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Cars Chevy Volt Owner Switching To Ford Fusion Energi Rather Than BMW i3

Published on February 14th, 2014 | by Guest Contributor

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Chevy Volt Owner Switching To Ford Fusion Energi Rather Than BMW i3

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February 14th, 2014 by
 
A Chevy Volt owner recently offered an explanation to his Volt-owning colleagues (can we can you guys Volt-heads?) as to why he is moving on from the Chevy Volt, why he decided to drop his plan to get a BMW i3, and why he’s stoked about his upcoming Ford Fusion Energi. It’s a very interesting read, originally published over in the GM-Volt.com forum (minor editing below).  Check it out!

I’m sorry, but I’m leaving you.

Its been a busy month for me. Since my Volt lease is just a payment from expiration, I had placed a deposit on a BMW i3 about 4 months ago and finally got the allocation phone call, so I proceeded try to make a lease deal with the BWM salesmen. Well, that’s about as far as we got. In short, for 3 years, they want $830/month with $4500 down for 10k/year miles. Yeah Right!!!!! It’s a joke, the residual is almost 50% less than value of car.

I’m supposed to pay top dollar because it’s a BMW, yet its only worth 22k in 3 years??? I could get another volt of course. I love the volt, brag about the volt, support the volt, made many YouTube videos about the volt that have been posted here.

That said, I feel like a new volt is the same as it was 3 years ago and I don’t want to go another 3 years of Volt 1.0 . BTW Where is Volt 2.0? I also need to go a little larger, Volt 1.0 is a little tight and getting worse with kids getting bigger. Surprising, the BMW i3 was smaller on the outside, but truly much bigger on the inside. Car is very cool, it would have been great.…

(to save typing I’ve cut and pasted from the BMW FB blog I belong to)

So, after two weeks of investigation…..I’m purchasing a Ford Fusion Energi Titanium. Yes, its only rated at 21 miles on pure EV but it does get 43 MPG in all gas mode. It’s also loaded to the hilt. Everything under the sun, including auto parking, blind spot radar, cruise control “radar”, heated everything, Navigation, leather, the list goes on and on. I have every option. It is also very large and very sharp looking. I’d argue the best looking PHEV out there. MSRP is 45K.

Since I’ve owned an EV for 3 years, I think the 21 mile rating may work better than some may think. I drive about 8k miles per year. 90% of the time, I think I drive less than 20 miles per day, but when I don’t, I either come back to the house and charge or I blow the norm out of the water. Meaning, if I’m not local, I’m off to NYC and I’m putting 90 mile round trips. I’m also driving at 70 plus MPH. Therefore, I think my rated 43 MPG gas car (yes it will be less because of speed) will be pretty good and maybe better than volt.

The car is large too. I can put 5 people in it without a problem. Volt was small with only 4. Back seat was really for kids. I pondered several other EVs, the focus being one of them, but I can not risk a non REX vehicle. So, I think this is going to be my car, the only issue for some can be the very small trunk (that’s where the battery is located). For me, the wife and kids will use our Toyota Highlander hybrid for long luggage trips.

So here is the best part… LEASE OFFER New left over 2013, 0 down, 3 year, $433/month or New 2014, zero down, 3 years 487/month. That said, how can I say no to Ford?

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  • Recycledoug

    So everyone says the Volts technology is +3 years old…. What does the I3 have from a battery/ technology point have that the Volt does not? I recognize that the I3 has a 72 to 80+ battery only range, but other than the extended tether by 15 to 20 miles where is the technology improvement? Yes the I3 weighs 600-800 pounds less than a Volt, but I would be interested in knowing if BMW has done anything to move the electric drive system forward…. It seems to me that you buy one or the other depending upon your daily tethering range and not the technology of one vs. the other…. And if your only car is a Volt or an I3, the Volt wins out because you have the extended range that is truly needed to make a 300 – 600 mile trip…. Unless of course you want to stop and fill up every 80 miles with the I3…..And note tether means round trip range…. Not one way range…. Many times one does not have a plug at the turn around spot….

  • chuck

    will chey volt charger work on ford fusion energi

  • Patrick Commonsense

    I do love peoples enthusiasm for ev but sometimes people they get carried away bashing other ev’s because they think they have the best one… Dave M and Brandon. I have the Fusion Energi and it is this best car I have ever had. I traded my Jaguar xk8 in for it. I have never had the problems you speak of. I follow the energi forum any have never heard anyone speaking of the issues you complain about. Around town I achieve nearly 100% electric with the help of a level 2 charger at home. I don’t want 100% electric on it because common sense tells me I need to run that engine every so often. On road trips when I am in hybrid I always get mid 40 s average mileage. Love it so much I went and got the leaf, great around town car. Fun and easy to drive but truth be told if it was a gas car it never would have been a consideration. I am superficial when it comes to looks. Granted beauty is in the eye of the beholder but to flat out say the fusion is ugly and the volt is the best looking car out there is just plain stupid. For me the choice between the volt and fusion is easy. I would love the volt in addition to my fusion but not instead of just like volt owners could not imagine giving up there volt for a fusion. Personally I would take any ev or plug in over an ice car if it met my needs!

  • GoBlueOval

    Or how about loaded Energi Titanium for $0 down, 19 month lease, $408 payment?? Love the car, but looking for someone to take over the lease.

  • Dave M

    You are missing out on one very important point. The Energi plug in needs to start the gas engine and go through a warm up cycle each and every time the car starts cold. It then shuts down the gas engine after it warms up, and allows you to drive the 20 miles on electric. If you jump on the freeway, and put your foot into it, the gas engine kicks in right away. I just leased an Fusion Energi when the ABS HCU on my Escape Hybrid went tits up, and the dealer said 4,800 to replace it. So I leased it for my wife as she runs her own business and can write it off. It starts off exactly like the old Hybrid, with the engine running. So, it isn’t saving us any gas at all, over the old hybrid, as she is just running the kids to school, and up to the store. The engine hasn’t had a chance to warm up the majority of the time, and thus it is burning gas probably 80% of the time. I don’t know what drugs they were smoking when they rated it 43MPG as the best we have been able to get out of the car is about 35, and that is not factoring in the electric range. With my volt, I am in electric drive over 95% of the time, a 9 gallon tank of gas lasts me between 4 and 6 months, and I drive more than my wife does, but again mostly short trips of 20-30 miles.

    • C-Max plugin owner

      My 2 cents – The engine on a plugin hybrid kicks in ONLY the weather is real cold. I drive a C-Max plugin and during summer/fall, the engine never kicked in before 20-22 miles unless I floored the gas pedal. In this brutal winter weather, I did notice the engine starts first. But as soon as I hit the 2nd traffic light (1 -2 miles) the engine shuts down and battery power kicks in. Note: I always run on “EV Now” mode (I’m sure you do too). Also, the cold weather reduces the all electric range of ALL battery powered vehicles (Ford, GM, Toyota, Tesla, Nissan etc)

    • triynko

      That’s completely false. The engine does not start every time you turn the car on, even in the dead of winter. You turn the key and it’s silent, no engine. You can drive for 21+ miles (mine has shown as high as 35 on a full charge), without ever starting the engine.

      There are 3 modes: Auto, EV, and EV-Later.

      In EV mode, it uses the electric motor, so the engine will not kick on unless you floor the accelerator. Even if you’re running the AC, your battery will drain faster, but you still have to floor it to get the engine to kick on.

      EV-Later mode acts in the opposite manner, kicking the engine on when engine on when there’s a moderate load or when the AC is on.

      Auto mode is sort of in between… it will favor using the electric motor, but it seems much less shy about kicking the gas engine on under a heavy load.

      In any case, just to be clear, it can be the middle of winter, and you can drive it for many miles without even starting the engine. Once you have started the engine, however, it will favor the electric motor for a minute while the gas one is allowed to warm up… which saves some wear and tear on the engine.

  • Raul Silva

    Why would you lease? The dealer gets to keep the tax rebates!

    I bought my Volt a year ago and because of the tax rebate I could sell it today and make a profit.

    I am switching to an i3. I can sell it again in a year and break even.

    • Steve

      Used prices are adjusted to the fact that the second owner gets no rebate. There is no way you can sell a used Volt at a profit.

      • Raul Silva

        Kelly Blue Book has it at 1k over what I owe on the loan. My down payment was almost exactly the 11,500 I get back from the Feds and state.

        • Steve

          Wow, you’re not good at math. My Volt is worth $5k more than what I owe, but I paid $38k (after credit) for a car which is worth $20k now.

          Its not possible to sell a used car at a profit

          • raul silva

            You paid $38k after credit? I may not be good at math, but you are not good at buying!

            I paid $38K – $4,000 tax refund – $7500 fed credit = $26.5K

            So I paid $26.5K, blue book is $23K and I owe now about $20K

            It saves me almost as much in my monthly payment as I was spending in gas with my old car. So cost of ownership is a big fat zero.

            Sounds like I am still ahead.

          • Steve

            My car stickered at $45k new in 2012 with every option.

            You many be ahead compared to your old car, but you didn’t make a PROFIT

          • Raul Silva

            My sticker was $43 but I negotiated down to $38.

            If I have more money in my pocket than I was putting in (and with a cool new car to boost), I consider that a profit.

          • Steve

            Then you fail at math

  • sagebrushnw

    Have you taken a look at the lack of cargo space in the Fusion Energi? It doesn’t have enough room for me. (I currently drive a 2010 Fusion Hybrid that is great…no problems to this point.) My next car is going to be a Tesla Model S. You need to take it for a spin…you will come back with a Tesla grin! Talk about room for a growing family and a car that is really fun to drive. Yes, it is expensive, but when you add up all the savings…no gas, no oil changes, lower maintenance cost, leave home with a full charge every day, free for life Superchargers for cross country driving, etc.

    • Recycledoug

      Anyone have an idea on the resale value of a Model S in 3 years? And how do non-Tesla dealers take to accepting an S in trade?

  • Jim Seko

    I’m a lifelong car nut, engineer and recently converted environmentalist. I like all plugin cars. We have both a Leaf and a Volt. The Ford Fusion is a beautiful car. Notice how this guy is getting his second plugin? Once you drive electric you will be hooked too!

    • Anthony Lee

      Best point I’ve heard.

  • Chris_in_Raleigh

    Just curious… did you consider the 2014 Accord Plug-in?

    I drove the Fusion Hybrid (plug-in wasn’t available) and liked it lot (except for the lack of cargo space), but purchased a Leaf instead – about a year ago. Only 4 seats in the Volt was a deal-breaker for my car-pooling family. Very happy with the Leaf, as I still have a minivan for occasional trips out of town.

  • scott

    I am leasing a 13 volt, it is a little small and my kids are getting bigger, hoping to lease a outlander phev in 16, I fear Volt 2.0 will be too small for my family in 2016…. I really like my volt, best small car I have driven.

    • Steve

      Chevy needs to get off their ass and build the Volt MPV they teased.

  • bobbleheadguru

    Different commuters have different needs. This driver has a shorter than average commute. Chevy Volt is optimized for the majority of commuters on the other hand.

  • Infoarchitect

    I am in the same boat at the end of a 3 year lease on a 2011 Nissan LEAF. Unfortunately, the 2013 and 2014 LEAFs have the same battery/range as the 2011. I also was extremely interested in the BMW i3 and got to test drive it in the rain last weekend. The i3 is a wonderful car but at 4 times the cost of a Mitsubishi Miev or 2 to 3 times the price of a similarly spec’d LEAF, the i3 is way too much at $56,000 (w/o pano roof). Not sure what I am going to do now.

    • bobbleheadguru

      Did you test drive the Volt too?

      • Infoarchitect

        Yes. I was part of an EV study and got to test drive the Miev, Plug-in Prius, Volt, Focus, LEAF, and eGolf on the same route. All of the cars had impressive aspects but 3 years into the re-birth of the electric vehicles, I was hoping for a vehicle offering with a 120 – 150 mile battery range at a cost of $50k. Maybe I will have to check back in another 3 years.

        • bobbleheadguru

          As a Volt driver I really do not understand the need for “purists” to be 100% electric.

          If you buy an electric vehicle, there are still emissions from the electric plant and there are likely times that you will fly or rent a car because you have to go longer distances beyond what your EV can handle.

          My logic is if you can reduce your dependence on foreign oil by 80%, do you really need to get that to 100%?

          • Chris_in_Raleigh

            I looked at the Fusion, C-Max, and Volt before settling on a Leaf. They were all great cars, but I really liked the simplicity of an all electric car’s drive-train – and no engine maintenance. I just didn’t see the need to carry a gas engine around all day.

            Of course, I do still use a gas car for the occasional trip out of town.

            I just have a hybrid garage instead of hybrid cars. :-)

          • Steve

            There is next to no maintenance on a Volt engine. I’ve had one oil change in 28 months. It only needs new oil every 24 months. Things like air filters and spark plugs don’t need to be changed when you hardly ever burn gas. I used 9 gallons last year.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Curious to hear what you decide. Keep us posted. And feel free to DM me privately.

    • dynamo.joe

      Car and Driver did a review of compact electrics (last month?). The winner was the Chevy Spark EV. Can’t find a link. Anyway the gist was they concluded that of the 5 or so cars they tested the Spark was the only one that didn’t feel like it had only been produced to mollify California.

      I think they compared the Fit, Leaf, 500E (and something from Ford?) Maybe that’s something you want to check out.

  • MK

    Good decision! I also own a Ford Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid Titanium currently on a 2 year lease at about $445/month including maintenance. I paid $4000 down payment. The drive is solid and I get an average combined mileage of about 56-57 mpg (electric + gas). Gas motor alone may not give you more than 38 mpg. The biggest advantage I see on California roads is I get to use car pool lanes as a solo driver. My electricity costs have gone up by $30 per month only as I charge at super-low peak charging times (12 midnight to 6 am).
    I have not checked out BMW i3; I need to test drive one to offer my view. One thing is battery based cars do lose residual/resale value quickly as battery technology is changing at a rapid pace but still expensive to replace.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Happy to feature a review of the Fusion Energi sometime if you’d be interested in writing one. Thanks for the comment!

  • Wallace

    The lease is higher than a Volt, but I get it, you need a change. It is a better looking car, but you lose out on recognition. Most of those Fusions are cheap stripped down gas cars you can buy under $20k. No one will know that yours costs double, or that it is a plug in hybrid. You will also surely miss being able to get full power from the electric motor without having the clunky gas motor kick in. That alone is one of the great features of driving in EV mode, the instant power. From what I hear you cannot go much further than half throttle and the gas kicks in on a Fusion. We do need Volt 2.0 as soon as possible.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Good insights there.
      Seems the lack of seat space in the back was a big issue for him.
      Another vote for Volt 2.0!

    • dynamo.joe

      We have Volt 2.0, it’s a $60k Cadillac.

      • Recycledoug

        I thought the Caddy’s were closer to $75,000 before the federal rebate?

    • Burnerjack

      you lose out on recognition?! You really care or even think others care what you drive? Do you live next to the jones’s per chance?

      • Wallace

        You are talking to a car lover.

        • Burnerjack

          Not as much as I used to be, but I too am an ardent admirer of both automotive styling as well as the engineering under the skin. In almost 60 yrs, I never once thought how I might impress (or not) others. I always went for the performance envelope. Power delivery, braking, handling, all coupled with the smooth, comfortable delivery of said attributes (of course, comfort used to take a back seat in priorities (back then)). Sexy looks are nice, beauty is beauty but you can’t see it from the driver’s seat.

    • Dave M

      Yes that is correct, and if you feather the gas you can get to just over 50MPH on electric, then the gas engine kicks back in. The annoying part is the engine warm up every time you start it cold. It runs for a good 5 minutes to warm up the engine, and get the catalic converter up to operating temperature. This is probably so that the engine is ready to go if you put your foot into it. As you know the volt runs on battery, then fires the gas engine up when the battery is low, and it too runs through a warm up mode before you hear it rev up, and start producing power, but that only happens when the battery is dead, not at every cold start.
      The plug in prius does the same as the ford, it starts every time when cold too, I am told.
      Can’t wait for volt 2.0. Hope they go with the 3cyl turbo mill.
      My car is owned, not leased, so I will be keeping it till it drops, but my next car will be another volt, or an ELR.

      • Brad

        I bought a 2014 Fusion Energi in December ’13. I live in Los Angeles and typically drive less than 20 miles per day (which, admittedly, is unusual for this city). As a result, most of the time my whole day is powered exclusively by EV. There is an “EV Now” setting that lets you drive solely on EV power, even if you punch the accelerator. You have to try to drive faster than, I believe, 85MPH before the gas/hybrid engine kicks in to get you up to that speed while in “EV Now” mode.
        Even in “EV Auto” mode, I typically only invoke the gas engine when i’m accelerating up a freeway onramp or something.
        My overall MPG rating so far is 847. Of course that doesn’t factor in the cost of electricity used to charge the battery.
        But the claim that you can only drive 50MPH or drive with a light foot in EV mode in the Fusion Energi is untrue.

    • Brandon

      It is absolutely not a better looking car you are out of your mind. The Volt is one of the best looking cars on the road.

      Both those ford fusions suck. You cant even drive on pure electric the stupid engine comes on and you hear the exhaust. The car literally has the same trunk space as my Smart Car Lol. The Volt is the second best “electric” car other than the obvious Tesla Model S.

      You are making a terrible choice trading it for a knock off aston martin with a horrible technological system. Fusion sucks. Volt is the best.

      • Wallace

        You are right in a way. My Volt in Cyber Gray looks awesome. I have the polished wheel option and with a little chrome on the car it all ties in well. The Fusion and the Volt are kind of like apples and oranges. Both look good in their own way. I would never trade my Volt for a Fusion or any other car.

        • A Real Libertarian

          “I would never trade my Volt for a Fusion or any other car.”

          How about a Model S?

          • Wallace

            Let me think… Ok:) Not gonna happen anytime soon, unfortunately.

      • Brad

        The Fusion Energi can be driven in “all EV” mode such that the gas engine doesn’t kick in until you go above c. 85MPH. There are 3 modes. EV Now, EV Auto and EV Later. EV Now allows you to drive in all EV mode under normal driving conditions. EV Auto will alternate between gas/hybrid and EV motor based on need.
        I’ve owned the Energi for 2 months and it’s great. I personally think it’s a very attractive car. I had a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid before this and I much prefer the design, comfort and features of the Energi. Don’t be so harsh. The Volt is cool too. Both great cars.

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