Friendly Ford manager is hooked on a hybrid

Friendly Ford New Car Sales Manager Eli Columbus purchased one of the first Ford hybrids in 2013 to capitalize on excellent fuel mileage produced by a 2.0-liter, 188-net horsepower Atkinson gasoline-electric power plant. The new model met the needs of the American consumer in the middle of skyrocketing fuel prices.

“We really wanted to purchase a car with good gas mileage,” said Columbus, a nine-year Las Vegas resident and Detroit native. “I had been with Friendly Ford for only about eight months when we ordered one. My wife wanted a unique color and the car was Ice Storm light blue.”

Columbus said the Ford hybrid has been an excellent vehicle. “It is economical, it’s impressive-looking and it’s so quiet you can’t tell it’s running at an idle.

“When I drive the hybrid, I try to maximize the energy in the battery. The electric motor also runs the air conditioner, so you’re not using fuel. I don’t drive anywhere near as aggressively as I would with other models.

“There’s actually a very interesting psyche involved in driving the Ford Fusion hybrid. This is one car that has plenty of acceleration with all of the benefits of a hybrid. We average more than 40 miles to the gallon.”

Also, the interior of the hybrid is attractive considering that Columbus and his wife, Leah Ervin, have two children along with his mother-in-law, so the interior room was vitally important.

“Our Hybrid has everything from great performance to great comfort and affordability,” Columbus said. “There’s something very nice about driving a vehicle that is efficient inside and out while doing your part for the environment at the same time.”

While the Columbus family loves the ’13 Ford hybrid, he adds that Ford has also done an impressive job of improving the car the past two years — and he’d buy another one in a heartbeat.

“Ford is always working to improve its models,” he said.

The 2015 Fusion Energi model plug-in hybrid has a state-of-the-art lithium battery that can be recharged by plugging into a 240-volt home charging station or 120-volt convenience charger.

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