April 22, 2009 11:44 AM

Ford NASCAR Driver Carl Edwards Part of Team Aiming to Drive 2010 Fusion Hybrid 1,000 Miles on a Single Tank of Gas This Weekend

  • The Ford Fusion Hybrid team will attempt to drive more than 1,000 miles – for more than 32 continuous hours – on a single tank of gas, raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in the process.
  • The most fuel-efficient, mid-sized sedan in America – the Fusion Hybrid – driven by a team of Ford hybrid engineers, a fuel efficiency expert and a NASCAR star, will have to achieve an average of at least 57 mpg on the challenge to reach its goal.
  • By using Eco-Driving techniques engineers have achieved 70 mpg during testing of the Ford Fusion Hybrid in preparation for the challenge.
  • Consumers can improve their own vehicle’s fuel economy performance by adopting Ford’s “Eco-Driving” tips used for the 1,000-Mile Challenge.

DEARBORN, Mich., April 21, 2009 – This weekend, the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is being put to the ultimate fuel-efficiency test.  A team of drivers, including NASCAR star Carl Edwards and world-record breaking hypermiler Wayne Gerdes, will attempt to drive more than 1,000 miles on a single tank of gas, raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in the process.

The 1,000-Mile Challenge starts at around 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 25, from Mount Vernon, Va., and ends the morning of Monday, April 27, in Washington, D.C.  The team will drive for more than 43 hours continuously to reach the 1,000-mile goal.  The drivers will do stints of between two and three hours each and will have regular breaks to ensure safe driving is maintained.  Already rated as the most fuel-efficient, mid-sized sedan in America, the Fusion Hybrid will need to average at least 57 mpg to achieve its goal.  During preliminary testing in preparation for this challenge, Ford engineers have reached as much as 70 mpg in the Fusion Hybrid by using Eco-Driving techniques.

The team will run clinics for media and customers over the weekend in the Fusion Hybrid, conducting interviews and vehicle demonstrations on how simple techniques can make a significant difference to real world fuel economy numbers.

The Fusion Hybrid being used in the challenge will be a factory produced model with no modifications or alterations and will run on regular 87 octane gas.

The team will be uploading regular images and video to YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and

Ford is taking on the 1,000-Mile Challenge for a number of reasons:

  • To demonstrate Ford’s commitment to be the best or amongst the best in fuel economy in every vehicle segment in which it competes;
  • To highlight the crucial role the driver plays in maximizing fuel economy and demonstrate how consumers can make a difference through Eco-Driving;
  • To raise awareness about Eco-Driving and how the Fusion Hybrid contributes to it with the ability to run up to 47 mph in pure electric mode; and
  • To raise awareness and funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The 1,000-Mile Challenge team comprises of:

  • Wayne Gerdes, the world-record breaking hypermiling champion and founder of;
  • Carl Edwards, the NASCAR race star who recently bought his own 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid;
  • Sherif Marakby, graduate of the University of Maryland and Ford hybrid chief engineer;
    Gil Portalatin, Ford hybrid applications manager and Ford Fusion Hybrid team leader;
  • Tom Rolewicz, one of Ford’s top calibration experts and hybrid system expert; and
  • Steve Burke, Ford product expert on hybrid applications.

The mileage-maximizing techniques that the Ford team will use and pass on to consumers include:

  • 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.

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