Mike Stevens | Apr 23, 2009

In these times of heightened environmental awareness, fuel economy is the big-ticket item for car makers and the better their figures look, the better the public perception.

With this in mind, Ford North America is aiming to travel 1609 kilometres (1000 miles) on a single tank of juice in its new mid-size Fusion Hybrid in the USA.

To accomplish this lofty goal, Ford's team will need an average fuel consumption just 4.13 l/100km (57mpg). Luckily for the team, trials have shown the Fusion Hybrid capable of achieving 3.36 l/100km (70mpg), so there's a better than even chance of Ford pulling this one off.

2010-ford-fusion-hybrid-rear

Along for the drive will be NASCAR driver Carl Edwards and hypermile specialist Wayne Gerdes, as well as a collection of Ford engineers and hybrid experts.

The trip has two goals: to prove how small changes to driving style can have a big effect on fuel economy and to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.

The Fusion Hybrid being used for the trip will be a completely standard car, pulled straight from the assembly line. Before setting off, the tank will be filled to the brim with nothing more than standard 87 octane unleaded.

2010-ford-fusion-hybrid-dash

To ensure the car stays within its fuel usage target, the drivers will use ‘mileage-maximizing’ techniques such as gradual acceleration and smooth braking, coasting where possible to save fuel and avoid brake wear, minimising usage of the heater and air conditioner and keeping the windows closed at high speeds.

The journey will start in Mount Vernon, Virginia on Saturday April 25 and finish in Washington DC by Monday the 27th. Drivers will drive for around two to three hours a piece and rest in between to ensure safe driving.

The trip should be completed in around 43 hours.

2010-ford-fusion-hybrid-engine

Along the way Ford will be posting updates on YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter. For more information, check the press release below.

PRESS RELEASE:

Ford Team Aims To Drive 2010 Fusion Hybrid 1,000 Miles on a Single Tank of Gas

• The Ford Fusion Hybrid team will attempt to drive more than 1,000 miles for more than 43 continuous hours - on a single tank of gas, raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in the process

• The most fuel-efficient, mid-sized sedan in America - the Fusion Hybrid driven by a team of Ford hybrid engineers, a fuel efficiency expert and a NASCAR star, will have to achieve an average of at least 57 mpg on the challenge to reach its goal

• By using Eco-Driving techniques engineers have achieved 70 mpg during testing of the Ford Fusion Hybrid in preparation for the challenge

• Consumers can improve their own vehicle's fuel economy performance is by adopting Ford's "Eco-Driving" tips used for the 1,000-Mile Challenge

DEARBORN, Mich., April 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- This weekend, the 2010 Ford (NYSE: F) Fusion Hybrid is being put to the ultimate fuel-efficiency test. A team of drivers, including NASCAR star Carl Edwards and world-record breaking hypermiler Wayne Gerdes, will attempt to drive more than 1,000 miles on a single tank of gas, raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in the process.

The 1,000-Mile Challenge starts at around 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 25, from Mount Vernon, Va., and ends the morning of Monday, April 27, in Washington, D.C. The team will drive for more than 43 hours continuously to reach the 1,000-mile goal. The drivers will do stints of between two and three hours each and will have regular breaks to ensure safe driving is maintained. Already rated as the most fuel-efficient, mid-sized sedan in America, the Fusion Hybrid will need to average at least 57 mpg to achieve its goal. During preliminary testing in preparation for this challenge, Ford engineers have reached as much as 70 mpg in the Fusion Hybrid by using Eco-Driving techniques.

The team will run clinics for media and customers over the weekend in the Fusion Hybrid, conducting interviews and vehicle demonstrations on how simple techniques can make a significant difference to real world fuel economy numbers.

The Fusion Hybrid being used in the challenge will be a factory produced model with no modifications or alterations and will run on regular 87 octane gas.

The team will be uploading regular images and video to YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/fordstory), Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fordmotorcompany), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/people/Kristopher-Spencer/1228149870), Twitter (http://twitter.com/Ford), and www.media.ford.com.

Ford is taking on the 1,000-Mile Challenge for a number of reasons:

• To demonstrate Ford's commitment to be the best or amongst the best in fuel economy in every vehicle segment in which it competes;

• To highlight the crucial role the driver plays in maximizing fuel economy and demonstrate how consumers can make a difference through Eco-Driving;

• To raise awareness about Eco-Driving and how the Fusion Hybrid contributes to it with the ability to run up to 47 mph in pure electric mode; and

• To raise awareness and funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

The 1,000-Mile Challenge team comprises of:

• Wayne Gerdes, the world-record breaking hypermiling champion and founder of www.cleanmpg.com;

• Carl Edwards, the NASCAR race star who recently bought his own 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid;

• Sherif Marakby, graduate of Maryland University and Ford hybrid chief engineer;

• Gil Portalatin, Ford hybrid applications manager and Ford Fusion Hybrid team leader;

• Tom Rolewicz, one of Ford's top calibration experts and hybrid system expert; and

• Steve Burke, Ford product expert on hybrid applications

The mileage-maximizing techniques that the Ford team will use and pass on to consumers include:

• Slowing down and maintaining even throttle pressure;

• Gradually accelerating and smoothly braking;

• Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles and anticipating traffic conditions;

• Coasting up to red lights and stop signs to avoid fuel waste and brake wear;

• Minimize use of heater and air conditioning to reduce the load on the engine;

• Close windows at high speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag;

• Applying the "Pulse and Glide" technique while maintaining the flow of traffic;

• Minimize excessive engine workload by using the vehicle's kinetic forward motion to climb hills, and use downhill momentum to build speed; and

• Avoiding bumps and potholes that can reduce momentum

Click here (http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=28946) for more Eco-Driving tips

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 213,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's wholly owned brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com

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