Ford Plug-In Hybrid Sales Outperform in 2016, Especially The Fusion Energi

4 months ago by Mark Kane 29

Ford Fusion Energi

Recently Ford sent us a note boasting that its plug-in hybrid sales in 2016 grew strongly, despite historically low fuel prices “that typically minimize enthusiasm for ultra-fuel-efficient vehicles”.

The 2017 Ford C-Max Energi in new “SE” trim gets a slightly refreshed look for North America

Last year Ford delivered 23,895 Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi models.  That result translates to a 38% gain from the 17,341 moved in 2015, and just bests the overall average gains of the plug-in market in the US (which was up 37% – check our monthly scorecard for all the data here).

Specifically, the  newly updated/lightly refreshed Fusion Energi was received well, improving on 2015’s sales by 63%, up from 9,750 to 15,938.

Ford notes that New York sales of the Fusion Energi were exceptionally strong in 2016, more than doubling (103%).

“Surging sales indicate drivers in New York and California are coming to discover an affordable electrified vehicle with room for five. Ford’s plug-in hybrid midsize sedan, Fusion Energi, saw an impressive 63 percent increase in sales last year, despite historically low fuel prices that typically minimize enthusiasm for ultra-fuel-efficient vehicles.

The importance of Fusion to Ford, especially on the coasts, cannot be overestimated. Sales of Fusion Energi have more than doubled in greater New York, with retail performance up 104 percent in 2016. New York ranks as the third best-selling region for the car, behind only Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Ford ended 2016 with a record 17 percent share of the electrified vehicle market, up 3 points over 2015. Toyota, which lost about 3 points, now stands at 53 percent, down from 56 percent. This comes despite Toyota having launched a new Prius model last year.”

By 2020 Ford intends to electrify 13 models. One of them will be all-electric SUV with at least 300 miles range and plug-in hybrid Transit Custom (Europe only).

“In January, Ford underscored its $4.5 billion investment to electrification, and this surge in Fusion Energi sales is just the latest example of the company’s commitment to have 13 electrified vehicles in its product portfolio by 2020. These include a fully electric SUV with anticipated range of at least 300 miles for North America, Europe and Asia, and a Transit Custom plug-in hybrid for customers in Europe.

Ford’s electrification strategy is focused on its strengths – electrifying the most popular, high-volume products in the lineup, including trucks, SUVs, performance cars and commercial vehicles to make them even more efficient, capable, productive and fun to drive.”

Ford Fusion Energi sales in U.S. – December 2016

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29 responses to "Ford Plug-In Hybrid Sales Outperform in 2016, Especially The Fusion Energi"

  1. speculawyer says:

    Not bad for a conversion with limited trunk space.

    We really need better PHEVs! Volt remains the gold standard. We NEED SUVs!

    1. Rich says:

      +100
      We need better PHEVs at affordable prices, including SUVs.

  2. PHEVfan says:

    Meanwhile they have been letting the Focus EV die a slow and painful death. Sales of that were severely DOWN in 2016 (-43%), but of course they didn’t point that out.

    1. Texas FFE says:

      I’m not sure what the deal is with the FFE but I don’t think Ford is giving it a slow death, at least not right now. There is about six months inventory of the 2016 models. Ford is probably trying to get 2016 inventories down before they introduce the 2017 models but I’m just guessing.

      I think a better strategy would be to heavily discount the 2016 models and get the much better 2017 models on the lots to get people in. Then people who don’t to pay for the longer range and faster charging of the 2017 can buy the 2016s. If Ford is worried about losing money on the 2016s I would have to ask how much money is Ford losing by not selling the 2017 models which are bound to be much more popula?

  3. Kevin Cowgill says:

    Give me a !@#%?! $99/month & low downpayment lease on the 2017 Focus EV
    and then we’ll talk.

    More BS from Ford!

  4. Nix says:

    I keep hearing that PHEV’s must have 50 miles of range, yet Ford keeps quietly selling tons of these PHEV’s with half that range.

    Heck, everybody wants more. That’s what “more” means. If we’ve got something, people always want “more”. I get it. But Ford keeps proving that size isn’t all that matters.

    1. CLIVE says:

      They’d sell more if it had more.

      1. JayTee says:

        Except that it would cost more. Sometimes more is less.

        1. Ziv says:

          Jay, the thing is that the FFEn really needs an increase in the pack capacity of around 3 kWh. That would boost the EPA AER from 22 up to around 31 miles and that would transform the FFEn from a marginally short legged PHEV into a reasonably good PHEV with decent range and an excellent interior.
          Increasing from 7.6 kWh to 10.6 would fundamentally change how the Ford Fusion Energi is perceived and would increase the electric miles to gas miles ratio by a great deal. And it probably won’t happen.

          1. Ziv says:

            And a 3 kWh increase would probably cost less than $1200, which is pretty reasonable for a 40% increase in AER.

            1. Wayne says:

              The trouble is they are fitting this to a regular car. Where would they put the extra 1/3 batteries, have you opened the trunk on the ffe? Yikes.

              1. Keith says:

                Yes, the trunk is the same size as a mini Cooper trunk at 8 cu ft. The catch is the mini back seats fold down to expand cargo space to 60 plus cu ft where as the FF energie has a battery wall behind the folding back seats which prevents cargo expansion (no pass through). The Volt has more trunk space, more range, more torque and just as fun to drive. I have driven all three.

              2. james says:

                Owning one, I will tell you…

                I have 14 gallon GAS tank, I don’t need 700 miles of range. I’ll trade you 2-3 gallons of gas tank for battery and maybe let me have a little trunk space back too.

                The 2017 updates were all software (in theory they could give/sell me them too). If GM can get 40-50 miles in a smaller Volt, I’d think Ford could get the Fusion into the 30 mile range. There is space there.

                It looks like they just stuck the battery into the truck, high fived, and went out and got drunk for a job well done.

    2. Tom says:

      The Fusion and the C-Max energi are going to have huge years in 2017. Ford introduced different trim levels that are $4000 or better less. Similarly Prius Prime is going to sell like crazy for the same reason. After govt tax credit all 3 are the same price as the regular hybrid and even cheaper in places like California. There’s no reason to buy a regular Prius at all. Additionally the old Prius plugin sold in quite large volumes and was only limited by Toyota really even with very limited range. There will be good numbers of all 3 this year. The improved pricing and refresh on the Fords never happened until the 2017 models rolled out right at the end of the year.

      1. Codyozz says:

        Tom, I want to agree with you on your assumption that sales for the energi twins will be “huge this year,” but this platform is getting waaaay long in tooth… it’s been out since 2012, and it’s 2017… I own a Fusion and I can tell you this car has many short comings. Honestly I really dislike this car, and based on this experience, I’ll probably never buy another Fusion. I like Ford overall, but not this loose, flimsy, bad shifting, noisy, tub of steel. Don’t like the seats, doors, squeaky trunk lid, motor, trans, and fuel economy.
        I hear the energi is better than my hybrid, but some of that is and will be the same.
        I bought the car, cuz I liked the size, price and the promise of good fuel economy but I regret every day and I’m counting the days til a Bolt hits my island.
        But seriously, it’s a nice sized car, and given a redesign I think sales should hit another level. I agree with others that the range is sufficient, and mostly I think that’s because consumers have their choice in range.
        But to me, the problem with a smaller battery, it means your acceleration is limited due to voltage potential so these 20 mile Hybrid won’t ever feel fast, cuz they can’t. Motor and battery are somewhat tied to each other. That’s why the biggest battery Tesla is the fastest.

        1. Tom says:

          It would appear your information is both out of date and off base. The PHEV version uses different motors and an entirely different setup so has significantly different performance. Additionally it has been refreshed/updated significantly for 2017 improving not necessarily range by much but overall efficiency as well as performance. I don’t know how old your Fusion is but in 2013 it was put on a completely different platform (European). My 2015 is as tight, quiet, and smooth as the Audi it replaced. Now I’d like to punch the guy that designed the infotainment thing but that’s different. My kids’ first reaction was ‘it’s like riding in a limo’ because sitting in the back was so roomy, smooth, and quiet.

        2. james says:

          Bad shifting? We have a CVT… there is no shifting.

          Although I pop into and out of low all the time as it only a regen setting.

    3. David Murray says:

      It’s true… And 21 miles of range is “enough” in many cases. It’s actually better than some other PHEVs out there, although not many. But like others have said, the car would sell a lot better if it had 30 or better yet 40 miles of range.

      1. Tom says:

        These ranges reflect batteries obviously but not just in cost and weight alone. They reflect the limits of the structure of the vehicle while still balancing performance. A Volt was purpose built for it whereas the Fusion is not. It’s just a big dead weight in an ordinary vehicle and there’s only so much you can add in that equation before things start getting ‘off’ in structural support, handling, etc. Give it one more generation.

  5. Texas FFE says:

    The 2017 Focus Electric is still not available, they are not even in production. Ford is definitely playing a waiting game on electrification. I would love to see a real BEV SUV but we haven’t even seen a prototype yet so it it won’t go into production until at least 2020.

  6. Just_Chris says:

    TAG LINE:

    “Ford showing us half assed is better than no assed since 2012”

    For goodness sake, just put the battery under the driver and passenger seats / foot well area and get on with building more phev and Bev models. I find fords ev progress almost a frustrating as Nissans. If they’d just pull their finger out we could have a whole range of energi hybrids by now everything from fiesta to ranger could be on the road by now. It’s like they are in a foot dragging race with Toyota.

  7. Texas FFE says:

    Just a word about why I bought my 2015 Fusion Energi. I used to have a 2011 Fusion Hybrid that my wife and I really liked but it was averaging less than 40 mpg and I was always getting frustrated with the single mile of electric only range. I was so frustrated that I was actually considering getting one of those battery upgrades that added about 10 miles of electric only range to the Fusion Hybrid.

    When the Fusion Energi came out with an electric only range of 20 miles, an EPA rating of 87 mpg PLUS was available with adaptive cruise control we couldn’t resist. When we first got the Fusion Energi my wife used to fight over who got to drive it so much that I had to buy a used Focus Electric to satisfy my desire to drive electric only. The Fusion Energi and the Focus Electric are both fantastic cars but it’s too bad Ford let the market get away from them with faster charging and longer range.

    1. Keith says:

      My 2013 Ford Fusion had a smooth ride and got over 75 mpge lifetime avg. It was very quiet. Had adaptive cruise control, cross traffic alert and blind spot warning and lane departure warning. It was great because other car was a subaru outback.

      1. Keith says:

        I am referring to Fusion Energi PHEV.

  8. Eco says:

    FWD only … not for me 🙁

  9. pjwood1 says:

    Ford is a model player, at spending less and still satisfying their customers. They don’t exist to impress NGO’s, IEV readers or to befriend regulators. The marketing is top notch, as part of the product itself. The successful forms, like Fusion, are so much so that they give leeway on not following through with more function. Just give the customer a little more, maybe 9 or 10 KWh instead of 6 or 7. The customer can’t miss what they never had. They’ve nailed it.

  10. jdbob says:

    When new, an Energi will have about 5.4kWh available before it goes to hybrid mode. With many people reporting 4.4kWh or less after a few years I wonder if anyone will find it profitable to sell refurbished battery/charger modules with more capacity. They started selling those cars in 2012, it should be possible to put 10kWh in the same space by now.

  11. BartV83 says:

    All I can think looking at that picture “That’s why driver side is a terrible choice for a plug” … especially on European narrow roads (not only Paris or Italy, just about every Belgian city has a couple of those too)
    Front (like zoe/leaf/soul/…) still seems best to me..
    Sorry for the offtopic 😉

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