Here’s an interesting fact that may just help you win a trivia challenge someday: your odds of experiencing an issue with a battery cell in a Ford hybrid are 8.5 million to 1. Those are the same odds as being struck by lightning – twice.
Ford wants consumers to know that its hybrid technology has been proven durable by years of testing, so the automaker recently published some impressive statistics. The company has built 190,000 battery packs to date, using nearly 43 million individual cells. The failure rate to date? Five cells.
Ford has put 380,000 electric motors into its 190,000 hybrid vehicles assembled to date, and the failure rate for motors is equally impressive: despite use in taxi fleets around the country, not a single electric motor has failed.
The Ford Escape Hybrid has earned a solid reputation for durability in the New York City taxi fleet, but Ford is equally proud of the Fusion Hybrid's reputation in taxi service. In San Francisco, where Ford Fusion Hybrid taxis are common, fleets rack up 80,000 to 90,000 miles per vehicle per year. Such heavy usage quickly weeds out problems and design flaws, but both the Escape Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid have exceeded expectations for durability.
Yellow Cab San Francisco general manager Jim Gillespie calls the hybrids “incredibly durable,” citing their use in stop-and-go traffic, and up and down San Francisco’s many hills, for 21 hours per day. Gillespie also praises the vehicles’ fuel economy, noting that his drivers use only one-third of the fuel they previously used.
Ford’s battery research and development will become even more critical in the near future, as Ford increases electrification across their product line. Five new electrified vehicles are set to be launched by Ford in North America by 2012, including the Focus Electric, the Transit Connect Electric, the C-MAX Hybrid and the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid.