Click above for high-res gallery of the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Good news for those looking to get into a new fuel efficient midsize sedan: Ford's 2010 Fusion Hybrid has been tested by the EPA and its 41 mpg city and 36 highway entitle it to the maximum $3,400 tax credit allowed for hybrid vehicles by the federal government. The current set of tax credits are calculated based on the fuel efficiency improvement of a particular model versus what it and its competitors achieve with their non-hybridized powertrains. In standard four cylinder guise, the Fusion still manages a very respectable 23 city and 34 highway, again proving that hybrids make their largest efficiency improvements in city driving conditions.

If you want to benefit from the full tax credit, we'd advise you to act quickly. As buyers of Toyota and Honda hybrids have already found out, once an automaker has sold 60,000 hybrid units, the tax credit is slowly phased out. Ford reached its total allotment late last year, so you've got until the end of March before the credit is halved.

Related GalleryFirst Drive: 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

[Source: Ford]


PRESS RELEASE:

2010 FORD FUSION HYBRID QUALIFIES BUYERS FOR HIGHEST AVAILABLE FEDERAL TAX CREDIT – $3,400

DEARBORN, MICH., Jan. 28, 2009 – Customers eager to purchase America's most fuel-efficient mid-size sedans, the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid, can take advantage of a $3,400 tax credit from the federal government.

Buyers of a new 2010 Fusion Hybrid or Mercury Milan Hybrid this year will qualify for the $3,400 tax credit, the highest credit amount ever offered for hybrids purchased or placed in service after Dec. 31, 2005. The Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrid, the most fuel-efficient SUVs in America, continue to qualify for a $3,000 tax credit, the highest available tax credit of all hybrids on the road today.

Fusion Hybrid's class-leading 41 mpg rating in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which tops the Toyota Camry Hybrid by 8 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway, helped Fusion garner the significant credit amount, which is based on a vehicle's potential fuel efficiency. Stacked together, Fusion's fuel savings and tax incentive can help significantly offset the premium to the customer for hybrid-electric technology over a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle.

"Hybrids are an important part of our strategy to deliver the best or among the best fuel economy with all of our new products, and the Fusion and Milan Hybrids have set the pace for the company, as well as our competitors," said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. "We're glad to see our government help promote these advanced, clean fuel-efficient vehicles to the consumer."

Technological innovation, like the development of Ford's hybrid systems, is a core value as the company drives for leadership in quality, safety, fuel efficiency and in-car connectivity. A new study this week by The Patent Board™ – the world's leading patent analyst – found that Ford outperformed all other automakers in the quality and significance of its technology patents. The 2010 Fusion, Milan and their respective hybrid models set new standards for technology innovation with 119 U.S. patents.

Hybrid Hot Sheet
To deliver 700-plus miles on a single tank of gas, Fusion Hybrid travels up to 47 miles per hour in pure electric mode, faster than the Camry and all other hybrids currently on the road. In addition, the system's Intake Variable Cam Timing (i-VCT) allows the hybrid to more seamlessly transition from gas to electric mode and vice-versa, delivering a near imperceptible hybrid driving experience to the customer.

Other advanced hybrid systems that contribute to Fusion's fuel-economy leadership include:
• A smaller, lighter nickel-metal hydride battery, which produces 20 percent more power than Ford's previous hybrid system.
• An enhanced electronic throttle control, which reduces airflow on shutdowns, reducing fueling needs on restarts.
• A regenerative brake system that recovers and stores nearly 94 percent of energy normally lost through friction in braking.

The 2010 Fusion Hybrid also debuts Ford's SmartGauge with EcoGuide, a unique instrument cluster that helps coach drivers on how to optimize the fuel efficiency of their vehicles.

Ford's Growing Hybrid Fleet
The 2010 Fusion and Milan Hybrids join the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrids, doubling the company's hybrid product offerings and volume.

The 2009 Escape and Mariner Hybrid FWD models qualify for a $3,000 tax credit; 4WD models $1,950. Owners of previous model-year Escape and Mariner hybrid models may also qualify for varying credit amounts from $1,950 to $3,000. The credit is only available to the original purchaser of a new, qualifying vehicle.

Tax Credit Update
Customers who purchase a Ford or Mercury brand hybrid by March 31, 2009 will remain eligible for the full tax credit amounts. Beginning April 1, 2009 customers who purchase a hybrid will only be able to claim a partial tax credit as described in the table above.

Since Ford Motor Company reached the 60,000 vehicle threshold in the 4th quarter of 2008, the tax credit amounts are reduced by 50 percent beginning in the second quarter of 2009 and by an additional 25 percent beginning in the fourth quarter of 2009. No tax credit amount is available for hybrids after March 31, 2010.