Ford Canada unveils new energy-efficient cars
Ford Canada recently unveiled some of its newest line of energy efficient vehicles during the final leg of its Power of Choice Tour at the Allstream Centre in Toronto.
The tour, which took place on May 31 in Toronto, has seen Ford representatives crisscross Canada showcasing the options drivers have in today’s hybrid, electric, and turbocharged vehicle marketplace.
“This is one of the last stops on the Power of Choice Tour. We started out in Vancouver and have been visiting markets across the country with our fleet of vehicles including EcoBoost engines, standard hybrid, and now our all new fully electric/battery electric Focus,” said Rhonda Belluso of Ford’s public affairs team.
“What we want to be able to show is that, depending on what your lifestyle dictates, there is a fuel efficient vehicle for you to drive here with Ford.”
During the event members of the media and other interested parties were provided information on the new vehicles and given the opportunity to test-drive them.
Among the vehicles on display was the 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid.
Utilizing a gasoline engine at high speeds and electric battery at lower speeds the 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid has been described as ideal for people whose routines involve both city and highway driving.
Ford boasts the 2012 Fusion can operate up to 75 kilometres in pure electric mode, approximately twice as fast as some competitors.
They also said the city driving range on a single tank of gas for this vehicle is more than 1,200 km and that when the vehicle brakes, 90 per cent of the kinetic energy is captured by the regenerative braking system and stored in the battery for later use.
The 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid is currently available at the starting price of $16,999.
Also on display was the New Ford Fusion, which Ford representatives said is the first sedan to offer gasoline, hybrid and plug-in-hybrid powertrains.
“The plug-ins are really cool because what they are is the best of both worlds. It’s not quite an all-electric, but it’s also not quite a hybrid meaning you can charge it at home, but at the same time there’s a motor that kicks in when you run out of battery power,” said Mark van Tol, Ford communications manager.
“This means there is no range anxiety. You can go as far as you want with that car because you will always have gas to fill it up with. The great thing is if you go for a short trip you don’t even have to use gas. So you get a lot better fuel economy.”
Tol said the New Ford Fusion will be available at the end of the year — pricing quotes are not currently available.
While the hybrids drew much attention at the event, they were not the only attraction with the gasoline-free 2012 Focus Electric also turning some heads.
“It’s a pure electric vehicle, which means there’s no gas in it. It also means you don’t have to worry about changing the oil. It’s very low on maintenance costs,” said Tol.
“Some people get range anxiety. Our range is roughly 160 km per charge, but the really cool thing about our Focus Electric is that our charging times are twice as fast as our closest competitor. You can charge that car in about three and a half hours, which is something no other manufacturer has right now.”
Tol said the 2012 Focus Electric would be available for sale in a few weeks starting at $41,199.
Not all the vehicles presented at the event were hybrids or electric — the 2013 Ford Escape (SUV) and its 1.6 and two-litre EcoBoost engines made an appearance.
“EcoBoost technology is really something we want to focus on because even though electrified vehicles are really the rage right now, a lot of people are still driving gasoline engines,” said Tol.
“With EcoBoost, you shoot the fuel directly into your cylinder head and there’s turbocharging so you are compressing the air into the engine, which makes the vehicle a lot more fuel efficient.”
Tol said an EcoBoost engine yields up to 20 per cent improved fuel economy and up to 15 per cent less CO2 emissions.
Tol said the Ford Escape would be available in a few weeks starting at $21,499.
None of the vehicles mentioned will be assembled at the Oakville Ford Assembly Plant.
In addition to showcasing their latest energy efficient vehicles, Ford representatives also provided information on how drivers can conserve fuel and protect the environment.
Some of these tips included:
• Travel at a constant speed when possible — pumping the accelerator sends more fuel into the engine
• Accelerate and brake smoothly — accelerating smoothly from a stop and braking softly conserves fuel
• No idling — today’s engines don’t need a warm-up. Start the car immediately and gently drive away
• Check your tires — keeping tires properly inflated can reduce the average amount of fuel use by three-four per cent