Ford says US EPA may change mpg-testing procedures for hybrids

Article by Anita Panait, on January 17, 2013

Ford Motor Co. disclosed that the United States Environmental Protection Agency may modify its procedures for testing the mileage of hybrid vehicles. Raj Nair, Ford's product development chief, noted at the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference in Detroit that following tests by Consumer Reports magazine, a number of Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius hybrid models exhibited higher fuel-economy deficits against EPA estimates than the Ford Fusion hybrid and C-Max hybrid.

Nair remarked that the shortfalls reflected a lot of differences against the EPA label for all carmakers. He said that several factors like speed and outside temperature could influence the differences in actual fuel economy compared with EPA ratings.

The Ford Fusion hybrid and C-Max hybrid promised to deliver 47 miles (76 kilometers) per gallon, but during tests conducted by Consumer Reports, the models’ ratings dropped 17 percent to 21 percent, according to a statement by the magazine in December 2012. According to Consumer Reports, its tests showed that the Ford Fusion hybrid achieved 39 mpg, while the C- Max hybrid averaged 37 mpg in both city and highway driving.

According to Nair, hybrid vehicles could use up around 7mpg when driving at 75 miles per hour rather than 65 mph. He also noted that a difference of 30 degrees in outside temperature can lead to a 5-mpg disparity. He added that another 5 mpg can be lost for a hybrid after 6,000 miles driven. Nair said that Ford is working closely with the EPA to determine whether the industry testing procedure needs changes for hybrid vehicle testing.

The all-new Ford Fusion model takes the existing and solid foundation of Ford cars and enhances the foundation with an emotionally and visually appealing, yet sensible new car. Chris Hamilton, the Chief Exterior Designer for the Fusion, said that Ford’s “design goal for the new car was to give the mainstream sedan buyer a top-drawer visual experience, adding some emotional appeal to an already sensible choice."

Ford is always a strong and reputable choice for car buyers, but this new Fusion model takes the strength and sensibility of the brand and merges that with leading technology and modern design.

There are five key design elements that the Ford team worked with to create the Fusion:

1. Technical graphics: the newly designed LED lights in the front and the rear and the new exhaust tips speak to the enhancements in technology.

2. Silhouette Advancements: the streamlined profile design makes the Fusion appear unique to other sedans that rely on the usual powertrain/cabin/trunk three box designs that most mid-size cars use.

3. New look: the Fusion heralds a new era in Ford designs, and sets a new standard for small to mid-sized cars worldwide.

4. Efficiency (perceived): the appearance of the car is streamlined, light and athletic which suggests that the Fusion is more efficient.

5. Refined surface language: the car exhibits simplicity and highlights that sometimes add-ons and extra can clutter a design rather than enhance.

On the inside, this brand new vehicle provides an exceptional experience for drivers including a sporty feel and amazing new seating technology. To support drivers, there’s a center console that is higher and has more storage than previous models.

The spacious interior was achieved by moving the instrument panel toward the windshield. This gives the inside of the vehicle a roomy and free feeling. The frames of the car support the newly designed seats. In addition, the seating is made of recycled yarn, so this car is also doing its bit for the environment.

Topics: ford, epa, hybrid

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