The title of “green leader” is important for different types of buyers. There are environmentalists who want to save the planet, and those just looking to save money on gas. As prices go up, sales of smaller cars and hybrids have gone up. Toyota was recognized as an early leader in hybrids.
With the Prius, Toyota made a concerted effort for this position. In recent years though, Ford has risen through a relentless focus on fuel efficiency that includes hybrids and the EcoBoost line-up of gas engines. With the C-Max and Fusion Energi, Ford has expanded its hybrid offerings to include plug-ins. The C-Max is a dedicated hybrid vehicle.
However, Ford has mainly focused on introducing hybrid drivetrains for mainstream products such as the Fusion. So far, it has worked out quite well for them on the sales front. A few days ago the Environmental Protection Agency released its figures for the 2013 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. They are quite impressive, with the car garnering a 108 MPGe rating, besting the previous top-scoring Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid by 5 MPGe. This rating is good enough to crown the Fusion Energi America’s most fuel-efficient sedan status.
Ford estimates that the Fusion Energi will save its owner $6850 in fuel costs compared with an average new vehicle over the course of five years. Along with the EPA figures, Ford announced that it will sell over 19,000 hybrid or electric vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2012, making it the best quarter for the company so far. The 19,000 vehicle figure breaks Fords previous record by over 50%. With the C-MAX just spooling up (and already becoming the industry’s fastest selling hybrid) Ford is looking to an even better 2013. Ford ranks number one in fuel economy customer satisfaction by J.D Power and Associates. In addition, with three vehicles over the 100 MPGe barrier, it bests former segment leader Toyota. To Ford, we say great work. Now we’ll just have to see how those alleged mileage misrepresentation lawsuits pan out……