The 2 techniques I've decided are required to get the EPA mileage.
Pulse and Glide
The trick to increasing mileage as much as possible is to be in EV mode. I was attempting to stay in EV mode as I was accelerating from stops or slow traffic by babying the gas pedal. What I've discovered is if you accelerate to your desired speed quickly (hopefully the speed limit ) and then totally let up on the gas EV will kick in. Immediately after EV kicks in resume pushing on the gas peddle being careful not to engage the gas engine again. I then glide as long as I can in EV mode. I repeat this process whenever necessary.
Brake Early and Long
The brake system does a good job of recharging the battery. The trick here is to use it as often as possible. I have been breaking much earlier, steadier, and for as long of a time as I could.
Before I was at best getting just about 40 MPG.
Using the new technique I drove to the dealership from my house this afternoon in mixed traffic (hills, freeway and stop lights). I was easily keeping up with the traffic. I actually was accelerating to the speed limit faster than those behind me. I think the CVT allows for some pretty quick takeoffs. I averaged over 50 MPG for the 26 mile trip.
I then had two small trips to pick up some pies for a church social tonight, stopped at church to drop them off, and then came back home. For the small trips (about 10 miles total) I was 47 - 50 MPG.
I am going to track now for the next week and will report back. The great thing is Ford has produced an interface that allows me to see what is happening under the hood and that trains me to drive more efficiently. The capability is there in the car I just need to learn how to take advantage of it.
There are other challenges I see coming. For one living in Minnesota means the gas engine will need to kick in just to keep the car warm. This will undoubtedly impact mileage. Also snow packed slippery roads won't help. I am glad we've had a few warm days and I was able to easily make the EPA estimates with proper driving techniques. I am feeling much better about the car and driving in the right lane.
Edited by nsteblay, 22 November 2012 - 11:53 AM.