Friday, July 10, 2009

Driving the elEVen base vehicle to Cambridge

Dan and I picked-up the team's Mercury Milan Hybrid at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn yesterday morning and drove it back to Cambridge. (But not before first enjoying a nice sunny sky in Michigan. It has been unusually cloudy and raining in Boston ever since early June.)We left Dearborn around 5:00 pm yesterday evening and arrived at the EVT shop at around 9:00am this morning. We opted for the longer route, passing through Toledo, Cleveland, Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, and Springfield instead of through Canada. Plus we got to see all sorts of cool and interesting rest stops along the way!* (See example parking lots on the right.)

Driving for 16 hours straight (our only long stop was for dinner), wasn't nearly as painful as I think either of us expected. Due in part to the vehicle we got to test drive the entire way. Ford's improved hybrid system uses a e-CVT and larger, more powerful electric motors. The Milan Hybrid gets an EPA fuel economy rating of 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway and can run in EV-mode up to 47 mph. More information:

Not only is the Milan Hybrid an efficient hybrid system, it has the new Synch system, a great navigation system, and (most importantly for nerd engineers like us), an interactive and highly configurable instrument panel geared toward increasing fuel economy. You can even configure the vehicle to display fuel consumption (in L/100km) instead of fuel economy (in mpg). For information about why this is so useful see:

Here's an image of the instrument panel from

And here I am filling our car up, for possibly the last time, in Springfield, MA:

* Indicates sarcasm

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