Carmakers: Plug-in Hybrid Performance in Line with Forecasts

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Posted: July 31, 2013 at 11:42 am

Drivers of plug-in hybrid vehicles in the U.S. are meeting forecasts for the proportion of time they travel in electric-only mode, according to carmakers.

Ford Motor Co. says operators of its C-Max MPV and Fusion Energi sedan hybrids spend about 60% of their driving time in electric mode. The company cites data collected from the MyFord mobile app.

Ford plug-ins can travel as far as 21 miles in EV mode. The company says 84% of one-way trips in the company’s plug-in vehicles are 20 miles or less.

Ford’s results are in line with General Motor Co. estimates that 78% of daily commutes are 40 miles or less. GM’s Chevrolet Volt extended-range hybrid, which has a federal fuel economy rating of 98 MPGe, has an electric-only range of 38 miles.

GM says owners who regularly recharge their Volt’s battery between trips are averaging 900 miles between fill-ups of the gasoline engine that powers the car’s on-board generator.

Toyota Motor Corp. points to anecdotal evidence of similar driving patterns for owners of its Prius plug-in cars, which can travel about 11 miles on battery power. The company says owners report they drive 30%-70% in EV mode.