer rather than from one in the Twin Cities. A Mitsubishi iMiev owner did the same thing. Considering that this dealer has 70 trucks out of 100 new Fords on their lot I figured that they fit the same profile.

On Tuesday I told the salesman that they'd have to do better on the trade difference to make it work. He spoke to the used car manager (also the finance manager who did our paperwork today, very small dealer) and offered another $1000 for the white FFH. I asked if I could discuss it with my wife and call him back Wednesday. After we agreed Tuesday night that we'd do it only of they'd give us another $500, I called the salesman and told him that on Wednesday morning. He said he'd ask and e-mail me. Less than 5 minutes later he e-mailed me and said they'd do it.

Today we drove about 4 hours (220 miles) each way to Wisconsin and picked up the Energi Titanium. After the tax credit we will have paid less than $500 for the new Energi Titanium. And about $30 in gas total to drive 440 miles today.

It was really incredible!! And I encourage anyone who's looking for a new FFH to consider one of the leftover 2013s because you can probably find a dealer who's desperate to get the car off their lot.


  • jeff_h, darrelld, GrySql and 8 others like this

#81142 After a long trip, thoughts on the FFH

Posted by GrySql on 27 May 2014 - 09:04 PM

It was a magnificent performance for any car, being a hybrid made it even better.  Show me another car that can do what my FFH just did.


Our trip to visit our two sons/families in opposite ends of MO was cut short by health issues but we still managed 4,000+ miles in 2 weeks.

We passed through NV, UT, CO, IA, NE, MO, OK, TX, NM, AZ and home to CA.

We crossed the Continental Divide twice, drove in 27F snow storms @ 11,000+ elevation in CO and 109F pizza oven temps in the AZ desert and Palm Springs, CA.

We drove all over local areas in MO with the car loaded with family, lots of short trips. 

On the way home there were 3 huge thunder storms in OK where viability was 30' and all the i-40 traffic had flashers on just to see, the big FFH windshield wipers were outstanding.


During the outward bound trip we drove at (or below) the speed limits - it took 5 days to get to MO. 

Coming home I pushed it very hard, 2,000 miles in 3 day and two nights - often over the speed limit by a large margin.

During one event the FFH easily hit 100mph, at other times we crawled along for road construction.


The car burned no visible oil on the dipstick, the 18" Goodyear LS2's (with 27.000 miles on them) provided good traction in all weather and at all speeds.

The car was quiet and comfy except for certain sections of highway that had horrible surfaces.
I checked the Temp gauge every so often in the extremes situations and it was nominal.

The car liked the Mid-West's 93 Octane 100% gasoline that was available, in 109F weather with CA blend 87 Octane the mpg's tanked.


To shorten the story, there is lots more to tell, my Time Machine FFH averaged 37 MPG's for the trip, all adverse conditions and bad driving included.

My car is a very early 11/21/12 build of this model, I love it and am proud of it.


PS, I passed a Tesla in the AZ desert near Quartzite, AZ today on I-10, it was going 60 mph in a 75 mph zone, the temperature at the time was 107F. 

I suppose he was looking for an electrical plug.  I was glad I had a FFH and blew by it at 80 mph - take that Mr. Elon Musk!






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#62132 Fuel Economy Tip List

Posted by hybridbear on 05 August 2013 - 12:37 PM

One of the most important skills for safe driving and efficient driving is to be a Defensive Driver and to be aware of your surroundings.


My dad drove city bus in Minneapolis for most of my life growing up and he got defensive driving training twice a year. He would always share with my mom and me what things he was taught and he would apply them no only driving the city bus, but also driving a car. Now that he's pushing 70 I can tell that his reaction times have slipped but he's still an excellent driver because he pays very keen attention to what's going on around him and is almost never caught off guard by other morons on the road.


One example of something that he taught me to do is being aware of stop signs in residential neighborhoods. In Minneapolis the residential intersections usually have stop signs only for one of the two streets. And the streets alternate which one has a stop sign, meaning if you're continuing down the same street for various blocks you will have a stop sign every other street. Many drivers seem clueless to this though and either don't stop and yield at their stop sign because they think you'll stop too or they stop when they don't have a stop sign because they think they do have one. I've avoided many near accidents by paying attention from afar to what the stop sign situation is at the next intersection so that I can be ready for some idiot to be unaware of the traffic situation and cause problems. There are certain intersections that I know are especially bad for this and I am extra careful around those.


Little things like this are how I almost never get less than a 100% brake score and why our Lifetime Brake score is at 99% after 16000+ miles. I'm sure that if I were the only one driving the car my Lifetime Brake score would say 100% but when my wife drives she probably averages 96-97% for her brake scores so she pulls it down a little.


As far as acceleration I sometimes accelerate at 1 bar on the Empower screen, most often about 1.5-1.75 bars and sometimes 2-2.5 bars. I determine how fast to accelerate depending on the situation. If I know I won't be going far before stopping again (i.e. residential neighborhoods with lots of stop signs, driving through downtown or in heavy traffic) then I accelerate more slowly because accelerating quickly is wasteful. Typically I accelerate somewhere around 1.75 bars on the Empower screen. I find that this is a nice balance between ICE run time to charge the battery and fuel consumption. On occasion I know taking off from a certain stop sign or traffic light that I have to hurry to make the next light green. Making the next light green by accelerating quickly is more efficient than accelerating slowly and stopping again. So in those situations I'll go as high as 2.5-3 bars of acceleration. Wow! The car really moves fast when you step on the gas that hard. The acceleration coach bar gives me a bad score after that but I know that I'm smarter than the coach in those situations.


Sometimes my acceleration depends on battery SOC and my knowledge of the road ahead. If my SOC is low then I'll accelerate more slowly to get more seconds with the ICE on and thus more charge in the battery for cruising. If my SOC is high then I'll accelerate more quickly, but not quickly enough that the battery shows the down arrow that it's discharging because it is most efficient to keep the battery charging even more in that situation. If I know that I'll soon be going uphill I'll try to plan my acceleration to make sure that the ICE is on going uphill because that's more efficient. If I know I'll soon go downhill I accelerate more slowly and then use the downhill to gain speed. When I'm in EV mode I try to keep the power demand to 1 bar or less, if the power demand exceeds 1 bar then I step on the gas a little bit harder so that the ICE comes on and then I'll back off to the amount of acceleration I want. That way I run the electric motor under a light load where it is most efficient and the ICE under a heavy load where it is most efficient.


This is how I'm able to pretty consistently average 60+ MPG in city driving, even in unfavorable conditions such as rain, extreme heat & humidity with AC use or freeway trips around town. I don't do any hypermiling like Pulse & Glide or any of that stuff because that requires too much concentration and would distract me from being a safe & defensive driver. To do what I describe above I don't have to think about it, I just do it subconsciously. Driving techniques like the aforementioned ones are the things I'm trying to teach my wife so that we can have a tank at 60+ MPG instead of them being torn down to 50-55 only because of her driving averaging about 45-50 MPG only on very similar routes. That's a 10-15 MPG difference just in our driving styles because I follow the guidelines above whereas she accelerates at about 2 bars all the time regardless of the situation and isn't as aware of her surroundings.


Hopefully these tips will help others to get the most out of every drop of gas in their cars.

  • Boat Racer, keybman, GrySql and 8 others like this

#41423 How Ford achieved 47 MPG in testing, and why you can't in the real world

Posted by hybridbear on 27 January 2013 - 12:08 PM

After driving our 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid to CA and back from MN I have a theory about how Ford achieved 47 MPG in testing when many of our results seem to belie that claim. This theory also explains why Ford is offering to work with the EPA to establish new testing standards for hybrid vehicles.


First off let me say that I have no affiliation with Ford or the automotive industry. I'm also not a journalist, I'm a Business Analyst and a math nerd. Because I have a form of autism called Aspergers I pay lots of attention to numbers and data and pick up on patterns in data subconsciously. My thoughts here are only a theory of how Ford could possibly have achieved 47 MPG in their EPA testing when many car owners are not reaching that number. Please let me know if you have any other theories or ideas.


First off, we need to understand how the EPA testing procedures work and the rules governing those tests. There are a number of different testing cycles used by the EPA. These cycles are designed to simulate “typical” driving patterns. Details of the cycles, including graphs, can be found at http://www.epa.gov/n...s/quickdds.htm. An explanation of the distinct cycles can also be found at http://www.cleanmpg....ead.php?t=1510.


What are the limitations of the EPA cycles? Let’s first examine the city cycle. The city cycle involves a lot of acceleration and braking. However, there is not much time spent idling as if at a red light. During this test the Fusion Hybrid could spend a lot of time in EV mode, possibly even often accelerating in EV mode depending on the SOC (state of charge) of the battery. The EPA test procedures call for very slow acceleration, unrealistically slow in fact. The maximum acceleration rate in the EPA testing is 3.3 MPH/second. At that rate it would take about 18 seconds for 0-60 MPH. That is not the constant acceleration rate, that is the maximum acceleration rate. At other parts of the testing the acceleration is even more languid.


The highway cycle also has its flaws. The highway cycle calls for a maximum acceleration rate of 3.2 MPH/second, even slower than in the city cycle. The highway test also does not measure fuel economy at a constant cruising speed. The graph looks more like what your speed would look like if you were doing pulse & glide for maximum fuel economy. The average speed is 48 MPH and the maximum speed is 60 MPH. This cycle includes no stops, no idling and begins with the engine already warm. All those factors will contribute to higher highway fuel economy.


To help offset these disadvantages the EPA created the high speed cycle in 2008. The high speed cycle includes faster acceleration and a top speed of 80 MPH. However, the average speed in the high speed cycle is only 48 MPH. If you look at the graph you can see that it includes multiple stops and time spent idling. The high speeds are sustained only for a very short period of time. This test also starts with a warm engine.


Then there’s the AC cycle with warmer temperatures. This cycle is designed to lower the overall fuel economy numbers to be more realistic with summer driving using the AC. The cold temperature cycle is a repeat of the city cycle except with the lab temperature lowered to 20 degrees. This test also includes a cold engine at the start.


What are the overall limitations with the EPA tests? The highway speeds are too low for starters. We now have roads with speed limits as high as 85 MPH and many highways, even in the city, are increasing their speed limits up to 65 MPH. The EPA highway cycle looks more like typical driving on suburban county roads for someone who lives out in the outer-ring suburbs. The tests also underestimate the amount of time spent idling in city driving. Most city commutes are going to have a lot more time spent idling than the tests show. The tests do not include the use of AC or heat. In many parts of the country AC is a necessity for most of the year, and heat for the remaining months. The tests also don’t account for winter driving conditions. Lowering the temperature in the lab to 20 degrees is not the same as driving in winter. There is more resistance in the winter due to snow, sand and salt on the roads. But, the biggest flaw though is the cycle length. In an 11 mile city drive the fuel economy will be markedly better than in a 5 mile city drive. An 11 mile city drive is much too long. Most of our trips in the city are less than 2 miles, with the occasional trip being between 5 & 10, but very rarely do we do a city drive more than 10 miles. This greatly affects fuel economy in the Fusion Hybrid because of waiting for the engine to warm up. The EPA does not state that the heat should be turned on for the cold temperature cycle. In a hybrid this is very important, as turning the heat on will keep the engine running thus lowering MPG results. Driving with the heat off in cold weather will raise the MPG numbers, but is not realistic. The EPA test cycles factor in the aerodynamics of the vehicle but not wind. Wind is a big factor in highway fuel economy. In some non-scientific tests that I have done with our Fusion Hybrid I have found that a 10 MPH crosswind can lower fuel economy by 2 MPG or more.


So, now that we understand the limitations of the EPA cycles we can focus on Ford. I fully believe that Ford also identified these limitations and built the Fusion & C-Max to take advantage of the unreal reality that is the EPA tests. For example, why program the Fusion and C-Max to do a maximum of 62 MPH in EV mode? Where does that number come from? Why 62 MPH and not 60? Or 65? Or 55? The answer can be found in looking at the EPA test cycle graphs. The city cycle includes a maximum speed of 56 MPH, in the highway cycle the max speed is 60 MPH, 54.8 MPH in the AC cycle and 56 MPH again in the cold temperature cycle. This means that in all those tests the Ford hybrids can potentially run in EV mode the entire cycle. And while we know that the car could not go the entire distance under battery power, we do know that as soon as the cycle calls for deceleration the Ford hybrids can switch over to EV mode for gas free coasting.


Ah, but what about the high-speed cycle you say. Take a look at that graph too. Even though it calls for a maximum speed of 80 MPH, the time spent above 62 MPH is minimal. The test calls for cruising around 62 MPH and then acceleration up to 80 MPH for less than 60 seconds. Once that one minute burst of speed is over the cycle calls for speeds that are mostly below 62 MPH. I believe that Ford specifically identified the 62 MPH EV mode limit as the best way to maximize their results on the EPA cycles, not necessarily as the best way to maximize fuel economy for their customers.


In what other ways could Ford have manipulated the results? What about the battery SOC at the start of each cycle. The EPA doesn’t have strict guidelines for hybrids like there are for gasoline cars. While the EPA does specify for each cycle whether it starts with a cold engine or a warm engine, nothing specifies the hybrid battery SOC. From more unscientific testing that I have done, starting with a near 100% SOC is worth easily 5 MPG over starting with the SOC under 25% in short or medium length trips, like the EPA test cycles. This effect is magnified in highway driving because at higher speeds the engine spends a larger percentage of the distance running than in city driving. By watching the instant fuel economy gauge on the dash it is possible to see this effect while cruising on the highway. For example, cruising on flat ground at 60 MPH the instant fuel economy will show somewhere between 35-45 MPG depending on the ambient temperature if the battery is nearly full. When the battery SOC is low, the same conditions yield an instant fuel economy of 20-30 MPG. That’s a big difference, 15 MPG. So if Ford starts the highway cycle with the battery SOC near 100%, then the car will be able to spend more time cruising in EV mode and less time returning 20-30 MPG while recharging the battery.


My second theory is thus that Ford started the different test cycles with a battery with a SOC well higher than 50%. And, since the EPA has not established guidelines regarding the SOC of hybrid batteries for the test cycles Ford did not break any rules in doing this. Thus, Ford now offers to work with the EPA to develop new testing procedures for hybrids that would account for such measures. That offer is a smart move on Ford’s part because they can then say that they are working to satisfy consumers by “building a better mousetrap” as it were.


What can we do about it? In short, nothing. I don’t think the lawsuits will succeed, and unless the EPA finds that Ford broke some rule we aren’t going to see a refund like Kia & Hyundai were forced to hand out. There is a reason why the EPA mileage estimates come with the disclaimer: “Your mileage will vary”. This disclaimer is there because the tests have their flaws and limitations. What do we do then? Rather than complaining and trying to sue Ford, people need to grow up and learn to deal with it. Before we bought our Fusion Hybrid we test drove the Fusion & the Camry Hybrid. The Camry is rated much lower by the EPA for fuel economy (40/38/40). I wanted to see for myself. So my wife and I drove a specific route that simulated our normal driving. Our testing revealed 46 MPG overall in the Fusion and 45 MPG overall in the Camry doing the same driving route. “Your mileage will vary.” Does this mean that Toyota understated the fuel economy of the 2012 Camry Hybrid? No, it simply means that “your mileage will vary”.


The EPA fuel economy numbers are estimates. What is an estimate? It is a rough calculation or an approximation of a value. The EPA estimates that you will get 47 MPG. That means that if you drove the EPA test cycle 100 times you should come out with 47 MPG as the average. Some times you might get 50 MPG, other times 45 MPG, etc. This does not mean that you will get exactly 47 MPG driving to work, to the store, to the mall, etc. This means that if you follow the very specific guidelines the EPA sets forth, and drive in a lab, with no AC, with no wind, with no cargo weight in the car you will get 47 MPG. However, if you are not driving in a lab, with no AC, with no wind, with no cargo weight in the car and are driving to work, school or the mall, then “your mileage will vary”.


Really what is needed to find the solution to this conflict is not a lawsuit against Ford. Ford never states “you will get 47 MPG”, they merely hype the fact that the EPA test cycles return 47 MPG. And, what’s wrong with them doing that? It’s their right to advertise the EPA estimates of their cars. And it’s our responsibility as consumers to make wise decisions based, not on advertising alone, but on other factors.


So what if the EPA mileage is 47 MPG and you’re only getting 38 MPG? Have you considered all the factors that make your driving different from the EPA test cycles? Do you ever drive on windy days? Are you driving in warm weather with the AC turned on? Are you accelerating faster than 3.3 MPH/second? Are you driving faster than 60 MPH? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes” then you have your answer as to why you aren’t getting 47 MPG. Since none of us drive the EPA test cycle on a daily basis, is it any wonder then that we don’t see 47 MPG?


Maybe what’s needed here is a change in perception, a change in how we think about the EPA estimates; not of a lawsuit and a bunch of whining.

  • Fastronaut, coach81, B25Nut and 8 others like this

#101975 Retiring...

Posted by GrySql on 05 January 2016 - 12:03 AM

Hi folks,

I've asked Robert to remove me as a moderator.  My Job 1 2013 FFH is sold and there are some health issues that need tending to.

This is a good time for me to thank you all for the intelligent debate, investigations, problem solving, cooperation, teamwork and the myriad things that have helped make ownership of a FFH better for us all.

But that is not the best part, it was FUN!  I have never had a forum experience that has brought together so many polite, and sneaky, funny and fun loving people, I must have gained 20 pounds eating forum popcorn!  All the funny smiley icons, inventive wit and long off-topic hilarity was special to this forum alone, and I was privileged to be here to see it.  It's been a great experience for me.

I'll stop in from time to time (if I find some good smileys).






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#76618 Fusion Hybrid Powertrain Technical Analysis with Torque Pro & a ScanGauge

Posted by hybridbear on 10 March 2014 - 12:14 PM

As many of you know, I am very interested in understanding how the car works. For that purpose I bought a ScanGauge last summer and recently purchased a cheap Android tablet from Amazon and a Wi-Fi ELM 327 scanner to communicate with the tablet and Torque Pro app. The tablet setup is not very useful to look at data while moving to adjust my driving style, but it is very useful to log data to analyze offline. The ScanGauge does not log data to be able to analyze after the fact. I also bought a splitter cable so that I could use both the ScanGauge and the tablet at once, but they don't work together in the Fusion. In the Prius I can use both devices at the same time. Special thanks to larryh for explaining many things to me and getting me setup!
I am going to use this thread as my overall summary of everything that I have learned about the FFH powertrain operation to date. I will also continue to post future knowledge gained in this thread.
ICE Operation Observations

  • Horsepower - the generator often places about a 15 horsepower load on the ICE when the battery is low and the ICE is doing maximum recharging. This is good for about 35 amps of current flowing into the HVB. In other situations it seems that each hp of ICE output to spin the generator is good for slightly less than 2 amps of current flowing into the HVB. In these situations the Generator Torque is consistently about 30 newton-meters. Torque shows this torque as a negative number. I think that's the unit of my data at least. Unfortunately, I don't have a way to track HP with Torque (just LOD) so I cannot calculate how much of each HP of engine output becomes 1 kW of electricity generated unless someone else can see something that I'm missing that would allow me to do so.
  • With the ScanGauge II two of the most useful gauges I've found are the Horsepower and LOD (Load) gauges. Below is a BSFC chart for the 2nd Gen Prius (1.5L engine) and 3rd (current) Gen Prius (1.8L engine). BSFC = Brake Specific Fuel Consumption. If you aren't familiar with what that means you can read more here. Do take the time to read the explanation. Understanding this concept is crucial to maximizing your fuel economy.
    Notice how the Prius is most efficient, a low g/kWh, at a fairly high power (kW) output but a low engine speed (less than 3650 RPM). To get such a high power output a such a low speed the computer must be placing a high load on the engine. As described in the link above, in a normal gas car you're often operating at only about 25% throttle which is a light load on the engine. In the hybrid, the generator places a load on the ICE to increase the load and get the car to run in a more efficient BSFC region. For the Prius, which has a smaller engine, the kW output is a maximum of about 30 kW in the peak BSFC region. 30 kW = 22.37 hp. That isn't a lot of power demand. Unfortunately I don't have a BSFC graph for the FFH 2.0L engine. However, based on my observations of hp and LOD readings on my ScanGauge I have a pretty good idea where it is...When the FFH SGII output shows 33-42 HP (24.6-31.3) I have observed a LOD of 95+. This is typically a 2 bar acceleration on the Empower screen. The FFH acceleration coach considers this to be efficient and returns the maximum score on the acceleration coach bar. If I accelerate more slowly, I only see LOD numbers in the low seventies to low eighties. When accelerating harder than this I still see a high nineties LOD but the ICE is too far off to the right on the graph and is out of the most efficient range. This leads me to believe that the peak BSFC region for the Ford 2.0L Atkinson-cycle engine is somewhere around 20-35 kW of power. I have asked Ashley a few BSFC related questions and have been told that this info is proprietary and that Ford will not share that info with me.
  • Warm up stages - when the ICE is in S1a the power demand on the ICE is very low, less than 10 hp and a LOD less than 60, this is quite inefficient and shows why skipping stage S1a improves fuel economy so much as discussed here.
  • Transmission/battery storage efficiency appears to be about 95% when the ICE is generating electricity. I will continue to calculate more data for this as I have time to confirm the 95% efficiency and to check if other factors affect that efficiency. For example, Torque allows me to log the amps and volts at 1 second intervals. During a prolonged stretch of ICE on HVB charging I used the amps and volts from Torque to calculate the kW generated each second. I then converted this to kWh. Then I summed the kWh from my second-by-second calculations of kWh - ((amps x volts)/1000)/3600. I then looked at the percent change in absolute SOC according to Torque/ScanGauge. The car displays this data to 8 decimal places on the Torque app, this is very precise data. I took that delta in SOC and multiplied it times 1.4 since that's the kWh capacity of the pack. Then I could compare the data. Here is a set of sample calculations:

 kWh used         SOC change           SOC calc              kWh Efficiency
0.10368587         7.78199768         0.108947968                    95.170%
EV Operation Observations

  • Amps - the maximum regen braking charge seems to be about 65-70 amps. I've never seen the regen braking charge go above 75 amps while still getting 100% brake score. That seems to be the limit for using the traction motor as a generator (when braking the traction motor recharges the battery, when the ICE is charging the battery the electricity is generated by the generator motor). When driving in EV 1 bar on the Empower screen is about 40 amps of current flowing out of the battery. The max current I have seen flowing out of the battery has been about 110 amps. This happened when I was accelerating in EV at 1.5 or 1.75 bars and then it kicked over to the ICE. Since one motor/generator must spin the ICE up to speed (like a starter motor in a conventional car) there is a momentary spike in amps flowing out of the battery to start the ICE. There is also a momentary positive value of Generator Torque of about 18-21 newton-meters right when spinning the ICE up to speed.
  • Recharging - The computer likes to charge the battery with a ~30 amp current flow when the battery SOC is low to maybe about 75% of the display. This seems to be in the most efficient range of the ICE as well as the LOD will often be 85+ when this load is placed on the ICE by the generator while accelerating. When the battery SOC is higher than 75% of the battery icon the amps from the ICE generator drops to 10-20 amps. If the battery is almost full the current flow drops to about 5 amps. Note: the car will aggressively charge the HVB if the useable SOC is less than 40%. From 40-50% useable SOC it will slowly charge the HVB as mentioned above.
  • Coasting - when coasting with your foot off the gas pedal the generator places about a 5-10 amp load to gradually slow the car down.
  • Idling - when idling the current draw to run the computers and charge the 12V battery is about 1.1-1.2 amps. This amount of current is drawn whether the car is in Park, Reverse, Neutral or Drive as long as you are not moving. The brake lights pull a minimal amount of current, but enough to make this range 1.2-1.3 amps when you are stepping on the brake.
  • Lights - the headlights/taillights draw about 0.5 amps (140 watts). The park lights and fog lights draw the same amperage as the headlights. If you combine headlights and fog lights the current draw is about 0.9 amps (260 watts). This means that the headlights and fog lights each draw about 0.4 amps (110 watts) and the park lights draw about 0.1 amps (28 watts)
  • Current draw when off - after turning off the car in the few seconds before the SGII turns off the power draw shows 0.08 amps. This is likely to run whatever computers are still active to display the Trip Summary and Lifetime Summary screens.
  • Battery display on dash without charge/discharge arrows - It is very hard to get the battery display to show no arrows for charging or discharging. It appears that while moving the car displays no arrows when the current flow is less than 2 amps in or out of the HVB. However, sometimes the current flow will be less than 2 amps and the dash will still display arrows for charging or discharging. Also, when stopped a current flow of less than 2 amps displays as the HVB is discharging. No matter how hard I've tried I have never been able to get the display to show 0.00 amps as the current flow. With steady pedal pressure it is possible to keep the amp flow steady for many seconds though while driving as long as the slope of the road doesn't change.

High Voltage Battery Pack Observations

  • HVB temps - the HVB temp quickly increases when driving from the current flow in and out of the battery. In the winter, the HVB fans kick on when the HVB exceeds 70oF. The fans will stay on even when the HVB temp drops as low as 68oF. I haven't had any trips where the HVB temp has gone above 70 to trigger the fans and has then dropped lower than 68 with the fans operational to see if the fans will shut back off. 
  • It seems that the useable SOC will jump around when the HVB temp changes while the car is off. If the HVB cools then the useable SOC jumps. If the HVB temp rises from having been cold, the SOC seems to fall.
  • The max power limit for the HVB is normally 35 kW. When the battery is very cold this drops. This also appears to drop when the HVB is very warm, but I don't have hard data to support this. This post shows data that an Energi owner gathered. The FFH should roughly compare.
  • AC amp draw - the AC will draw 30-40 amps from the HVB when first turned on with a hot car. Once the car has cooled down the AC continues to draw an extra 4-7 amps minimum that we observed. This puts some numbers to the effect of AC on gas mileage. That is a lot of current that must be replaced by burning gasoline. 30-40 amps is roughly 8.4-11.2 kW of power draw to run the AC at first. This is a huge power draw.
  • HVB Volts vary from 255-305 in my observations. Low voltages happen when the HVB is discharging and at a lower SOC. Higher voltages happen when the HVB is being charged and the SOC is higher. Volts are most commonly 280-290 and I typically use these numbers in my calculations.
  • The battery icon on the dash is not linear. A 75% useable SOC equates to a battery icon that is ~8/10-9/10 full. A 60% useable SOC equates to a battery icon that is roughly 2/3 full. A 40% useable SOC equates to a 1/2 full battery icon. And a 20% useable SOC equates to a battery icon that is roughly 1/4 full. The 5% useable SOC that triggers the ICE to run and charge the battery while idling appears as roughly 1/8 full on the dash icon.
  • The battery icon displays a rough estimate of the useable SOC of the battery. You can convert the useable SOC to the absolute SOC since the ScanGauge/Torque apps will allow you to access both data points. The linear equation is: y = 0.3837x + 0.312. y is the overall SOC and x is the useable SOC. This provides us some interesting data:
  • The intercept is 31.2%, this means that if the useable SOC showed 0% the actual battery SOC would be 31.2%
  • If we plug in 100% for x we get a result of 69.57% (0.3837 x 1 + 0.312)
  • When idling the car will not let the useable SOC drop below 5% (33.12% absolute SOC) before turning on the ICE to charge the HVB. The ICE will run until the useable SOC reaches 30% before turning off again
  • This means the limits for HVB charge are 33.12% and 69.57%
  • Since the car doesn't really allow the useable SOC to go much below 15% and doesn't often let it go much above 60% we can see that in normal driving the range is 36.96%-54.22%
  • However, most trips don't see the useable SOC get as low as 15%, it's very hard to keep the car in EV mode once the useable SOC gets below 20% unless you're cruising on flat ground at low speeds with a minimal power demand. A typical useable SOC range while driving is 20-60%, this equates to 38.87%-54.22%
  • The r2 is 0.998 indicating that the linear trend line is very accurate.

Power Flow Screen Observations

  • Charging HV Battery
    Here you have blue flow from the electric motor to the battery. There is also blue flow from the electric motor to drive. There is white flow from fuel to engine to drive and from engine to electric motor. This seems to be one of the most common powertrain options chosen by the FFH computers. This screen often shows when traveling at highway speeds. In this mode both the Generator & the Traction Motor are consuming mechanical energy from the ICE and are sending electrical energy to the HVB. In this mode the wheels are only receiving power from the ICE.
  • Hybrid Drive




In this case the HVB is also often being charged. When the HVB is being charged in Hybrid Drive the Generator is consuming mechanical energy and is converting it to electrical energy. Some of that electric energy is then consumed by the Traction Motor and converted back into Mechanical Energy to propel the car. The remaining electrical energy is sent to the HVB 


Sometimes the HVB is not being charged when in Hybrid Drive. Most often this occurs on the freeway when the HVB reaches a high level of charge. Sometimes the Traction Motor consumes mechanical energy and converts it to electric energy, then the Generator consumes electrical energy and converts it to mechanical energy to assist the ICE is propelling the car.

Grille Cover Observations

  • With 100% grille blocking and ambient temps below 20 degrees F I see that the coolant temp peaks at 185 F, Motor Inverter Coolant temp peaks at 120 F and Generator Inverter Coolant temp peaks at 140 F. These peak temps have been very consistent. I have never seen temps exceed the aforementioned values with 100% grille blocking. Highway driving generally keeps the Inverter temp between 100 F and 130 F (it cools to 100 F when driving short stretches of EV mode and then spikes quickly when the ICE is on and charging the battery). The Motor temp seems to usually hover between 100 F and 110 F when driving long freeway stretches. In city driving the Inverter temp quickly falls to the 60s or 70s since the ICE runs less and thus the generator does less work. In the city the Motor temp tends to be higher than the Inverter temp since the Motor is doing more work. Long stretches of city driving seem to keep the Motor temp between 65 F and 80 F. Regen braking causes the biggest spike in Motor temp, much more than accelerating in EV causes the temp to spike.
  • As the weather warms I will slowly increase the air flow into the engine compartment to monitor these temps. These temps were a concern about grille covers prior. Now I am not concerned because I expect that temps will be much hotter in the summer with 0% grille blocking than they are now.
  • As the weather has warmed the grille blocking has led to coolant temps exceeding 200 F. The peak I have observed has been about 230 F. This is still right at the midpoint of the temp gauge on MyView. The temp gauge is no higher with a coolant temp of 230 F compared to 180 F. This tells me that 230 F is a good operating temp. I will slowly begin removing foam now with increasing ambient temps and will report back.

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#57586 Tesla, 1, 2, 3 strikes - you're out!

Posted by GrySql on 17 June 2013 - 08:19 PM

I was driving in Los Angeles last Wednesday, near LAX, and a black/tinted Tesla went blasting past me and exited an off-ramp, wow!

A couple miles later another, different, black Tesla came whipping up the on-ramp and went blasting past me and disappeared in traffic ahead, wow!

I transitioned to another freeway and Lo and Behold, I spotted a third black Tesla (again, a different car), I was able to drive past that one.

It was being loaded onto a flatbed tow truck, not wow.  It is a fine looking car, even on a tow truck.


I imagine that the DTDB (distancetodeadbattery) is rather less than the rated 265 miles between charges when driven aggressively by a maniac.

I continued putting down the road on EcoCruise, listening to soft Mantovani on Sirius and getting a nice nap.


The Tortoise and the Hare, all over again.

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#56073 Even better than my Prius!

Posted by MD_Fusion_Lover on 05 June 2013 - 07:34 PM

OMG!  I can't hold back from posting anymore.  Much like the others on this forum....... I. LOVE. THIS. CAR!!!  :yahoo:


I'm on my third tank and managed to get a 46.5 mpg on my 76 mile round trip to work today.  Having driven an Expedition for the last 8 years and being used to get a whopping 16 mpg on average might have something to do with my excitement, but the FFH is truly a delight to drive.  I had over 165,000 miles on my Expy and it was virtually problem free--less than $800 on unexpected repairs---so I was kind of sold on getting another Ford.  I NEVER expected to get a car after driving SUVs for over 20 years but I was drawn to the new Fusion body style and needed to get away from the $500 a month gas expense. I actually set out to get the Explorer, but the FFH 47 mpg rating made me stop and think real hard.  I was sold after the test drive and immediately placed my order since there were no Titaniums to be found anywhere in early April.


All I can say is WOW!  WOW!  What an awesome car!  Now if I can just get over the sensory overload on the interior features......

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#55832 72 mph vs 55 mph

Posted by B25Nut on 04 June 2013 - 08:01 PM

BFFH, I would average 75+ mph on the freeway portion of my nine mile each way daily commute. AFFH, I'm down to a 68 mph average, which is not due to the Fusion's performance. It likes to go fast. But I have found, like others here, that on short trips, many times that slow poking mini-pickup you passed on the way to work ends up pulling in behind you at the stoplight when you get off the freeway. Even if you hit all green lights, it's still just a couple of minutes difference, which results in just more time at work.
For long trips, however, it is a different story for me. They usually involve visiting family that I don't get to see often enough, so on my 290 mile trips to So. Cal., I average around 72 mph, which gives me about 37 mpg. If I averaged 55 mph, I could probably get close to 47 mpg, but it would take me one and a quarter hours longer. Those 75 minutes extra that I get to spend with family are worth the $7.50 more that I end up spending on gas.
Getting good gas mileage is important to me, but I get a bigger kick out of always (unless there is a Tesla there) being the best looking car in the parking lot. Doing this with a car I can really afford makes the feeling even better. The comfort of the Fusion also trumps my MPG.
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#54449 What is an eCVT? How does it work? Here is the answer

Posted by hybridbear on 25 May 2013 - 07:12 PM


Here is an excellent explanation about how the powersplit device in a hybrid works. The difference between the FFH & Fusion Energi is that the MG1 is larger in the Energi which allows it to reach a higher speed in EV mode (85 MPH vs 62 MPH). This is exactly how our cars work, the difference being that the gear ratio is different because of different size MG1, MG2 and engine.


Toyota and Ford both use this design for their hybrids and this technology is why the Ford & Toyota hybrids are superior to hybrids made by Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Volkswagen or GM. All the other manufacturers place an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and the automatic transmission. That is a less efficient design than what Ford & Toyota have done. The other hybrids are "one motor" hybrids, whereas the Ford & Toyota hybrids are "two motor" hybrids as they have 2 electric motor/generators as shown in the video. The next gen Honda Accord Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid introduces a two motor hybrid system for Honda, their first. It will be interesting to see if it is engineered the same as I believe Toyota and Ford own the patents for this design.

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#94630 FFH vs MKZh

Posted by acdii on 11 March 2015 - 01:54 PM

Well reverse what I said earlier, just got a call and they made an offer and I accepted. :)  Now to see what my wife gets and do some number crunching with my friends at the dealer.   Need to find an MKZ around here to butt check. 

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