Ford breaks full-year hybrid vehicle sales record in 5 months

Article by Anita Panait, on May 31, 2013

Ford Motor Co. managed to surpass its full-year hybrid sales record set in 2010 in just the first five months of 2013. Ford expects to post around 37,000 hybrid vehicle sales in January-May 2013, which is effectively higher that the 35,496 unit full-year record in 2010. Year-on-year comparison gives Ford over a 375-percent increase over the first five months of 2012.

Ford is now the No. 2 carmaker in the United States in terms of hybrid vehicle sales, next to Toyota. The carmaker now holds a 15.5-percent market share through April 2013 from just 3 percent in 2012. 

Ford C-MAX Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid remains a good attractor of new customers to the Ford brand, with conquest sales of 63 percent and 67 percent respectively. Ford’s new hybrid lineup continues to entice new customer from Toyota and Honda. Most of Ford’s conquest sales come from Toyota.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid has also achieved some of the highest turn rates in the Ford showroom. Fusion Hybrid’s turn rate is 14 days on average, with customers increasingly becoming attracted to its fuel economy, styling and design. The model’s turn rate is much higher is key markets like Los Angeles, where Fusion Hybrid is turned in just 10 days.

Fusion Hybrid also accounts for 15 percent of overall Fusion sales. The carmaker’s latest electrified vehicle, the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is expected to post its best month this May since it was launched in February. Ford’s hybrid vehicle lineup includes Ford C-MAX Hybrid, Ford C-MAX Energi, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Fusion Energi, as well as Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.

According to Ford, both the C-MAX Energi and the C-MAX Hybrid will be utilizing the lithium-ion battery systems. Each system was designed to make sure that the use of common yet high-quality elements would be maximized. This includes the control board hardware which has long proven itself when it comes to the performance of the brand’s very own well-received hybrid models.

Many hybrid vehicles today are powered with nickel metal hydride batteries or NiMH. However, using the lithium-ion version offers certain advantages. In terms of size and weight for instance, lithium-ion batteries are lighter by 50% and smaller by 25% to 30%. This results in a number of added benefits. First is that it can be tuned in order to increase the power and thus enhance the acceleration. Second is that it is also possible to tune it so that the energy is increased resulting in the driving distance being extended.

Given the size and weight, it also means packaging it in a vehicle is that much easier. For the C-MAX Hybrid, it can be operated in the same manner as many of the hybrid vehicles of today. But for the C-MAX Energi, it has the advantage of allowing for daily charging and thus being able to maximize the all-electric range. Because of how efficient the battery system is, the one for the plug-in hybrid can use a 120-volt outlet and recover 100% of its energy overnight.

Having a full charge means the driving experience is increased, especially under all-electric mode. It can even lower the need for on-board fuel engine. Once the C-MAX Energi is started, it will run under the charge-depletion mode in order to be able to deliver the needed electric driving range.

Should the energy in the battery ever be depleted, the system immediately shifts to the charge-sustaining hybrid mode to ensure fuel efficiency is still optimized. The same thing happens upon meeting certain conditions. The lithium-ion battery systems were developed by Ford and then assembled in-house at a facility located in Michigan.

Topics: ford, hybrid, sales, record

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