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Ford’s plug-in Energi luxurious, comfortable, efficient

With a battery brimming with juice and a full tank of gas, the Fusion Energi is capable of a 1,000-km journey before restocking.

I was looking forward to driving Ford’s new plug-in Fusion, termed the Energi; and I wasn’t disappointed when I did. The Fusion Energi is the latest powertrain available in the Fusion lineup, and easily the most fuel-efficient.

A plug for Ford

Ford refers to their renaissance of new engines and related technologies as the ‘Power of Choice.’ The concept is simple, though I doubt the execution is: offer customers a broad selection of power plants — from cutting-edge hybrids and turbocharged mills to more plebeian apparatus — and allow them to select an arrangement that meets their needs and pocketbook. For the record, the new plug-in hybrid powertrain in the Energi is the fifth powertrain available in the 2013 Fusion. And so you ask, how does it differ from conventional hybrid technology, and why should I care?

Let’s start with the latter: 108 eMPG is why you should care. That’s the city-driving Mile per Gallon gas-equivalent, which drops to 92 eMPG on the highway. How’s this calculated? It’s based on the assumption that a gallon of gasoline and 33 kilowatt-hours of battery juice dispense equal quantities of raw power. In government testing, the Fusion Energi travelled 108 city-replicated miles on 33 kilowatt-hours of electrical energy.

In more basic parlance, zero gas is burned when the Energi is operating solely on battery power, and once the battery depletes, the Energi begins sipping gas just as it would if it were Ford’s conventional hybrid Fusion. And that’s the fundamental difference between the Fusion Hybrid and the Fusion Energi.

When fully charged via 120 or 240 volts, which takes approximately 2.5 hours and 7.5 hours respectively, the Energi will reward its driver with 30-something kilometres of gas-free operation before engaging its full hybrid technology, which includes activating a 2.0-litre DOHC four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gas engine for a combined output of 188 horsepower.

Filling the Energi’s gas tank and peaking its battery gives it a combined range of 1,000 or so kilometres.

Living with a plug, or not
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