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Ford Motor Co.’s updated Fusion Energi hybrid has a best-in-class range of 610 miles, a 60-mile improvement from the prior model, according to EPA estimates.

The plug-in sedan, on sale now, has an all-electric range of 21 miles, and gets an estimated 42 miles per gallon combined city and highway from its 14-gallon fuel tank.

While other plug-in hybrids have greater all-electric ranges, none top Fusion’s combined range of 610 miles, Ford says.

“Fusion Energi — with a full battery and a full tank of gas — can go from San Diego, through Los Angeles and all the way up to San Francisco, and still have up to 110 miles of range remaining,” Wade Jackson, marketing manager for Ford Fusion, said in a statement.

When driving with a full tank and full charge, the car starts out in all-electric mode for 21 miles. As the battery runs out, it will operate for about a mile using both battery and gas. After that, the gas engine kicks in for roughly 588 miles of range.

Ford engineers improved things like aerodynamics and brake drag, and added new engine oil all to help improve the efficiency.

The automaker cites a new study by Harris that shows a disconnect among plug-in hybrid owners. Only six people of 1,052 surveyed could guess the correct range of a plug-in hybrid, and 76 percent had “no idea at all” what the max range was.

Still, 40 percent said they were frustrated with their own vehicle’s range and wanted more.

“Fusion Energi gives them both the freedom to go gas-free for shorter trips and the fuel efficiency of a gas engine for longer trips,” Kevin Layden, Ford’s director of electrified powertrain engineering, said in a statement.

The updated Fusion Energi plug-in starts at $31,120 and is one of six Ford electrified vehicles, including the Fusion hybrid, C-Max hybrid, C-Max Energi, Focus Electric and Lincoln MKZ hybrid. Ford is investing $4.5 billion to add 13 new electrified vehicles to its lineup by the end of the decade.

MMartinez@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2401

Twitter.com/MikeMartinez_DN

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