Ford Green Zone System Aims to Make Efficient Driving More Intelligent

No one can argue that plug in hybrids like the Ford Fusion are incredibly efficient cars. But, what if we told you that these cars aren’t operating at their full potential when it comes to fuel conservation? Plug-in hybrids run on an electric charge until they run out, then operate on its gas engine once the battery is depleted. In reality, it would be ideal if cars could run on electric mode in certain situations (like at lower speeds), and a car that can intelligently switch between modes based on driving conditions would save even more gas.

Vehicle batteries are more efficient when operating at slower speeds, in addition, commuters may choose to save their battery power for certain areas in their commute. In London, for example, motorists driving on battery power are exempted from the costly inner city commuter fee.

In an effort to make this kind of intelligent driving a reality, Ford has introduced its Ford Green Zone system. In its preliminary form, the driver would visit a website (or use the navigation screen), and designate on a map where the vehicle should automatically go into electric mode, if it’s able.

The system would also automatically factor in traffic conditions, the grade of the roadway, and driver behavior to determine when it’s most efficient to use battery power versus gas power.

“We’re looking at ways to make driving more efficient, intelligent and safer,” explains Joel Brush, a global account director with Here, a subsidiary of technology giant Nokia, which is providing the underlying mapping information for the Ford Green Zone system.

This kind of technology would not only benefit plug-in hybrids, but also conventional vehicles. Nokia’s mapping data is so precise that it can know when a car is approaching a hill or entering a turn, which could be used to direct headlights or change gears.

While Ford is still several years away from offering Ford Green Zone in dealerships, the automaker is confident that it will eventually offer the technology in at least some of its cars.

We look forward to Ford Green Zone making its way into our favorite cars, but until then, stop by Cambridge Classic Ford to check out our selection of hybrid cars.

Ford’s 2014 Lineup Riding High on Hybrid Technology

The Ford Motor Company has always been endlessly resourceful and creative, finding ways to put together excellent lineups that are relevant to their time. So it’s no surprise that now, in the age of the hybrid vehicle, Ford’s lineup is littered with great green vehicles, including three earth-shattering hybrids designed to combine efficiency and style for the sophisticated modern driver. Ok, it occurs to me that “earth-shattering” might not be the best descriptor for a hybrid vehicle, but trust me: the C-MAX Hybrid, Fusion Hybrid, and Fusion Energi will shatter your expectations of what an electric vehicle can do.

Let’s start with the C-MAX Hybrid, a car that destroys the notion that the bigger the car, the less efficient it must be. In fact, the C-MAX Hybrid has been named 2014’s Most Efficient Large Car by the U.S. Department of Energy, and that’s no surprise to us here at Cambridge Classic Ford. The car’s 2.0L Atkinson-cycle engine, complete with electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT), combined with a lithium-ion battery and a Regenerative Braking System, all add up to amazing fuel efficiency—which you can track using EcoGuide on the car’s LCD screen.With EPA-estimates of 45 mpg city and 40 mpg highway, as well as room to seat a total of five passengers, the C-MAX Hybrid is the perfect car for families looking for a fuel efficient alternative.

Then there are the two Fusions, the Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi. The former allows drivers to feel sporty, revving up to 85 mph without even turning on the gas. Overall, the Fusion Hybrid grabs 188 horsepower, tempting you to forget you’re driving a hybrid at all. The Fusion Energi, however, takes owners into the realm of plug-in hybrids. It can chug out 21 miles on electric power only before switching into hybrid mode. Plus, Ford will throw in a 120V convenience charge cord with your Fusion Energi; the cord will fully charge your vehicle in just 7 hours.

We’re all living in the age of the electric vehicle—and if you want to live well, you’ll be needing a new Ford. Check out one of Ford’s excellent hybrid offerings today!

Ford Adopts Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle Tech for Sustainability

Ford and Coca-Cola have partnered up to create the first-ever interior fabric made from the same renewable material that is used to produce Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle Technology packaging, a big step forward in sustainable design.

2014 Ford Fusion Energi with Coca-Cola's PlantBottle TechnologyThe result was revealed in a custom-made Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, where Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle Technology interior fabric covers seat cushions, seat backs, head restraints, door panel inserts, and headliners. This is the first time the PlantBottle Technology is used beyond packaging, and the effect is surprisingly good. The seats are quite stylish.

Coca-Cola introduced its technology in 2009 as the first-ever recyclable PET plastic bottle made partially from plants. Since then, more than 18 billion PlantBottle packages have been distributed in 28 countries, saving more than 400,000 barrels of oil in the process. If Ford were to apply the technology to the majority of its models, it would replace about four million pounds of petroleum-derived materials and save approximately 295,000 gallons of gas and 6,000 barrels of oil.

The Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid was used as an example model because it is the company’s most fuel-efficient sedan. With its EPA-rated total range of 620 miles and electric-only mode, Ford estimates that customers can save an average $6,850 in fuel costs over five years. Get one today at Cambridge Classic Ford.

Ford Finds Charging Stations for Drivers with MyFord Mobile

2013 Ford Fusion

Drivers of Ford’s all-new plug-in hybrids, have no fear! Ford has teamed up with PlugShare, an aggregator of public vehicle charging stations, to bring you up-to-date information about where you can find charging stations to fill up your battery and be on your way again. No more driving and hoping you can find a station before you run out of charge.

As a newly-available feature of Ford’s smartphone app MyFord Mobile, this useful new station finder will be compatible with the new Ford Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid vehicles. These vehicles can achieve a jaw-dropping EPA-estimated range of 620 miles on one full tank of gas and one full charge. That’s insanely good. And most people don’t even realize that the majority of these charging stations are completely free to the public. Kind of makes you want to switch over and go hybrid today, doesn’t it?

2013 Ford Fusion Energi is America’s Most Fuel-Efficient Sedan

2013 Ford Fusion EnergiThe 2013 Ford Fusion Energi is not just any hybrid plug-in vehicle, it’s the most fuel-efficient. Earlier in 2012 at the Detroit Auto Show, the Fusion was expected to reach around 100 miles per gallon equivalent. As it turns out, just a few days ago Ford announced that the official rating from the Environmental Protection Agency is higher than that – 108 miles per gallon equivalent in the city. The Fusion Energi reaches 92 MPGe on the highway, which comes out to 100 MPGe combined.

The Fusion Hybrid isn’t going easy on the competition, as it is bringing quite a bit to the table:

  • 1.6L or 2.0L EcoBoost in-line four-cylinder engine in combination with an electric motor
  • Auto Start-Stop shuts the engine off when the car stops, seamlessly restarts when brake is released
  • Interior made with 100% recyclable materials
  • Regenerative braking to reclaim kinetic energy to store in the battery
  • Intelligent AWD balances torque between front and rear wheels to maximize traction
  • SmartGauge and EcoGuide Cluster allows you to track your efficiency as vines and leaves grow on dual LCD screens next to the steering wheel

Keep an eye out for the new 2013 Ford Fusion Energi, because it’ll be here before you know it.