When most people think about a hybrid, they think of a gasoline engine running with a little help from the battery through break regeneration to increase the mpg about 10% to 30%. But with the new generation of Ford hybrids, with more efficient lithium batteries and most importantly, better software to manage the battery use and efficiency, the 'outcome' when driving a hybrid, starts to look a lot like driving a plug-in hybrid or EV with a range extender.
Here is an example from FordCMAXHybridForum.com
with real world numbers that may take a minute to get your brain around. The vehicle is a 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid. The EPA is 47 City, 47 Hwy, 47 Combined. But the actual mpg for many owners can be better, and for this one owner, and owners like him, it gets much, much better.
Total Miles Driven: 833.8
Total EV Miles Driven: 660.4
Total Gasoline MPG: 64.0
Total Gallons of Fuel Used: 13.02
As you can see, the fuel efficiency of this Hybrid, is like driving an EV with a range not available yet, with over 600 mile range in EV mode, with a 170+ mile range extender that gets 64mpg, without ever having to plug it in. And it costs just $25,200.
To get anywhere close to this, it would have to be the Tesla Model S with two 300EV mile battery pack, a Focus Electric or Leaf with 7 battery packs, a Volt with 12 battery packs or the new BMW i3 with 6 battery packs.
But the C-MAX Hybrid does it with one small 1.4kWh Lithium Battery + Engine and Break Regeneration.
Clearly to achieve fuel economy like this has everything to do with how you drive the hybrid, and if your goal is better fuel effeciency. But that does not mean you have to drive slowly, but it's all about learning 'how' you drive a hybrid that can offer tremendous fuel economy, which begins to blur the concept that a plug is required to obtain the most EV range from an 'electrified' vehicle. It's about changing driving habits, that EV owners must do to get the most range from their EV anyway.
Here is a link at FordCMAXHybridForum.com
where the driver explains just how he does it, day after day, with more screen shots.
The point is that how we get to the most efficient mobility and using more electricity, may not be as we generally think. And with battery, software and hybrid advancements offered by Ford today, that allow for more efficient use of available battery power, we may need to expand our idea of what is possible in the near future.
Because it's really available Today!