Ecodriving Solutions trainers were at the recently held Go Green13 Phoenix conference in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.


For those of you that don’t know, Phoenix is striving to be the greenest city in the U.S..  The solar panels that do double duty in parking lots as sunshades for parked cars and providers of energy for the city itself are everywhere, and are testament to the 300 plus days of sunshine in Valley of the Sun as well as a true desire by the powers that be to get their city-running-power cleanly.

At this year’s conference, which is presented by the ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiative (yes, that is Rob and Melanie Walton of Walmart fame), Ford Motor Company provided free test drives in some of their new hybrids and electric cars.

The cars were there to give people an idea of how far hybrid technology has come, and how transparent an all electric car can be.  The cars also were able to dispel some of the myths surrounded just what an electric car can do.

On tap were the Ford C-Max Energi plug in hybrid, the Ford Fusion Energi plug in hybrid, and the all electric Ford Focus.

Talk about cool machines.  The Energi plug in hybrids allow you to conceivably drive without ever having to put fuel in your car again.  Plus, they take away some of the so-called “range anxiety” that some people have when driving an all electric.

Of course, how you drive the car will ultimately determine whether or not you are able to operate the C-Max or Fusion in Energi battery only mode, or if you will need to use the hybrid batter/gas engine combination.  Ecodriving techniques make a big difference here.

Driven properly, the C-Max can go up to 75 miles in all electric mode, and can reach a staggering 600 mile range with Energi, hybrid battery and gasoline engine power.

Pretty slick stuff.  Plus, there are a variety of ways to “teach” the car how and when you want it to be charged.

Again though, getting the most out of the machine is based on how you drive it.

The Focus all electric has a range of roughly 75 miles, although we were able to get closer to 95 out of the particular car that we drove.

The coolest thing about the all electric Focus, other than its real time lack of emissions (of course producing electricity to power the car in the first place leaves a carbon footprint of its own) is the fact that it doesn’t feel like an all electric car.

It feels  more like  a… Ford Focus!  Which of course, it is.

And, when you want it to, the thing scoots.

Of course while drag racing every hopped up Honda Civic and Subaru out there might get you some great street cred for having a “cool” electric car, it won’t get you very far down the road.

Which means that Ecodriving can be just as effective, if not more, in an electric car than a petrol or fuel powered vehicle.

More on that in another post.

For now, suffice it to say that Phoenix is looking clean and green these days, and Ford is looking to be the same!

Ecodriving – it works.





About Mike Speck

Lead facilitator and Master Ecodriving trainer for Ecodriving Solutions.
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