Ford using gear-shift indicator for better fuel economy

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

The most current Ford ECOnetic and Transit versions lead the way towards enhanced fuel economy through a 'smart' gear change alert. The gear-shift display in the instrument panel of Ford Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo ECOnetic and Transit diesels alerts drivers when it is time to change gear. Moving more rapidly through the gears lessens fuel utilization by avoiding unnecessarily high engine speed.

The system not only aids drivers reduce fuel costs, but also helps them to cut CO2 emissions and to lower wear on engine and transmission parts. The Ford diesel powertrain manager, Tim Winstanley, said: "Many drivers could improve their fuel economy significantly by changing gear earlier. The indicator provides drivers with a helpful aid to using less fuel and encourages a smoother driving style."

A shift indicator is installed as standard to the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic and Mondeo ECOnetic versions, and will be put into the Ford Focus ECOnetic early next year. The element is also on all Ford Transit and Transit Connect TDCi diesel powered vehicles. 

The gear-shift indicator senses the manner which the vehicle is being driven, considering road gradient, vehicle load and individual driving style and recognizes the most appropriate gear change point. The system endlessly evaluates data from the vehicle including engine speed, road speed, gear selected and throttle position to compute the best gear changes.

Using the gear-shift indicator aids drivers to optimize the fuel efficiency of Ford versions, which are already among the most fuel efficient in their segment. The Ford Fiesta ECOnetic attains an overall fuel consumption of 76.3 mpg together with an extremely low 98g/km CO2, exempting from UK road tax.

Ford ran a nation-wide Smart Driving Challenge this year utilizing Focus ECOnetics to advertize techniques including early gear changes. After using the eco driving tips, fuel savings reached £325 per year for the regular motorist, with drivers enhancing their miles per gallon ratings by more than 30 percent.

Topics: ford, green car

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