Five Perks of Hybrids

Hybrids and energy-efficient vehicles are the future. They’ve made huge strides in recent years in technology, form and function. In fact, there are more than 40 different hybrid models available for sale in the U.S. today.

So, have you wondered how exactly hybrids are different from their gasoline counterparts – and what makes these innovative vehicles so amazing?  Here are what we refer to as the “Five Perks of Hybrids:”

1) Hybrids have a gas engine and an electric motor (aka a “hybrid” powertrain system). The electric motor supplements the gas engine when gas isn’t as efficient, which means it uses less fuel.

Many hybrids don’t need to be plugged in to recharge the battery. However, there are a new breed of hybrids like the Ford Fusion Energi and Ford C-Max Energi that are called “Plug-in
FordEnergiPlufHybrids.” These innovative vehicles boast larger batteries and more powerful electric motors. This combination allows the car to run in all-electric mode under more circumstances and for greater distances. To charge the larger battery, it’s most efficient to plug the car into an outlet, but it still will run as a conventional hybrid when the EV (Electric Vehicle) battery is dead.

2) The “feel” and sound of a hybrid is distinctly different from a normal car. 

Hybrids are a lot quieter. This is due to the electric motor running more often than the gas engine, which cuts the engine noise down to zero. According to Matt Mocabee, Butler Internet Coordinator and Ford C-Max Energi Owner, “This makes it a lot easier to hold conversations in your car.” In regards to feel, Butler Acura Product Specialist Patrick Ormerod and Ford Fusion Owner says “It’s incredibly smooth and responsive.”

3) Hybrid braking can feel different.

With some hybrids, when you take your foot off the brake pedal, you can feel the two different brake systems working. This is called regenerative braking. For a more detailed explanation of this amazing process, click HERE.

4) Hybrid vehicles brakes can last longer.

Regenerative braking is pretty amazing. It not only helps recharge the battery, but it also slows the car and saves the brakes in the process!

5) Many hybrids sacrifice cargo space or flexibility to make room for the battery. Batteries are what we consider a perk!

Most cars aren’t engineered solely as hybrids, so manufactures had to find someplace to store the extra battery. This results in a bit of decreased storage room, but when you think of the money staying in your pocketbook and not gushing down your gas tank, it seems like more than a fair trade-off.

M-Ford-C-MAX-Energi-1The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can help you figure out the fuel economy of YOUR hybrid or the hybrid you have your eye on. They list fuel economy numbers HERE. This also calculates the estimated annual fuel cost of each car based on driving 15,000 on $3.70/gallon gas.

The fuel efficiency and resulting financial savings are huge perks and the reason why many people purchase these fantastic vehicles. The public is also becoming increasingly concerned for the health of our planet and saving valuable fossil fuel, so perhaps this is one of the most valuable “perks” of a hybrid.

Curious about a hybrid now? Want to take one for a spin? The Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi are waiting for you at Butler Ford in Ashland!

Ford to Offer Alternative-Fuel Powered F-150 This Fall

Ford is expanding its lineup of CNG/LPG-prepped vehicles, including an F-150 to be released this Fall. Compressed Natural Gas and Liquified Petroleum Gas are alternative fuel options that could significantly reduce a consumer’s fuel costs. See the press release below for details. If you have further questions call Butler Ford’s Fleet Manager Mike Cocchiara at (541) 482-2521.

Ford, the top-selling truck brand for 27 years in a row,* can lay claim to another laurel – the only automotive manufacturer to offer a CNG/LPG-prepped engine in a half-ton pickup (Ford F-150).

Beginning in the fall 2013, the 2014 Ford F-150 equipped with the standard 3.7-liter V6 engine will be available with a factory-installed CNG/LPG Gaseous-Fuel Prep Package. The package includes hardened engine intake and exhaust valves as well as upgraded pistons and piston rings so the engine can operate on compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas or gasoline through separate fuel systems.

CNG/LPG cost could be less than that of unleaded regular fuel. That is especially important for business customers and fleet owners with trucks that put on lots of miles.

In the next year, Ford will offer eight commercial vehicles with a gaseous-prep option:

  • Transit Connect Van and Wagon
  • Transit Van, Wagon, Cutaway and Chassis Cab
  • E-Series Van, Wagon, Cutaway and Stripped Chassis
  • F-Series Super Duty® Pickup and F-350 Chassis Cab
  • F-Series Super Duty Chassis Cab (F-450, F-550)
  • F-650 Medium-Duty Truck
  • F53 and F59 Stripped Chassis

*Based on CY sales by Division, 1985-2012.

Source: www.ford.com

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid ‘Road Test’

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid with Mt. Shasta in the background.

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid with Mt. Shasta in the background.

It’s a warm Monday morning and I’m staring dreamily out the window at the sunshine and wishing I were somewhere in the mountains enjoying this gorgeous day.  When it hits me… I CAN be!  I’ve been meaning to take a 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid for a road test and NOW is the perfect time to do it!

Actually, there will be two of us on this trip.  My fellow marketing employee, Justin, will test a 2013 Acura ILX Hybrid at the same time.  We will caravan up and around the Mt Ashland area stopping just long enough to snap beauty shots along the way.

We’ll ask Justin what he thought of the ILX for our Acura blog tomorrow.  For today we’ll focus on the Fusion Hybrid.  I enjoyed everything about the drive but, of course, I’m biased so I turned to Butler Ford fleet manager Mike “Coach” Cocchiara to tell the truth about the Fusion since he fell so in love with it that he bought one (full disclosure:  Coach owns a Fusion, not a Fusion Hybrid.  But the only real differences are the gas mileage – which at 47/47 city/highway is astounding, and the noise.  The Fusion is QUIET).  Here’s what else he had to say:

  • The Fusion has the best handling on any type of road.
  • It accelerates really well.
  • It’s quiet.
  • Technology in the 2013 Ford Fusion is second to none.  (To clarify, Ford Touch offers 1500+ voice commands, controls on the steering wheel, and easy access to both driver and passenger.)

That’s pretty much what I would have said, too, while also adding in superior comfort.  Hmmm, it’s still gorgeous out… maybe we need another road test, you know, just to make sure…

Kia’s Going Electric for 2014

The word is out that Kia will be offering an all electric Soul come 2014. Details are sketchy but Autocar is reporting that Kia has confirmed the existence of the Soul EV, and that the vehicle’s been spotted testing in Germany. It’s looking like the 2014 Soul will feature a few styling changes both inside and out. And Autocar’s reporting a convertible and 3-door GT model may also be offered. Stay tuned!