Eco-driving: The Ford Fusion 1K Mile Challenge

You knew this was coming since the spork's debut -- the inevitable march of all things hybrid. And given our current feelings toward oil and gas, cars are leading the parade with many new models touting the benefits of greener, cleaner, leaner driving.

Last weekend, one such model -- the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid -- hit the road in the 1000 Mile Challenge, a four-day road test designed to show just how far one tank of gas can take an eco-driver.

I couldn't join in the test-driving fun (I was carpooling to a wedding), but I'd like to report back on some of the very nifty results. From Nicole L. of Ogilvy PR, Ford's PR agency:
After 69 straight hours of driving (Saturday- Tuesday morning) by 7 different members of the Ford team, the car managed to go an astonishing 1,445.7 miles on ONE TANK OF GAS!!!! The team averaged 81.5 mpg despite a storm and 3 nighttime drives, and NASCAR driver Carl Edwards came in after Talladega to drive the car for the official 1,000 mile mark before holding a live Twitter session (he said he’s really into social media and his FlipCam).
There are plenty of test-drive videos covered by bloggers in attendance -- check out Lynn Miller's post at OrganicMania (complete with fuel economy tips), Scott Stead's video, or Donna Childress's write-up at We Love DC. Oh, and more videos from Ford and Ogilvy too.

The question now is, are drivers finally primed to choose hybrid models and help the product reach critical mass in the struggling auto marketplace? Or are they going to take my route and ditch the car altogether in favor of a public transportation/car-sharing lifestyle? I could see it going either way ... your thoughts?