Having always been around the motor trade (and Ford) from a young age I have pretty firm views on what should power a motor vehicle, or so I thought. However not wanting my prejudices to stop me from trying new things (honestly my words not Mrs Hills!) I decided a trip to Cornwall would be a good test of the Mondeo Hybrid demo we have recently added to the fleet and fully expected to find myself as a ‘fossil fuel remainer’. I thought my normal heavy right foot would indeed be more than a match for this new fangled technology. So Mrs H, Tilly the 13 year old Labrador, a bike and more than enough luggage for a month let alone a week set off down the M5.
The immediate reduction in the recorded average fuel economy convinced me I was indeed in control and would be more than a match for the Hybrid. Then a few miles in I hit on a problem. It stopped reducing and steadied and then increased. Also it seemed to pull quite eagerly despite our over ambitious loading. And another problem – my right foot became less heavy as my eyes fixed firmly on the digital display showing if I was using petrol engine or electric power. Over the coming days in Cornwall I realised I had developed an obsession too– not your usual middle aged one either such as lycra or dominoes (already ticked those off long ago) but one for driving in such a way (yes change to driving style may be required but can be refreshing) as to be on pure electric power for as long as possible. So there I was cruising at 70mph and only on electric and feeling that every inch travelled was somehow free.
Tilly, the Labrador, who normally fixes me with regular disapproving looks, even seemed at home and cut me some slack with a few wags of the tail. I’m also not normally very good with autos, my driving style apparently not always in sync with the smooth nature of such things (according to some) BUT the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) unit in the Hybrid seemed to cope pretty well with me. So having had a some driving around the local Cornish lanes and then a traffic heavy journey back up the M5 I ended up over 48mpg in a pretty loaded estate car with a bit of a neanderthal at the wheel. What’s more the car soaks up luggage along with Labradors and a bike and you don’t have to plan your route via recharging stations so no range anxiety issues.
So the moral of the story – open yourself up to new things, not only dominoes and lycra but Hybrid cars too, and book yourself a test drive in the car I’ve ever so slightly fallen for. Also I’d be more than happy to explain about the Atkinson cycle engine that helps to power the Mondeo Hybrid – but I’m sure most of you aren’t as nerdy as me and would much prefer to let the car do the talking!
Managing Director at Hills Ford