See the Ford Mondeo? And it’s not there: it’s a Ford Hybrid Fusion Energi, a rare plug-in hybrid from the United States. In this article you will find not only an acquaintance with the car, but also an extremely important opinion of the owner: why is all this necessary? After all, the class of plug-in hybrids is now becoming more and more popular, offering an excellent alternative to both conventional cars with internal combustion engines and electric vehicles.
Ford Fusion Energi – what is it?
The rechargeable hybrid Ford Fusion Energi is a rather large D-class sedan, the twin brother of the European Ford Mondeo (on the contrary, the Fusion appeared earlier in the USA). However, if the range of the European model Ford Mondeo until recently managed only with a conventional hybrid, then in the USA the company offers two hybrid versions of the car at once: Ford Fusion Hybrid – a conventional hybrid; The Ford Fusion Energi is a plug-in hybrid that features a large battery that can be externally charged from an outlet and can be driven exclusively on electric power.
Interestingly, the Energi series rechargeable hybrids are gradually evolving into a whole family. So, in addition to the Fusion Energi sedan, Ford also produces the C-MAX Energi minivan. And recently there was information that the name Energi will become world – i.e. all such plug-in hybrids from Ford will receive the Energi prefix to the model name and will be sold in different markets, not just the US.
But this is in the future, and in the present – while we are getting acquainted with the Ford Fusion Energi sedan.
However, under the hood, there are much more differences. So, in the rechargeable hybrid Ford Fusion Energi, a gasoline atmospheric internal combustion engine with a capacity of 142 hp is used, an electric motor with a capacity of 35 kW (48 hp) works in tandem with it; the total power of the power plant reaches 190 hp.
Both motors are linked together by a special e-CVT automatic transmission. To power the electric motor, a 7.6 kW rechargeable battery is provided, which is installed in the trunk. Which, by the way, is one of the main disadvantages of the car – the trunk volume is only 232 liters, in fact, it is cut in half. This is enough for a couple of bags and bags from the supermarket – i.e. for daily use; but we don’t have to talk about the transportation of bulky items. If you recall other rechargeable hybrids that I talked about earlier – the Volvo XC90 T8 and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – then in these cases the battery was located in the bottom of the car, and the electric motors were responsible for driving the rear wheels, realizing an all-wheel drive transmission: after all, crossovers. In the case of the Ford Fusion Energi sedan, both engines (internal combustion engine and electric) rotate the front wheels, and the location of the battery is reminiscent of the Ford Focus Electric model – i.e. Ford uses familiar layout solutions.
Inside, the Ford Fusion Energi also gives out little of its hybrid essence. However, if you know where to look, then it can be identified in an instant. For example, next to the automatic transmission lever is the EV button: the forced transfer of the hybrid to the electric vehicle mode, the maximum long-term electric driving until the battery is almost completely discharged. The next feature is a special operating mode of the central touch screen: here you can see the direction of energy flows, the operation of the hybrid power plant at the current moment, the time required to fully charge the battery. There is even a so-called. The “climate timer” is familiar from electric cars: when you can set the time of the next trip and the desired temperature, the Ford Fusion Energi hybrid will warm up or cool the interior by itself, taking power from an external power source and not consuming the traction battery.
But all the most interesting is collected before the eyes of the driver, who will remember the hybrid essence of Ford Fusion Energi at every glance at the dashboard. The centrally located speedometer takes center stage here, but small color LCDs are installed to the right and left of it, which provide a lot of useful information. The display on the right is generalized: telephone, audio system, on-board computer, navigation. Below it is a green car icon with arrows: known from electric vehicles, it means ready to drive on an electric motor. But the display on the left gives much more unique information: battery charge level and fuel level in the tank; average fuel consumption and an area in which only an electric motor can be driven; control of regeneration during braking; trip report, taking into account driving on electric traction, internal combustion engine (gasoline consumption), energy recovery distance; etc.
When driving, the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is an electric vehicle and a regular internal combustion engine at the same time. The beginning of the movement takes place with the help of an electric motor, and its power is quite enough for a leisurely urban acceleration and movement in a stream. If you need a sharp acceleration, it is enough to press the accelerator pedal harder – then the traditional internal combustion engine will automatically connect and the hybrid Ford Fusion Energi will receive a tangible acceleration impulse: after all, almost 200 hp.
The deceleration is also “hybrid”: the control system itself assesses the recuperation and tries to collect electricity during braking; there are no additional modes of deceleration and regeneration control.
Comfort and handling – plus or minus on the level of a regular Ford Mondeo. The influence of the battery in the trunk is practically not noticeable: after all, this is a large car with an initially high weight and the addition of a heavy battery in percentage ratio is not as noticeable as in a more compact and light car. For example, a rechargeable hybrid Ford Fusion Energi, taking into account the electric motor, traction battery, control electronics and wiring, weighs about 1,800 kg, and the petrol Ford Fusion with a 2-liter engine and automatic transmission has a “dry weight” of about 1,600 kg. the difference is 200 kg (or about 12%). If you want, then consider that a couple of people are sitting in the back, and there are a couple of bags in the trunk; but nothing more.
Ford Fusion Energi – why do you need it?
The answer is obvious: to combine power and economy in one vehicle. Ford Fusion owner Energi recalls his previous car: also a Ford Fusion, but with a petrol 1.5-liter turbo engine. It seems that everything was fine with him, but with a far from the most powerful and large engine, fuel consumption was constantly 9 liters per 100 km, even under the condition of a mixed driving cycle (50/50 on the highway and around the city).
And how much is the part of the “electric road”? The owner says it all depends on driving speed, acceleration and braking, even the weather. So, under ideal conditions – unhurried driving, braking (recuperation) is present, good weather – electric mileage can reach 50-60 km. On the contrary, the most negative scenario – constant high speed driving on the highway, cold weather – means an electric mileage of about 25-30 km.
It takes 2.5 hours to fully charge the battery when using a standard wall outlet. In this case, the owner of the Ford Fusion Energi lives in a private house and this is not a problem; Moreover, having bought a hybrid and being carried away by this topic, he makes sure to leave the house with a “full” battery. So we get such a modest fuel consumption. However, if you travel long distances, it is clear that after the first 30-40 km the charge in the battery will run out and you will have to continue the journey with the internal combustion engine running. In this case, the fuel consumption of the Ford Fusion Energi is comparable to that of a conventional Ford Fusion / Mondeo petrol sedan. It is only worth noting that the Ford Fusion Energi hybrid uses a 53-liter fuel tank versus 63 liters in conventional versions of the Ford Fusion / Mondeo.
All these observations are not momentary: the car has been in Ukraine for half a year, during which time it managed to drive about 20 thousand km. That in passing meant the need for maintenance. It was expected that the Ford Fusion Energi could be serviced by official dealers of the brand without any problems at all, but that was not the case. For example, the chassis is generally similar to the European Ford Mondeo, which is important given our roads – this means the possibility of quick repairs, many parts are in stock. The situation is similar with oil and oil filter: components designed for Ford Mondeo can be used. But suddenly such a “trifle” as the cabin filter and the engine air filter turned out to be different from their European counterpart – they had to bring spare parts to order. Fortunately, deliveries from the USA from specialized auto stores have already been established and it took two weeks.
To summarize the article: the power of rechargeable hybrids is that they really save fuel and money; even more – they really allow you to drive in the city only with the help of electric traction, without consuming fuel, i.e. electric car mode. At the same time, a rechargeable hybrid is devoid of the problems of an electric car if you need a long journey: you can drive a lot, then refuel and continue. The main problem with rechargeable hybrids is their complex design and high price in the end. However, the example of this Ford Fusion Energi proves that interesting and affordable options can already be found among the plug-in hybrids.