How far can you go on one tank of gas? A team of drivers has driven 1445.7 miles on one tank of gas in a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, averaging a remarkable 81.5 miles per gallon on roads in the Washington DC area. Team members included CleanMPG.com’s Wayne Gerdes, NASCAR driver Carl Edwards (shown below), and four Ford engineers, Sherif Marakby, Gil Portalatin, Tom Rolewicz, and Steve Burke.
The team set out on Sunday morning with a goal of breaking the 1000 mile mark, in an effort to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The Fusion Hybrid was a standard production model, running on 87 octane gas. It was not modified for the event. After driving for 69 hours continuously, the tank finally ran dry early this morning.
Edwards was at the wheel at the 1000 mile point. He was flown up to the Washington DC area shortly after crashing out of Sunday’s Talladega NASCAR race.
In order to achieve the remarkable results, the Fusion Hybrid was driven at speeds between 20 and 45 miles per hour (MPH), with cruise control off. (The Fusion Hybrid has the ability to glide under electric power at speeds under 47 MPH.)
When asked (during a Twitter session) what special techniques he used during his high-MPG driving stint, Edwards replied, “Special Driving style today? Took off my right shoe and hardly used the brakes.”
Driving techniques used by the team included:
- Slowing down and maintaining even throttle pressure;
- Gradually accelerating and smoothly braking;
- Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles and anticipating traffic conditions;
- Coasting up to red lights and stop signs to avoid fuel waste and brake wear;
- Minimize use of heater and air conditioning to reduce the load on the engine;
- Close windows at high speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag;
- Applying the “Pulse and Glide” technique while maintaining the flow of traffic;
- Minimize excessive engine workload by using the vehicle’s kinetic forward motion to climb hills, and use downhill momentum to build speed; and
- Avoiding bumps and potholes that can reduce momentum