You see them all over the place. Maybe you’ve even taken one to a hotel or the airport. Those black Towncars may be going away, and their replacement may be a little greener. “Cities like Boston, New York, Chicago, they’re all focusing in on trying to eliminate emissions,” says Steve Edelmann, Director of Sales at Royale Limo. With the consumer versions of the Lincoln Towncar possibly being discontinued, the limo industry was in search of something to take it’s place. Enter, the Hybrid Ford Fusion. A good looking car, but how does it replace the much larger Town Car? It takes some work. The regular sized cars stop at Royale Limousine in Haverhill, where they are split in half and stretched apart. Then they are stripped down to the frame, and stretched an extra six inches for extra legroom, the cars are re-assembled and the new Fusion is ready for the road.
In fact, the Fusion Hybrid-L sedan, as its called now, was a perfect match for one of Boston’s largest transportation companies, Commonwealth Worldwide Transportation. “We purchased 21 of them,” says Dawson Rutter, President of Commonwealth Worldwide Transportation. It’s an investment, but the payoff and benefits for the environment are huge. “The cost of the vehicle is slightly higher than a Lincoln Towncar. It’s about 8% more than a Lincoln Towncar,” Rutter says, but estimates that the company will see a cost savings in fuel that will recoup the higher upfront cost, within a year and a half or so. “Stopping at red lights, the Lincoln Towncar’s running, the Fusion is not. Stopping at the hotel to drop someone off, the Fusion is not running, the Lincoln is. So that idle time is a bonus benefit on top of the 37 to 40 miles per gallon,” Rutter says.
But the Fusion still looks like a much smaller car than its predecessor. That doesn’t seem to stop it from fulfilling its obligation to discerning clients, “the only real sacrifice is in the trunk space, and from what our chauffers are telling us, they can put almost as much luggage in the trunk of the Fusion as they can in the trunk of a Lincoln Towncar,” Rutter says. Seems that the big shoes left behind by the Towncar, are capably being filled. “This vehicle has had nothing but good reviews from our customers! They love it! They love the interior space, and they love that they can make an impact on the environment by having one of these cars take them back and forth to the airport,” Rutter says.
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You know those cars you see with license plates that say "LIVERY" at the bottom? They're usually black; probably a Lincoln Towncar. Chances are, there's an executive riding in the back heading to a hotel or to the airport. Or maybe you've taken one yourself. It's high-end taxi service – limousine service. And it's about to change.
The Lincoln Towncar is being discontinued soon and this has the transportation industry scrambling to find a car to fill its shoes. And what would be more of a perfect fit, than the Ford Fushion? (yeah, I said the same thing.)
I guess first, we should understand just how a limousine becomes a limousine. See, I always thought that Lincoln made their own limos. Not so at all! Turns out the Lincoln Towncar is purchased as a normal car by another company that strips it down to its frame and actually cuts the car in half, adding more frame to the middle and effectively stretching the car into a limo! Very cool to watch. Even cooler that one such company exists right here in New England... Haverhill, to be exact. Royale Limousine has been turning Lincoln Towncars into limos for years and now, they're doing the same thing to the Ford Fushion, stretching the car 6-inches and providing a very comfortable ride with just as much legroom as the Lincoln Towncar. But here's where it gets really neat: the Ford Fushion is a hybrid vehicle that's getting well over 30 mpg. And because it's a hybrid, the cars aren't idling for extended periods of time while awaiting their next passenger, saving more fuel and reducing the already choking emissions in high-traffic areas like airports and hotel fronts.
Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, headquartered in Boston, recently purchased 21 of these Ford Fushion Hybrid L-Series Sedans from Royale Limousine. President and Founder of Commonwealth, Dawson Rutter, has received nothing but rave reviews about the new Fushions and uses them often. Rutter also states that his company has gone a step further into this green movement by partnering with a compant called Green Ride Global (www.greenrideglobal.com), based in Toronto. Green Ride Global monitors and reports on emissions from their partners and helps transportation companies reduce their emissions. With the help of Green Ride Global, Commonwealth hopes to reduce their emissions over the next few years. Green Ride Global will also produce reports for anyone who rides with Commonwealth, helping other companies that use transportation see their carbon footprint.
All in all, it sounds like a win-win combination. And having sat in the back of one of these limos, I can tell you that there is plenty of legroom. According to Royale Limousine and Dawson Rutter, the trunk space is minutely smaller, but can still easily accommodate any client. It is important to note, however, that these limos aren't the big stretched limos you'd take to, say, a wedding or prom. Those limos remain the same... for now.