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You’ve heard the term many times. You know it’s good on gas, and you know it’s good for the environment. But how does it all work? When does a Hybrid use gas and when does it use electricity? First, lets talk about what makes a Hybrid, a Hybrid.
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The Ford C-Max gets 40 mpg and can hit 115 mph just using the battery!

Ford’s Hybrid 2016 lineup includes the C-Max, Focus, and Fusion. So they have a gas engine and lithium ion battery. Both use different forms of energy to power the vehicle. But the cool thing is that the two power sources work together to use the least amount of fuel as possible.

So how do the two work together? What else goes into a hybrid? There’s a couple things that our vehicles do to use less fuel:

Electric Motor Drive/Assist: What this means is that the battery helps the engine. Fairly simple to understand. The battery helps power the engine when it climbs up hills, accelerates, basically anytime the engine is under a lot of stress, the battery kicks in a helps out to reduce the amount of fuel used. Where a Hybrid really excels is when you drive at slow speeds. That’s when the gas engines are the least efficient and you burn more gas city driving as opposed to highway driving. At slow speeds, the battery takes over the vehicle and powers it at slow speeds. This would be perfect for the downtown driver!

Regenerative Braking: You think the battery wouldn’t last very long. But that’s not the case. The battery has a very long life, and the car actually charges it by itself. When you brake, you create friction and energy between the brake and wheel. Well a Hybrid takes that energy and brings it back to the battery. So just by stopping, you’re charging your battery! The C-Max actually has a “Brake Coach” to help you get the most energy out of your braking. The guy in the video below sounds like he knows more about this than me, so check it out if you’d like the full scoop.

Automatic Start/Stop: The most logical way to save gas is to turn your vehicle off. If it’s not running, you’re not using any gas. Imagine if you did that every time you were at a stop sign or a red light. That would get annoying. Well a Hybrid does that by itself! You think the sound and rev of the engine would get annoying. But believe me when I say this, you CANNOT hear the engine when it stops and starts. When you start the C-Max, the only way you know it’s on is that the brake eases up. It’s pretty incredible actually, and an ingenious way to save fuel.

Active Grille Shutters: This one’s pretty cool. The grille funnels air into the engine to cool it. But a engine that’s too cool won’t run as well as one that’s room temperature. The C-Max’s shutters actually open and close to allow less/more air into the engine so that it’s running at it’s optimal temperature, and to make the car more aerodynamic. Just the simplest thing you never would have thought of can change how much fuel a car uses

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I don’t understand aerodynamics, but this simple addition makes so much sense

Smartgauge with Ecoguide: You know the basics of driving efficiently. Don’t go pedal to the floor, avoid stops and starts, that kind of thing. Well Ford developed it’s Smartgauge with Ecoguide to coach you how to be a more efficient driver!

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On the left, you can change your display to a bunch of different options. You can have your brake coach help you brake, you can view your battery’s power, you can also view tutorials on how to be a more efficient driver. As you become more efficient, the leaves on the right will turn to vines and will become more dense as you become an expert. A way of your car saying “great job on saving the planet!”

These are just a few ways how Ford’s Hybrid vehicles help save on gas. If you’d like to know more about our Hybrid vehicles, or would like to take one for a test drive, come visit us! Our staff would be more than happy to fit you into the perfect Hybrid vehicle.

 

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