Setting a world record a gasoline fueled midsized sedan, the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid traveled 1,445.7 miles on a single tank of gas on Tuesday, April 28, 2009.
Traveling between 20 and 45 mph depending on traffic to take advantage of the car's capability to operate in electric-only mode up to 47 mph and foregoing cruise control to maximize fuel economy, a team of seven eco-drivers set out from Mount Vernon, Va. on Saturday at 8:15 a.m. ET with a goal of reaching 1,000 miles on their 17-gallon tank.
The team included Nascar driver Carl Edwards, high mileage trailblazer Wayne Gerdes and several Ford Motor Company engineers who took turns at the wheel, twittering their progress along the way.
The 1,000 mile target was easily reached at 9:07 a.m. EDT on April 27. Edwards reportedly took them past this milestone with an average fuel economy of 76.3 mpg, according to a post on Twitter.
With fuel still in the tank, the team continued driving into the night to see just how far the Fusion Hybrid could go.
At 5:43 a.m. EDT, the group announced their results on Twitter, "Its all over!!! The Fusion Hybrid did 1,445.7 miles on ONE tank of gas! Average f/e of 81.5mpg! What a team - what a car!! #Hybrid1000 ^JW"
Not too shabby for a midsize car rated at 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway by the EPA.
The Fusion Hybrid is equipped with Ford's SmartGauge with EcoGuide, an instrument display that visually demonstrates how fuel efficient you are driving. However, the team employed other fuel economy maximizing techniques, such as:
- Slowing down and maintaining even throttle pressure
- Gradually accelerating and smoothly braking
- Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles and anticipating traffic conditions
- Coasting up to red lights and stop signs to avoid fuel waste and brake wear
- Minimize use of heater and air conditioning to reduce the load on the engine
- Close windows at high speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag
- Applying the "Pulse and Glide" technique while maintaining the flow of traffic
- Minimize excessive engine workload by using the vehicle's kinetic forward motion to climb hills, and use downhill momentum to build speed
- Avoiding bumps and potholes that can reduce momentum
The car used in this test was a standard 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid without any special modifications. The car was driven continuously for 69 hours, and this Ford video clip on You Tube shows the final moments of the car as it runs out of gas on the George Washington Parkway in Washington, D.C.