Staring down the barrel of a lawsuit contesting the accuracy of a 47-mpg fuel economy rating claim for its C-MAX and Fusion hybrids, Ford now may be less inclined to highlight ratings of the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions of those cars.
But Ford has yet to post on its consumer Web site the EPA’s combined (city/highway) rating for gasoline only for the PHEV Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi.
However, on fueleconomy.gov the federal government has given both vehicles – each using the company’s 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle inline four-cylinder plug-in hybrid engine – a rating of 44 city/41 highway/43 combined miles per gallon (mpg).
Equally notable is the projected driving range of up to 21 miles for electricity plus gas.
A notation by fueleconomy.gov for the C-MAX Energi’s Driving Range rating says that the C-MAX tested didn’t use any gasoline for the first 21 miles. The notation also cautions the site’s users that individual driving methods may result in the car using both electricity and gasoline during the first 21 miles following a full battery charge.
This caveat about driving style impacting the vehicles’ fuel economy is effectively what Ford has been saying all along in response to the attention the Fusion and C-MAX hybrids received for apparently not getting 47 mpg combined when Consumer Reports magazine first reported its findings.
The C-MAX and Fusion plug-in hybrid models received an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 100 Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPGe) late last year.
According to the Detroit Free Press Ford has said that the cars’ greater horsepower compared to competitive brands allows drivers to drive for fun, or drivers can operate the vehicles conservatively and achieve EPA mileage claims.
The EPA-rated 43 mpg combined for the Fusion PHEV bests the Chevy Volt’s rating of 37 mpg combined, yet is short of the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid that achieved 50 mpg combined.
The Volt, touted as an extended-range electric vehicle by Chevy, has significantly better all-electric range at 38 miles compared to both Fords (21 miles), and the Prius Plug-in that manages just 11 miles from electricity plus gas.
Soon to enter the PHEV fuel economy fray is Honda’s 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid.
Although fueleconomy.gov hasn’t listed the PHEV Accord, Honda is quietly publishing on the car’s microsite that it has received an EPA-rated 47 city/46 highway/46 combined mpg for gas only.
The Accord Plug-in Hybrid, EPA-rated for 115 MPGe, is currently only available in California and New York state.
Credit to InsideEVs.com for first finding the EPA ratings for the Fusion Energi.