Ford's plug-in hybrids operate in electric mode 60% of the time
84% of one-way trips are of 20 miles or lessFord is gathering data on its plug-in vehicles via its MyFord Mobile app, and so far they've found that drivers of plug-in hybrids (the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi, not the Focus electric) have driven about 60% of their miles in electric-only mode. Not only that, but there's a notable improvement over the first 30 days of ownership: “The daily percent driven in electric mode continues to inch upward, suggesting drivers are using the information provided by MyFord Mobile to change how they drive and really get the most out of their vehicles,” says Joe Rork, MyFord Mobile product manager.
We're not talking about a small difference. Early in the year, as little as 4% of drive time was being spent in electric mode, and as recent as July 16, the figure was nearing 60%, according to Ford. It's not entirely clear if 60% is where things will stabilize or if it'll keep going up, but there's little doubt that new battery technology will help that ratio go up (ie. for the same driving pattern, a PHEV with a longer electric range will get more of its miles from electric-only mode).
And during the remaining 40% of the time, these plug-in hybrids still are pretty fuel efficient (like regular hybrids) and are certified AT-PZEV, so still better than most vehicles on the road (the Fusion Energi, for example, has an EPA rating of 108 MPGe).
Another interesting data point: 84% of one-way trips are of distances 20 miles or less.
So the more charging stations pop up all around, the more it'll become possible to do a trip on electricity only, charge back up, and come back on electricity without the gas engine ever firing up.