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2013 Ford Fusion Energi Test Drive And Review: Plug It In And Go

Ford’s Fusion got a total makeover for 2013, based on the popular European Mondeo. Four unique powertrains have been available for the four-door sedan: a 2.5-liter Duratec inline four-cylinder; a 1.6-liter EcoBoost; a 2.0-liter EcoBoost; and a gas-electric hybrid. Now, Ford has unveiled the Fusion Energi, a plug-in hybrid that can run in EV mode for up to 21 miles on a charge.

Photo (c) Jason Fogelson

The 2013 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium starts at $40,200 ($41,790 as tested, including destination and delivery), a price tag that can currently be offset by a Federal tax credit of $3,751. Several states, including California, Utah and Pennsylvania, offer State tax credits as well, and others offer exemption from insurance surcharges, sales tax and other benefits for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. (You can see a map of State and Federal incentives at the Plug In America web site.)

Photo (c) Jason Fogelson

The Energi is identical to the Fusion and Fusion Hybrid, with the exception of subtle badging and wheels. Ford developed a unique set of 17″ painted aluminum wheels for the Energi, designed to be stylish and aerodynamic at the same time, and shod with tires with very low rolling resistance. The big open mouth grille recalls Aston Martin designs of recent years — that’s a compliment, Ford. Fusion is a looker from front to back.

The Fusion Energi differs from the Fusion Hybrid in a few ways. Most significantly, the Energi gets a different kind of lithium ion battery pack that is designed for quick power delivery and recharging. It also gets three EV modes, accessible via a center console-mounted button: EV Now; EV Auto; and EV Later. Push the button your desired mode is displayed on the instrument panel. EV Now forces the Energi to operate on battery power alone. EV Later conserves battery power, using the internal combustion engine to propel the vehicle. EV Auto uses the car’s computers to switch from battery to ICE to a mix of both for the best guess of efficiency. Claimed EV range is 21 miles. Like fuel economy, EV range is a guess. If you’re easy on the throttle, if you turn off all of the vehicle’s accessories and don’t use the climate control, you might be able to stretch your EV range beyond the estimate. If you’ve got a heavy right foot and you like to run everything at full, you will not travel as far on electricity.


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