Last week when we were in Alexandria, Virginia for the Ford Fusion Hybrid “1000 Miles On A Tank” event, we had the opportunity to sit down with two people who were very important to the event.
First was Sherif Marakby. Sherif is the Chief Engineer for Global Core Hybrid and Propulsion System Engineering for Ford. He not only quarterbacks much of the development for the Ford hybrid systems, he also drove over 10 hours as part of the team in the event. Sherif stated that there were many reasons for not only doing the event, but doing it in the shadow of the nations capital. Ford were out to make a statement that (a) they ARE a different kind of car company and (b) that CAN compete with the worlds best on the world stage.
Ford took a car off the dealership floor and with no other special prep than inflating the tires a bit higher than than normal and removing all the stuff from the trunk, they went for it. There was some neutral coasting, but no key off moments. He also stated that the metric of how long they could go solely on battery wasn’t a major issue for them.
Have a look at the video portion of our interview:
Next we spoke with Wayne Gerdes. Wayne is a legend in the hypermiling community and was brought in by Ford to lead the team for this event. He spent time with all the team members training them in his way of driving to maximize milage, and drive them to reach for a higher goal than even they had looked to achieve.
Here is the video portion of our interview:
After 10+ years of interviewing people you think I would learn my lesson, but I’m sorry to say that after we stopped rolling the video portion of the interview we spent twenty minutes more talking with Wayne, getting to know him, and I didn’t record any of it! DOH!!!!
It turns out that Wayne is a big proponent of modern clean diesel technology, even though he “made his bones” with the hybrids. Wayne is a hardcore enthusiast, just in a different manner than we would normally associate that term with car people. He is as hard core as the guy who drive a high 8 second street strip car with a .750+” solid roller cam on the street. It takes a special kind of person to do that since many times it’s not the most comfortable ride, but you are doing it to prove a point.
You can find out more about Wayne, his adventures and his cause at www.cleanmpg.com