Test Spin With Ford: Part 1

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Earth911 Assistant Editor Amanda Wills traveled to Washington D.C. to test the Ford 2010 Fusion Hybrid. This is a personal account of her trip and does not necessarily express the views or opinions of Earth911 nor is it endorsed by Ford Motor Company.

Ford invited Earth911 to the launch of its new 2010 Fusion Hybrid in Washington D.C. on April 25. The car company was attempting to drive 1,000 miles on one tank of gas over the weekend. Needless to say, when I was selected to cover the event, I was a little skeptical at first.

Just to preface: My initial feelings about Ford were on the fence. When I thought of a car company that’s making strides for the environment, Ford wasn’t the first brand that immediately came to mind. I had some serious issues before diving into this assignment: Is the new Fusion Hybrid really different from the other hybrids we’re seeing on the road already?

Ford attempted to drive its 2010 Fusion Hybrid 1,000 on one tank of gas over a 43-hour period in Washington D.C. Photo: Internetautoguide.com

Ford attempted to drive its 2010 Fusion Hybrid 1,000 on one tank of gas over a 43-hour period in Washington D.C. Photo: Internetautoguide.com

So I did a little pre-departure research. Ford isn’t just the F-150 truck my grandfather had for his farm. In fact, since Bill Ford Jr. took over the company, Ford has been making substantial eco-friendly advances.

I was surprised to learn that the canvas seats in Ford’s vehicles are made out of recycled plastic bottles. The company has also started using soy foam in seat cushions, which reduces carbon emissions, uses less energy in the manufacturing process and has up to 24 percent renewable content.

As I boarded my flight to Washington D.C., I read over the plan for the weekend. I would test drive the new Fusion Hybrid around the city and learn about an eco-friendly driving method called hypermiling with expert Wayne Gerdes, the world-record breaking hypermiling champion and founder of cleanmpg.com.

This idea of hypermiling intrigued me. Could you really increase the life of your car and benefit the environment by simply driving slower? As an avid lead-foot, I was interested to see if this expert could really cure me of my speedy habits. Sure, he may be able to go 1,000 miles on a single tank of gas, but can the average driver get the same fuel economy on his or her daily commute?

In my mind, I was picturing a Smart Car, extremely small and lacking the horsepower a lot of Americans crave, and in order for this car to get this kind of fuel economy, Ford had to have cut back on a lot of other features.

Currently, I own a Honda Civic, have a 60-mile roundtrip commute to work and don’t see the point in spending an obscene amount of money for any car. So for me, the most important question was this: Yes the car is innovative and may be better for the environment, but would I really buy a Fusion Hybrid?

Check back next week for Part 2 of Amanda’s experience with the Ford Fusion Hybrid.

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