Rare Regenerative Braking - 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid Long-Term Road Test

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid Long Term Road Test

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid: Rare Regenerative Braking

December 06, 2010

Ford Fusion Hybrid Regen Display.jpg

I really like our Long-Term 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, mostly because it retains the regular Fusion's FTD factor while getting impressive fuel mileage. I am, however, surprised at the lack of regenerative braking that occurs when driving it (the symbol for which is shown above).

Basically, if you are on the brakes you get regenerative braking like any other hybrid. Yet unlike just about any other hybrid I've driven, the Fusion Hybrid doesn't activate regerative braking/charging when the car is coasting. This is basically the opposite of the Mini E, (or the Nissan Leaf, if you drive it in "Eco" mode), where every throttle lift is accompanied by noticeable regenerative braking forces. Yeah, those are pure electric vehicles, but the Prius and Volt also engage regenerative braking while coasting.

I';m going to defer to the experts in Ford's engineering department. Maybe their calculations show that the loss of forward momentum from regenerative braking (when coasting) more than negates the increase in stored battery energy (except when the driver is intentionally slowing down by applying the brakes).

But that thinking does seem in conflict with most hybrids, which will absolutely engage charging mode when I cost down a long hill.

Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor at Large

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