Half Of Ford Energi Miles Drive Are Electric…Or Mostly Electric

2 years ago by Mark Kane 47

Ford plug-in electric car usage data (source: Ford via Green Car Reports)

Ford plug-in electric car usage data (source: Ford via Green Car Reports)

Ford plug-ins sales in U.S. โ€“ December 2015

Ford plug-ins sales in U.S. โ€“ December 2015

Green Car Reports recently shared usage data for Ford plug-in electric cars.

According to the slides, on average two models (Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi) cover 42 miles (nearly 68 km) electrically every day.

Total electric mileage after several years and nearly 60,000 sales, for three models (including Focus Electric) exceeds 610 million miles (980,000 km). Sounds like over 10,000 electric miles on average on the odometer.

The third and most important, or at least most interesting indicator, is share of electric miles for plug-in hybrids. Ford states 50%.

50% is significantly less than around 60% reported in 2013.

Green Car Reports discovered one more important asterisk about Ford’s electric miles* – pretty important, as it seems that Ford gathered together all-electric miles and hybrid-electric miles:

“It turns out, however, that Ford defines “electric miles” for plug-in hybrids somewhat differently than does General Motors for its two generations of Chevrolet Volt.

Ford’s definition totals both miles covered on battery energy charged from the grid and electric-only miles with the battery depleted, when the Energi model essentially operates as a conventional hybrid.”

So, we essentially don’t know how many all-electric miles were covered (without miles covered on energy recuperated from the car previously driven to a speed by the gasoline engine), other than it’s lower than 50% (probably by at least a few percent). More than one-third of the so-called electric miles comes from renewable energy sources (38.7%).

Ford plug-in electric car usage data (source: Ford via Green Car Reports)

Ford plug-in electric car usage data (source: Ford via Green Car Reports)

Source: Green Car Reports

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47 responses to "Half Of Ford Energi Miles Drive Are Electric…Or Mostly Electric"

  1. David Murray says:

    Great news when it comes to reduction of fossil fuel use. Imagine if every car could run on electric for the first 20 miles.

    However, there’s another part of me that says, well, if the battery were twice that size then I suspect most drivers would be closer to 100%.

    1. Braben says:

      And the Fusion Energi wouldn’t have any trunk space at all. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Aaron says:

        (see the Ford Focus EV…)

        1. Foo says:

          I’ve never had any problem bringing home groceries or luggage in my FFE.

          I don’t try to use my FFE for large hauling purchases from Home Depot, however.

    2. SJC says:

      Some Volt owners only buy about 100 gallons of gasoline per year. It is a trade off in price, weight, space and other issues. Even hybrids get better mileage and do not use so many batteries. A good use of resources.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        My 39-month Volt lease ends in April and I still haven’t passed 100 gallons of gas.

    3. Speculawyer says:

      “Imagine if every car could run on electric for the first 20 miles.”

      Exactly. It would be YUUUUUGE.

      “However, thereโ€™s another part of me that says, well, if the battery were twice that size then I suspect most drivers would be closer to 100%.”

      And the insane thing is that THE GOVERNMENT WOULD PAY FOR THE BIGGER BATTERY! It would literally cost nothing for Ford to have put a bigger battery into their Energi cars because the larger tax-credit they would have qualified for would have completely paid for the larger battery. But the problem is that their clunky conversions of traditional gasser/hybrids into PHEVs did not have space for the larger batteries.

    4. Mikael says:

      Twice the battery capacity would most likely just put it up to ~70% electric miles.

      So as long as not all sales are EVs it would be a lot better to put those batteries in a second car.

      But if they have spare batteries and those are really cheap then go ahead, because 70% is obviously better than 50% ๐Ÿ˜›

    5. Alpha777 says:

      Exactly.
      Self Selection Bias.
      Buyers who are primality short trip users can pick the Energi.
      But, that also RESTRICTS the market for the car.

      Ford, trying to justify this poor range showing in 2016 is pathetic.

      And the Ford Focus will bump up to 100 miles of real range, when everyone else is 150 to 200???

      What, is Ford planning to buy 4 year old batteries???

  2. Deven says:

    Half-assed as usual.

    1. Mikael says:

      And yet a billion times better than 99% of the cars sold and 99,9% of the cars on the roads.

  3. Brian says:

    This is the most frustrating part of my CMax. I’ve learned to ignore the EV miles reported on the dash. What matters to me is reducing gasoline consumption. I’m currently sitting at 72 MPGg (miles per gallon of gasoline), plus some unmeasured number of kWh from the wall. Could a Volt do better? Absolutely. But it could NOT fit my family and our stuff.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      And that is why GM absolutely needs to put the Voltec drivetrain into SUVs, minivans, pickups, etc.

      1. Alpha777 says:

        Or, the CMax Energi.

        Come on, 10 Winter Miles, Ford?
        This is OLD TECH already.
        A modern battery would get you more miles and more trunk space.

        How about some carbon fibre, say for the hood, roof and trunk.
        How about ANY IMPROVEMENT AT ALL.

      2. Nix says:

        +1

        Even just a Malibu with the Volt drivetrain would be a big step forward for GM.

    2. bro1999 says:

      Yeah, Ford didn’t program the Energis to count grid-only electric driving…..anytime the engine is switched off, it counts as an EV mile regardless of whether the electricity was from the grid or generated by the ICE.

      That’s why I can rack up 100+ EV miles on a road trip in my C-Max Energi even though I never recharge it till I get back home.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Oooh, that is interesting. They are cheating. They are counting regen miles as electric miles even though they were captured from gasoline energy. Tsk Tsk.

        1. Brian says:

          I Ford’s mind, this isn’t cheating. The miles were driven electrically, even if the energy came from gasoline. If Ford build the i3 REx, it would get 100% Electric miles!

          The really shameful part is that they convinced so many of the owners that this is what “electric miles” should mean. Head over to fordcmaxenergiforum.com and you’ll see what I mean. It’s an uphill battle (sometimes hopelessly so) trying to re-educate people.

          And the Energi cars are GOOD PHEVs. They aren’t great, but they are a lot better than a straight hybrid. And they offer different packaging than the Volt does, which helps expand the market. It’s a shame that Ford can’t be more honest about what they are selling.

          1. Alpha777 says:

            If Ford build the i3, what a great idea.

            Now, I’m crying, cause it will NEVER HAPPEN.

        2. Braben says:

          To Ford’s credit, it isn’t quite that easy to accurately keep track where the energy for an “electric mile” originally came from in a vehicle that can switch back and forth between EV and ICE mode. You can’t simply exclude all recuperated energy, because recuperation also happens when the car was previously accelerated electrically.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Yes, but it’s easy to discount all the miles run with the gas engine running, as not being electric miles. That’s how GM’s Volt measures them, and that’s getting pretty close to what the real figures would be if there was a way to measure them objectively.

            Ford is simply not being honest about how they measure “electric miles”.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Ack! I see I mis-read what the article says about how Ford measures “electric miles”.

              Ignore previous telegram! ๐Ÿ˜‰

          2. Spider-Dan says:

            It seems easy enough for GM.

            The Volt extensively tracks the fuel source for your miles. For example, if I have 5 miles of electric range remaining and I switch on Mountain Mode, the engine will start running and charge me back up to 12 miles of range. If I then switch back to Normal Mode, the car will run all-electric, but continue counting off “gas miles” until I get back to the original 5 miles of electric range remaining.

            Ford doesn’t track it that way because they have no incentive to.

            1. Braben says:

              The Energi cars have no equivalent to the Volt’s mountain mode (you cannot charge up the battery from the engine once the plugin-charge is depleted), so I don’t see what this is supposed to prove. I also don’t see why GM would have any more incentive to report correctly than Ford does.

              1. Spider-Dan says:

                It proves that prior to the Energi’s release, software already existed that could track kW in/out while under gas power or electric power, and apportion those kW to “gas miles” or “electric miles” as appropriate.

                GM has an incentive to segregate all-electric miles from gas-sourced miles because that is their primary differentiation from the competition: the Volt runs 100% electric until the battery is depleted.

                Tracking statistics in that manner is not nearly as favorable for Ford or Toyota, as the engine turns on and off based on power demand; if a PiP or Energi driver hears that the engine is not on but sees that his green odometer is still counting off gas miles instead of electric miles (e.g. if the engine was running to push the car up a hill and then coasting and regenning kW on the way down), you’re going to have confused and/or unhappy customers.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Perfect.

  4. Speculawyer says:

    Even though I am personally a pure EV guy, I think plug-in hybrids are going to be the technology that brings electrification to the masses.

    It is hard to build the cars that (fat) Americans seem to like with just batteries. SUVs, pick-ups, minivans, etc. are all too heavy and unaerodynamic to make into pure electrics at affordable prices right now. But if you use a PHEV drivetrain with a decent sized battery, you can slash people’s gasoline usage by 50% to 90%. And this study shows that even the pathetic 20 mile PHEVs can save a LOT of gasoline.

    1. Mikael says:

      Very nicely put.

    2. Brian says:

      Exactly. Converting the fleet to 100% PHEVs would have the same impact as converting 50-75% of the fleet to BEVs. Which goal is more achievable in the near term?

    3. Philip d says:

      Exactly. I’m actually amazed that Chrysler put a 16 kWh battery in the Pacifica. This would accomplish what you are talking about but I have my doubts that they will sell many. It seems that every car company is working really hard at avoiding a long range PHEV SUV/CUV.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Well, that minivan will then come with a $7500 tax-credit. So that should help sales.

        But the biggest obstacle right now is the low gas prices. People just don’t think ahead. ๐Ÿ™

  5. Mikael says:

    Awesome. Imagine how easily we could just cut half the local emissions and half the oil use without any trouble or sacrifice at all.

    Combine that with the slowly growing BEV segment that will later on take over the world and bio-fuels and the future look pretty bright.

    In 10-15 years there will be countries running all their cars on no fossil fuels (or almost no at least).

    1. Brian says:

      Actually, local emissions are cut by far more than 50%. Most of my Energi’s emissions out on the highway, and not in my neighborhood. Contrast that with my neighbors. It’s winter time here, and most people preheat their cars. So the entire neighborhood has cars idling in driveways at 7am, except for mine. In my driveway, I have a Leaf and a CMax Energi, preheating off the grid.

      1. Mikael says:

        True. ๐Ÿ™‚ Even though I meant local as in non-global you are right that it’s way more than 50% in our neighborhoods and where we walk/hang out and our children play. And even more so in the winter time.

        Good catch.

  6. Yet another hard fact proof, that the “more range needed” propaganda is purely scaremongering.
    An EV with 200 km range is the best cost choice for 90% of the people.

    1. Mikael says:

      Nah. A 200 km PHEV would do for 90%.

      A 200 km BEV on the other hand is almost useless for 90% of the people.
      A bit exaggerated but those last 10% of driving are important.

  7. blandman says:

    I drive a Ford C-Max Energi, and have a 25 mile commute, one-way. I am able to plug in at work and drive approximately 75% electric after almost 3 years. If my car had a larger battery (~50 miles range), it would be perfect.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Yeah, workplace chargers are only second in importance to home charging in order to increase the number of electric miles driven. And workplace miles can often be solar PV collected.

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Sounds like the new Volt with 53 EV miles range is perfect.

  8. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “Fordโ€™s definition [of “electric miles”] totals both miles covered on battery energy charged from the grid and electric-only miles with the battery depleted, when the Energi model essentially operates as a conventional hybrid.”

    So then, the 50% claim is completely meaningless. Might as well claim “100%” for the non-plug-in Prius.

    A raspberry for Ford.

  9. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Oops… I mis-read what the article says.

    (Miss Emily Litella voice) Nevermind!

  10. Nix says:

    These are sort of the expected first-gen results. Nothing surprising here, or even anything all that negative. It is a good start.

    Their First Generation of Energi vehicles is now 4 years old. They only started in 2012. Having a generation of cars last 4-8 years is not unusual in the automotive industry.

    In contrast, Volt sales started in late 2010, with a partial rollout of a 2nd gen in 2015, and a nationwide rollout of their second gen in 2016, nearly 6 years later.

    Would it be nice to have a Second Generation of Energi vehicles already after only 4 years? Sure. But to get real, the next generation of the Ford Focus isn’t due until 2017, a facelift of the Fusion is also due in 2017, and there are no dates for the C-MAX next generation.

    We are so used to Tesla releasing some new update to the Model S every year, that we’ve lost sight of how the rest of the automotive industry works. Major updates just don’t happen that quickly.

    1. Alpha777 says:

      Chevy incrementally improved the Volt, in every year of production.

      Ford did have a minor second revision of the CMax, electric motor got bigger.

      Ford has a redesigned CMAX available in Europe Now.
      Look at how many different models they sell in the UK, the TINY UK MARKET.

      Yet, this cheap braindead US CEO has done Nothing in the US.

      http://www.ford.co.uk/Cars

  11. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Volt is around 67% and soon to be even better with new Volt.

    Ford Energi is at 50% (counting hybrid mode E miles as well).

    What is Prius Plugin at? 15%? LOL!

    What is Toyota afraid of?

  12. james says:

    My 2013 Fusion Energi – 39,133 miles, averaging 100.8 MPGe as of this morning. It goes down in winter. ๐Ÿ™

    As of the last fill-up (12/3/15); I get gas every ~76 days on average or ~3030 miles. I’m running ~88% electric miles. Key is working 19 miles from home and charging at work.

    I think I’m doing ok… then again Austin has well over 200 EV chargers on a $25/6 month subscription, so it’s easy to stay on battery, even with such a small one. I’ve even stopped at Ford and Nissan dealers to pick up some kW.

  13. Plug-in hybrid advocate says:

    I love my new Fusion Energi (โ€™16). I prefer my roomy, solid, comfortable plug-in hybrid Fusion to the tiny, flimsy light-weights buzzing around me here in So Cal.

    Iโ€™ve driven 5,500 miles in 4 months and filled the tank 5 times (65 gallons total)โ€ฆ. โ€™nuff said. No need to parce the range/MPGโ€™s/all electric/some electric /etc ad-nauseum in an attempt to prop up your dingbat cars. I drive a very cool car and save a ton on gas.