DEARBORN — With the national average price of gasoline nearing $4 a gallon, the new Ford Fusion offers yet another way for consumers to save money at the pump as the first non-hybrid midsize sedan available with Auto Start-Stop.
The fuel-saving technology will be offered for only $295, allowing more buyers to opt for the new technology and underscoring Ford’s commitment to make fuel economy affordable for millions. Similar systems in other competitive cars can cost several thousand dollars.
“We expect the average Fusion driver with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine and Auto Start-Stop will save about $1,100 more than other midsize sedan owners during five years of driving,” said Samantha Hoyt, Fusion marketing manager. “That’s cash in their pocket and time saved with fewer trips to the pump.”
Auto Start-Stop saves fuel use when the car is standing and running at idle. Savings vary depending on driving patterns, but owners who spend most time in heavy urban areas and city traffic will benefit the most – up to 10 percent. On average, Auto Start-Stop improves fuel efficiency by about 3.5 percent.
Wasting gas while we wait
A study by the United States Department of the Treasury estimates that congestion consumed an extra 1.9 billion gallons of fuel in 2011, approximately 5 percent of all the gasoline used.
Communities across America, including Denver and Ann Arbor, are considering ordinances banning excessive engine idling.
“Idling vehicles are consuming energy without doing any work,” said Birgit Sorgenfrei, Ford’s Auto Start-Stop program manager. “They’re also producing exhaust gases in a concentrated space that can contribute to air quality problems like smog.”
Studies show drivers encounter an average of 10 to 15 red lights and stop signs on a typical 20 mile commute, which can add 5 to 15 minutes of idle time and wasted gas.
Fast, seamless, no added maintenance
Ford is making Auto Start-Stop — one of the most popular features of hybrid vehicles — available with the new 1.6-liter EcoBoost-powered Fusion. When the Fusion comes to a stop, the engine can automatically switch off, consuming no gasoline and emitting no exhaust gases. As soon as the driver releases brake pedal, the engine seamlessly re-starts itself and is ready to go by the time the driver presses the accelerator pedal.
“Our team has put a lot of effort into calibrating the Auto Start-Stop on the Fusion to make it as transparent as possible to the driver and passengers,” Sorgenfrei said.
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