Ford Expects Higher Hybrid Sales in 2009

By dancurranjr On December 31st, 2009

Ford Motor Co. said today that it is on track to sell more hybrid vehicles in 2009 than it ever has before.

Through November, Ford said has sold nearly 31,000 hybrid vehicles, or 67% more than it sold last year in the United States while total industry sales have declined 11%.

Ford’s hybrid sales increase is primarily driven by the spring introduction Ford Fusion Hybrid midsize car.

Through November, Ford sold 13,998 Fusion hybrids, according to Autodata Corp.

However, Ford still has a long way to go before it catches hybrid market leader Toyota Motor Corp. Through November, Toyota has sold 127,907 Priuses, according to Autodata Corp.

Ford also introduced the Mercury Milan hybrid midsize car earlier this year and sells hybrid versions of its Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs.


Gas-Electric Car Sales Expected to Rise in ’10

By dancurranjr On December 15th, 2009

nissan-ultima-hybridSales of fuel-efficient gas-electric hybrids are expected to rise next year, outpacing the U.S. auto market’s overall growth, according to a new forecast.

Automotive research firm predicted U.S. auto sales would recover modestly next year, to 11.5 million cars and light trucks from an estimated 10.3 million this year.

Its forecasters expect hybrids to outperform the market, even though they cost more, on average, than comparable gas-powered models.

Hybrids are expected to increase their share of the market to 3.2 percent in 2010 from around 2.8 percent this year, according to Edmunds. It expects the market share for hybrids to grow by about half a percentage point a year for the foreseeable future.

The share of diesel-powered light vehicles is expected to dip next year to 2.1 percent, from 2.2 percent this year, reflecting a reduction in the availability of diesel models due to more stringent emission rules coming into force.

The high point in the past decade for diesels was in 2006, when they accounted for 4.1 percent of total sales.

Pure electric vehicles will hit the market next year but will account for less than 1 percent of total sales, Edmunds estimated.

On the basis of past alternative-fuel trends, early adopters will snap up zero-emission electric cars right away, “but it will take some time before significant market share builds for the segment,” said Zhenwei Zhou, Edmunds’ senior statistician.

A poll conducted last month by Kelley Blue Book, the car pricing specialist, found that diesels topped the list of alternative technologies that consumers would consider.

Asked what type of alternative-fuel or alternative-powertrain vehicle they would be most likely to buy, 34 percent of respondents said diesel, 31 percent said hybrid, 21 percent replied electric, and 8 percent said compressed natural gas.

KBB said demand for hybrids and other fuel-efficient models would be underpinned next year by rising gasoline prices.

Consumers have several new hybrids to choose from, including gas-electric versions of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, Toyota’s redesigned Prius, a premium Lexus HS 250h and an all-new Insight from Honda Motor Co.


2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid Offers Good MPG and Fair Price

By dancurranjr On May 15th, 2009

2010mercury-milanFord Motor Company introduces the 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid which delivers up to 41 miles per gallon. The vehicle is a midsize sedan which can also operate on electric power with speeds up to 47 MPH without using a drop of gasoline. The automobile features an innovative dual-LCD SmartGauge cluster with EcoGuide which provides a four-level display to help you improve fuel efficiency.

One of the nice things about this Mercury car is that it is capable of driving more than 700 miles on one tank of fuel. The propulsion system is also equipped with a combination with a permanent magnet electric motor powered by a nickel-metal hydride (NiMN) battery. The engine is a 2.5L Atkinson-Cycle which runs on 4-cycliners.

The combined power rating is 191-net horsepower which features late intake valve closing (LIVC) and advancements in processor technology for seamless transitions from gas to electric operation. The Mercury automobile can also be equipped with a standard 3.0L Duratec 24-vavle V6 engine. It can use either gasoline or E85 alternative fuel that reduces carbon emissions.

SmartGauge With EcoGuide

SmartGauge with EcoGuide can help extend mileage on a tank of gas. It features an innovative LCD gauge cluster with colorful graphics and provides you with performance-related information on the Milan. There are four different levels of information which include:

  • Inform: Adds fuel level and battery-charge status
  • Enlighten: Adds electric vehicle mode indicator and tachometer
  • Engage: Adds engine output power and battery output power
  • Empower: Adds power to wheels, engine pull-up threshold and accessory power consumption

Nickel-Metal-Hydrive Battery Pack

The battery is a 275-volt nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) pack which transfers power to the electric motor. This propels the Milan car up to 47 miles per hour. In fact, that’s the highest possible speed of any hybrid vehicle in the electric mode. Ford also offers 8-year/100,000-mile limited warranty.

The hybrid vehicle also has Regenerative Braking which helps to recharge the battery pack. For example, when you apply the brakes in a conventional vehicle, the energy is lost due to friction. During braking in the Milan, the electric motor captures 94 percent of this energy that is normally lost and sends it back to the battery pack to be stored for later use.

Milan also handles the roadway using Ford’s new Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD) technology. If the roadway is gravel or web, the Intelligent AWD can help provide proper traction. The AWD features are automatic and will respond instantly depending on road conditions.

The quality of the ride is responsive and smooth. The Mercury Milan has a double-wishbone independent front suspension with a stabilizer bar, a design commonly found in top-of-the-line sports and luxury cars. The flexibility of the multi-link independent rear suspension is designed to deliver excellent ride quality and handling capability.


Mercury Milan at