The Ford Escape Hybrid
is a true player in the SUV hybrid market. A small and
economical hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) SUV, the Ford
Escape Hybrid sports a Duratec 2.3L 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle
gasoline engine, matched up with a 70KW (equivalent to
94hp) permanent electric motor and a 330-volt battery
pack (located under the cargo floor).
With a sticker price of
under $30,000, the Ford Escape Hybrid is an economical
alternative to its Toyota and Lexus hybrid SUV counterparts.
Rated at 36 city mpg and 31 hwy mpg for the 2WD version (AWD
33 city / 29 hwy), the Ford Escape Hybrid is 75-percent more
fuel efficient than the V6 gasoline version of the same vehicle.
The Escape Hybrid's Atkinson cycle gasoline engine is rated
at 133 hp. So, according to most road tests, the gasoline engine
combined with the 94 hp from the electric motor enables the
hybrid to have approximately the same get up and go as the 200
hp V6 gasoline-only Escape.
The Escape Hybrid comes with an electronically controlled continuously
variable Aisin-Warner transmission (which also makes Toyota
hybrid parts) contributing to a smooth ride without the noticeable
shifting of some automatic transmissions. Low-rolling-resistance
tires improve grip on the road as well as gas mileage.
The five-passenger Escape HEV boasts a 500-plus range before
refueling and shuts down while idling to conserve gasoline.
The electric motor launches the Escape Hybrid from a cold
stop and can power the vehicle exclusively up to 25 mph.
At this point the gasoline engine kicks in to provide added
power for the vehicle. The Ford Escape Hybrid is known as
a full hybrid since it can operate on electric motor only,
gasoline engine only or a combination of the two.
Full hybrids are known to provide better gasoline mileage
and less emissions, generally than mild hybrids. Mild hybrids
are gasoline engine assisted by electric motors as needed.
Even though Ford licensed 21 of Toyota's 350 hybrid patents
(mainly to avoid infringement claims), the Escape Hybrid
is a much different vehicle than any of the Toyota offerings.
For instance, Ford developed all of the complicated software
necessary to make all of the new systems operate seamlessly
with one another.
Want more? The Internal Revenue Service has certified the model
year 2005-2007 Ford Escape Hybrids as being eligible for the
clean-burning fuel deduction. The certification means taxpayers
who purchase this vehicle new may claim a tax deduction of $2,000
on Form 1040.
Simply said, the Ford Escape Hybrid offers SUV-lovers a
chance to get into a hybrid at an economical price, save
gas and improve the environment. 'Nough said?