Ford’s New Hybrids Gaining Traction With US Fleets

Ford’s Fusion and C-MAX hybrid models are attracting new commercial buyers searching for ways to save money at the pump.

Ford said Con-way, Esurance, Quest Diagnostics and AT&T are among the latest companies to purchase Ford hybrid vehicles for their national fleets.

Many of their regional employees are said to drive more than 24,000 miles annually.

“New commercial fleet customers are turning to Ford as they look for fuel-efficient, durable vehicles that can withstand the daily use and duty cycles of their businesses,” said Jon Coleman, Ford commercial fleet sustainability and technology manager. “Ford’s Fusion Hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid give them the tools they need to get the job done, including leading EPA-estimated fuel economy, technology, great quality and durability.”

According to Ford, companies are seeing the value in replacing gas fleets with new offerings from Ford’s hybrid lineup, and the savings can be significant – cutting total operational costs by as much as 45 percent.

At the same time, hybrid vehicles typically retain higher resale values than their gas counterparts. Resale value is an important factor when companies calculate total operating costs for their business fleets.

Ford has seen rising demand for fuel-efficient vehicles, especially hybrids among fleet customers. Ford sees that these buyers are increasingly choosing Ford’s Fusion Hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid – both introduced last fall.

Fleets choose these as they look to further their sustainability efforts and reduce operating costs in their national fleets.

Con-way, a transportation and logistics services company with nearly 500 locations in North America, is adding a little pver 1,000 Fusion Hybrids to its national fleet this year. The cars are deployed with operations and sales personnel at the company’s Con-way Freight, Con-way Truckload and Menlo Worldwide Logistics operating units. Collectively, Con-way expects to save more than 1 million gallons of gas annually while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 45 percent using Fusion Hybrid as its primary fleet car.

After an extensive selection process, San Francisco-based Esurance chose 50 Fusion Hybrids for its national claims fleet to provide the latest technology, while also saving fuel and reducing carbon emissions. Esurance expects to save more than 69,000 gallons of gas over the next few years, which translates to a savings of more than $255,000, at a national average of $3.71 a gallon.

“Besides the obvious benefits of improved fuel efficiency and reduced carbon emissions, the advanced technologies in Fusion Hybrid are just as important,” said Mitch Plaat, Con-way vice president of procurement. “Ford’s technology suite – which includes lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, backup cameras, navigation system and the SYNC hands-free system – helps Con-way reduce accidents and improve highway safety for employees, their families and other motorists. The hybrids’ reduced carbon emissions also complement our sustainability mission and contribute to our efforts to be a good steward of the environment.”

Quest Diagnostics recently added 150 C-MAX Hybrids to support its national logistics requirements.

“As the leading diagnostic information services company, we maintain a significant national logistics operation for transporting millions of patient specimens each year for testing at our clinical laboratories,” said Clete Lewis, director, environmental, health and safety, Quest Diagnostics. “Given our scale, the type of vehicles in our fleet can really make a difference to the environment and our business costs. The environmentally conscious C-MAX Hybrid is much more fuel-efficient and produces less pollution than standard automobiles. It is a smart addition to our fleet because it will promote lower fuel costs while also helping us to empower better health in the communities we serve.”