Ford Testing Plug-in Hybrid Escape
Plug-in electric hybrid cars represent a simple and effective bridge between today's primarily petrol-driven hybrids and tomorrow's fully electric vehicles. Over short distances, they deliver the efficiency, economy and low emissions of an electric car -- but you've still got a petrol engine to rely on for longer trips. With Toyota testing a plug-in Prius that's rumored to go to production in 2009, Ford has announced a Plug-in Electric Hybrid (PHEV) version of its Escape SUV. Currently in testing, the Escape PHEV runs primarily on electric in its commuting duties, achieving around 30 miles of high-efficiency electric drive after an overnight charge of its high capacity Lithium-Ion battery pack. For longer trips it reverts seamlessly back to normal hybrid operation.
Ford Motor Company is aggressively advancing plug-in hybrid technology through two different applications on research demonstration vehicles as a way to help improve the functionality and durability of lithium-ion battery packs and the future commercialization of plug-in hybrid technology.
The first Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid demonstration vehicle was delivered to Southern California Edison for testing in early December. Under a unique two-year partnership with the utility company, a 20-unit fleet will be tested in California, first in the utility's electric vehicle fleet, and later with selected residential customers.
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