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Green Fleet Roundup: Ford, Mack, BYD, GM and Pecan Street

Ford has announced that its C-MAX Energi car will become what it calls “America’s most affordable plug-in hybrid” when it goes on the market this fall. The car will cost $29,995 after a federal tax credit, making it less expensive that the Prius plug-in hybrid, the automaker says. The vehicle is projected to deliver 550 miles of total range, including more than 20 miles in electric-only mode – more than triple the electric-only range of the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid under EPA testing methods, Ford says.

Staying with the Detroit giant, the new Ford Fusion will be the first non-hybrid to feature the carmaker’s Auto Start-Stop battery, according to Green Car Congress. The 12V Auto Start-Stop battery can increase real-world fuel efficiency by 3.5 percent, Ford says.

Chinese bus firm BYD is to supply up to 500 of its GreenCity buses for service in Uraguay. Companies CTS and Buquebus will run the buses, which are able to run 155 miles on a single charge in urban conditions, with an energy consumption of less than 130 kWh per 62 miles. The BYD buses have been in service in four Chinese cities, Shenzhen, Changsha, Shaoguan and Xi’an, accumulating over 3.4 million miles by the end of April 2012. The first BYD electric buses will arrive in Uruguay before the end of 2012, with the target of over 500 running by 2015.

The City of Pomona, Calif., recently purchased 22 natural gas-powered Mack TerraPro Low Entry vehicles (pictured) for use in its refuse collection fleet. The Mack TerraPro models are expected to be delivered in September.

BMW’s 7 Series ActiveHybrid 7 L will cost $10,700 more than the base, conventionally powered 740i, according to Autoblog. The hybrid will start at $84,895 compared to the 740i’s base price of $74,195. BMW says that the hybrid is 14 percent more efficient than its gas-guzzling cousin but has yet to release any efficiency figures, the web site says.

OnStar and General Motors are partnering in a sustainable residential community demonstration to learn about real-world driving and charging patterns. Last September, Chevrolet made 100 Volts available for purchase on a priority basis to residents participating in Pecan Street Inc.’s smart home demonstration project in Austin, Texas. One of the first demonstrations will marry home energy consumption data and the Volt’s vehicle consumption to optimize whole-home energy cost and efficiency, GM says.

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