Vehicles

Hybrid Sedan Helps Operator Overcome Concerns

Posted on April 27, 2011 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

Another San Francisco Bay Area operator buys his first hybrid sedan, which is saving him $900 per month in fuel costs.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Larry Charlton thought his customers would resist his first mid-sized hybrid sedan, a 2010 Royale Ford Fusion Hybrid L, which joined his fleet full-time a few weeks ago.

After 22 years running ASPEN A-PLUS TRANSPORTATION, Charlton had only provided clients with large Lincoln Town Car sedans, SUVs, stretch limousines, and other large vehicles typical of chauffeured service in his 12-vehicle fleet, based a short distance from San Francisco International Airport.

LCT reported last week that Gary Buffo of Pure Luxury Transportation in Petaluma, Calif., BOUGHT HIS FIRST HYBRID VEHICLE.

“We’re using it quite a bit and everyone seems to like the car,” Charlton said. “I thought I’d get some resistance, but many couldn’t believe it was a Ford and a luxury car. The legroom in back is amazing. I don’t see it as a replacement for the Town Car, but as an addition to our fleet. It’s a great car.”

Charlton officially bought the Royale Fusion on March 4 from the STAR FORD LINCOLN dealership in Glendale, Calif., where Barbara Papp has been the longtime livery fleet vehicle sales manager. He said it cost about the same as a Lincoln Town Car Executive L. He had to wait several weeks for California PUC and SFO approvals before the sedan was available beyond A/D runs early this month.

The Hybrid L Fusion was built by ROYALE LIMOUSINE, a limousine coachbuilder based in Haverhill, Mass., which debuted the vehicle at the LCT Eastern Conference in October 2009. Royale made industry history by taking the Fusion and stretching it six inches, thereby creating rear-seat legroom only slightly below that of a Lincoln Town Car Executive L. Royale stretches the chassis six inches both on its FORD HYBRID L FUSION and the more luxurious Lincoln cousin, the LINCOLN HYBRID L MKZ. A non-stretched Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is officially part of the Ford Fleet Limousine & Livery Vehicles line-up.

Charlton reports that his Fusion hybrid has been averaging 38.5 miles per gallon. It uses about 200 gallons per month of regular unleaded fuel at a cost of $4.50 per gallon, the price as of today where Aspen A-Plus is based. Charlton estimates one of his Town Cars averages 400 gallons per month, resulting in a savings of about $900 per month.

About 80% of Charlton’s Fusion clients so far are corporate single-passengers, usually heading to and from area airports. “The luggage area is fine for one person,” Charlton said. “They’re not vacationers with lots of bags, just people with one carry-on for the trunk.” Charlton said the one drawback he has observed is the limited rear seat headroom for very tall passengers.

Charlton explored the idea of getting his first hybrid for several reasons, most notably possible stricter carbon emissions rules at SFO, client requests for green vehicles, and the spike in fuel prices, which has been worse in California than in most other parts of the U.S.

“With the airport talking about sanctions that may come to pass, there have been many requests from Stanford University and biotech companies for green vehicles,” Charlton said. “Then gas started going up, and if you put a pencil to it, if you use the car properly, the fuel savings can pay for the car. And with lower emissions, it was a win-win all around.”

“I’m ready for another one.”

-- Martin Romjue, LCT editor

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

What 10 Luxury Cars Are Ready To Shine In 2017?

Most of the vehicles are chauffeur-worthy, high-end sedans easily available and recognized in the industry.

Turtle Top Shuttle Ready For Workhorse Duty

Vehicle Pick Of The Week: Every fleet needs low overhead workaday vehicles that bring in steady revenues.

Continental Is The Car Lincoln Was Begged To Build

Review: The sedan's smartly tailored sheetmetal is more Bentley by way of Motown, but starting from an attainable $45,485.

Grech Motors Introduces Newly Designed 2017 F550 GM33 Bus

The new bus model boasts a sleeker design and more mechanical muscle.

Tesla Model S: The First Driverless Armored Vehicle?

The electric vehicle company is looking to break records in safety and autonomous driving capabilities.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blogs

See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - January 2017 $12.95 THE MONEY ISSUE COVER STORY: * Dashboard Helps Steer Company Finances * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close