Ford Escape Hybrid - hybrid cars
When it was released in the US in 2005, the Ford Escape Hybrid was unique. At the time the American market was not overly concerned with fuel consumption as petrol was even cheaper than mineral water. Over the last few years, as fuel prices state-side have escalated, so has the search for alternatives – and the Ford Escape Hybrid stood strong as a solution to satisfy Americans’ passion for 4x4s with a new interest in fuel economy and environmental credentials.
History of the Ford Escape Hybrid
The Ford Escape SUV originally entered the North American market in 2001 and sold in Europe as the Ford Maverick. It was a joint development between Ford and Mazda, with Ford owning a controlling interest in the group. It was larger than similar SUV offerings from Honda and Toyota with an all-wheel drive system.
In 2004, the Ford Escape Hybrid was born – a petrol-electric version of the SUV and the first hybrid SUV to hit the US market.
The Ford Escape Hybrid uses a full electric hybrid system which allows it to switch between pure petrol power, pure electric power and a combination of the two for maximum performance and efficiency at all speeds. It also features regenerative braking in which the vehicle’s momentum is converted back into energy for storage in the batteries.
A second generation was created in 2008 with a continuously variable transmission and styling similar to the Ford Expedition.
Environmental credentials of the Ford Escape Hybrid
Above all the Ford Escape Hybrid offered a legitimate environmental alternative in a market that was saturated by gas-guzzling alternatives.
The Ford Escape Hybrid is capable of achieving around 75 per cent greater efficiency than the regular Ford Escape and achieves around 33-36mpg. This is boosted in city driving by the regenerative braking system which ensures that power is not wasted when idling as it would be in a conventional vehicle.
In addition, the Ford Escape Hybrid is said to be capable of accelerating up to 39mph purely using its electric power. Indeed a maximum distance of 1.5miles can also be achieved with the electric batteries before the petrol engine needs to restart.
The Ford Escape Hybrid has been heralded in California for meeting tailpipe emission guidelines that are 90 per cent less than the 2003 new car and zero evaporative emission levels. As a result, motorists that buy the 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid in the USA qualify for tax credits ranging from $2,200-$3,000.
Plug-in versions of the Ford Escape Hybrid have also been developed. Under a multi-year project, Ford will develop numerous plug-in hybrids for the Southern California Edison with the aim of investigating how they will work on the electric grid.
Ford Escape Hybrid statistics
Here are some crucial statistics about the Ford Escape Hybrid:
- CO2 emissions: N/A
- Engine: 2.3-litre Duratec 4-cylinder
- MPG Combined: 34mpg city
- Top speed: 102mph
- Torque: 124lb feet
Future of the Ford Escape Hybrid
Ford has announced the development of a Ford Escape hybrid capable of running on 85 per cent ethanol flexible fuel although no production plans have been confirmed. There are no plans at present for a UK release – stay tuned to TheGreenCarWebsite.co.uk for more information.
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