Smart suitcase, true fuel-sipping car

The holidays are a time for travel, and long waits in terminals, and smartphones going dead while you wait.
This is very where the Carry-On and Bigger Carry-On suitcases made by Away Luggage make such good sense. The reason: Each Carry-On/Bigger Carry-On comes with a removable, 37-watt rechargeable lithium battery. (It also has an unbreakable shell, retractable handle, and four wheels for easy rolling on terminal floors.)

The Gadget Zone

The USB ports on the Carry-On’s battery (which can be accessed from the top of the suitcase) can charge any smartphone, tablet, e-book, and anything else that uses a USB-compatible cord. The battery comes with its own micro-USB cord and wall adaptor for charging. A full charge takes up to eight hours. According to Away, one battery has enough juice to charge an iPhone five times, “and an iPad more than once.”
The Away carry-on battery can be left in your suitcase, or removed for use in the aircraft cabin; all with the blessings of the FAA and other aviation regulators. (Away says that both sizes are small enough to be taken onboard airplanes.) If you check your bag, you will have to take the battery with you. Learn more at


That’s what it cost me in gasoline round-trip between Toronto and Ottawa recently, driving a 2018 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium plug-in hybrid. Normally this trip will eat up $100 of gas (or more) quite easily!
As the name suggests, the Fusion Energi comes with a plug-in 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery; one that does eat a bit of trunk space compared to the smaller 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery supplied with the hybrid model. But talk about fuel economy! The Fusion Energi test version I had was never plugged in. I just went with gas and its residual charge, which was about 60% (based on the dashboard reading).
Style-wise, the 2018 Ford Fusion Energi is a smart-looking sedan, while its handling and performance were as good as any comparable gasoline-only model. But the fuel economy! $40 Toronto-Ottawa round-trip. I thought I’d died and gone back to 1971; or whenever such a road trip cost so little. Find out more at
$40 … wow!

James Careless