Sunday, April 21, 2013

Vogler gets electric vehicle certification

BY SCOTT FITZGERALD, The Southern
CARBONDALE — Vogler Motor Co. has made an investment into the future that has necessitated additional specialized sales and service technician training.
Ford Motor Co. recently certified Vogler as the area’s only Ford electric vehicle dealership.
And there are electric cars within the inventory for sale -specifically the 2013 Ford Fusion Energi and the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi.
“We feel this is a direction people want to go. And it’s in keeping with Green Energy. These are plug-in hybrids,” said Vogler Sales Manager Tim Hirsch.
The dealership sold its first model slightly more than a week earlier. More mid-size models have been ordered, he said.
“They are readily available now,” Hirsch said, noting the models are priced from $35,000 up to $40,000 with full features.
It’s the cost savings in fuel economy that is the attraction point for the new electric vehicles, Hirsch said.
The mid-size Energi models are capable of 100 mpg equivalency, a standard of measurement used by the Environmental Protection Agency to compare energy consumption of alternative energy fuel vehicles with the fuel economy of conventional internal combustion vehicles expressed as miles per gallon.
The vehicles are capable of traveling up to 21 miles on a single-charge, full battery capacity option alone.
“These models have higher battery capacities than hybrids. You plug it in to get the higher surge,” Hirsch said.
A likely driving of battery and gasoline engine use translates to 44 miles per gallon in the city and 41 miles per gallon on the highway.
Charging the batteries located above the fuel line in the rear of the vehicle is relatively simple. It can be plugged into a home electric outlet to get fully charged in seven hours or with a quick charging station that can be purchased for $1,500 to $2,000, the charge time can be reduced to two hours, Hirsch said.
There is also a smart phone application that vehicle owners or drivers can use to control charging and locate charging stations if they don’t do it at home.
Mary Owens of Marion who is the first purchaser of a Ford Fusion Energi from Vogler since the vehicles arrived here this month, said she has driven 443 miles in her new car that includes a Marion to Carbondale daily roundtrip commute and a trip to Metropolis and back and she still has a half-tank of gas.
She parks her car in her garage nightly and charges it like she does her cell phone.
“I’m amazed how quiet it is,” she said about driving it. “You don’t even know if the engine is on or not.”
The new Energi models are the tip of the iceberg as to what Ford Motor Co. has in store for the future. Hirsch said Ford is introducing full electric vehicles in 2014 that will not require a drop of gasoline or oil.