• Jun 19, 2008
The Blue Oval has gifted the U.S. Department of Energy a one-of-a-kind vehicle: a plug-in Escape Hybrid that can run on E85, has a 30-mile range on pure electric power at up to 40 mph, and gets 88 mpg in the city and 50 mpg on the highway. Yes, you read that correctly. But you might want to read it again.

The Escape uses a 4-cylinder engine assisted by a 10kW lithium-ion battery pack made by Johnson Controls/Saft. In pure electric mode, the battery pack runs until it is 70-percent depleted, and then the gasoline engine kicks in. The vehicle's emissions are estimated to be 60-percent less than that of a traditional gas vehicle, and that could climb all the way to 90-percent less if the car used cellulosic ethanol.

This is one of 20 vehicles that Ford is giving to government and research bodies in order to help push the growth and penetration of hybrid vehicles. Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, said "There's no silver bullet solution, so we're pursuing multiple technology paths – recognizing that commercial viability is an essential component for success." And we say hear hear, well done, and it's about time...

[Source: Ford via GM Inside News]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 45 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      So it gets 88/50 until the battery runs out, right? How long does that take in combined mode?

      What's the mileage after the plug-in boost is depleted? 40/32 or so?
        • 6 Years Ago
        to johny. Maybe because it says in the article.
        • 6 Years Ago
        How do you figure a 3500 lb SUV shaped like a brick gets 50 mpg on the hwy?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Since 50 mpg is the purported highway consumption, and it only runs battery-only up to 40 mph, it should get 50 indefinitely on the highway. I wouldn't venture to guess what it gets in battery-recharge mode in town though.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good to hear, good for Ford.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If we can send space ships to mars, why can't we develop new battery tech here.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Because sending space ships to Mars is financed almost exclusively by the government (read, by you), while battery technology for automobiles must be financed by private organizations (Ford, GM, Toyota).

        Private organizations do not have the luxury of increasing taxes, printing more money, or deficit spending.

        If an auto manufacturer had unlimited funds, and unlimited time, they'd be able to develop anything you wanted them to. Unfortunately, as anyone who has taken a basic economics class will tell you, every organization deals with finite time and money.

        (Idiot).
      june muraco
      • 6 Years Ago
      I apologize to the Ford Motor Company for using a 30 MPG generalization in my previous comment, in reference to global warming, it was just a random average and how it would have no impact on slowing Global Warming.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like what Ford is doing. They may not be getting the press Toyota gets, or GM even, but they are working on it.

      Way to go Ford!
      • 6 Years Ago
      We need to look at both sides of the issue. Increase supply (use our own resources) and increase efficiency. Use a percentage of all the taxes collected by the govt for (oil/gas) to fund a "Manhattan" style project for battery technology and alt energy. The result would be inexpensive energy, more jobs and eventually incredibly clean efficient fuel. We can't flip our economy from oil to alt fuel in 6 months or even 6 years without a near total collapse. It just doesn't make sense.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "in order to help push the growth and penetration of hybrid vehicles"

      I thought hybrid vehicles were selling fine? Though if ford really wants to push the growth and penetration they can sell this thing now below 25k, i'm sure it would compel other automakers to frantically attempt to match it. Then again, empty marketing tag lines ARE entertaining, so who am I to judge.
      • 6 Years Ago
      great idea, fuel from FOOD
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm for cars that can run on ethanol. Because then we can be independent from foreign oil, although at a price. I think realistically, most of these cars will run on gas.

        If there are enough E85-capable cars out there, companies will continue to work on cellulosic ethanol and hopefully make it a viable option.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It is a great idea. This country has plenty of food and not all that much fuel. Do the math.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ethanol is a farce. It is not cost effective, does not extend mileage per gallon, and in fact, causes us to use MORE fuel per mile because of lower potential energy per gallon.

        Additionally, it's more expensive to ship, because it can't be sent through pipelines, it needs to be shipped by truck.

        Furthermore, it's a drain, not only on corn production for food, but for beer and alcohol production. Why has beer jumped so much lately? It's more expensive for beer manufacturers to obtain grains, and for American beers, which have a high corn content, especially the mass-produced lagers, ethanol is extremely bad.
        • 6 Years Ago
        • 6 Years Ago
        What does ethanol have to do with republicans?

        The E85 bill was passed through by the democrats in Congress, not the Republicans.

        Why is it that any time oil goes up, the Republicans get blamed, but any time something else (supposedly "green") gets implemented, and does nothing to improve the environment and/or economy, the republicans get blamed, as well?

        Aren't the Republicans those that aren't concerned with the environment, the working man, or the Porcupine Caribou? Wait...that's just what the media would like you to believe.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Though Ethenol is not the long term answer for the people (maybe for republicans and big business) this is a step in the right direction and is also the highest efficiency achieved with a viable array of uses 7by any major manufacturer!

        Awesome Job Ford!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Cellulosic Ethanol is great and all (but then again so is Hydrogen) but do you really think it's what's going to be fueling these vehicles?

        Congress just passed a Farm subsidy bill that will boost Corn farmers, and you will see a spike in the production of E85 Corn-based ethanol.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah the country has so much food in fact that corn prices are at record highs, and this is all well and good when the heartland of America is currently underwater.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is another step in the direction of creative ways to move closer to energy independence and is a good thing. The haters here who mimick the news media and the food vs. fuel fallicy offer no solutions. No energy is perfect. Stop hating farmers for selling corn. It gets us no where. Corn ethanol is a beginning, not a final solution. Edison went through a lot of filliments before the light bulb actually became viable. Corn ethanol is showing us that the fuel works. Next step is more sustainable cellulosic ethanol and eventual cuts in oil consumption. Way to go Ford!
      june muraco
      • 6 Years Ago
      Seems like all you hear are automobile commercials, boasting their 30 MPG miracle cars, how green can you be? If it were fifty years ago, when cafe standards proposed by the EPA, were ignored by automobile manufacturers and government. Along with new technology global warming and climate change could have by now diminished or possibly eliminated the threat we face today. Sick of these so called wonder cars that will continue to add more green house gases, and doing nothing for the state of emergency we now face. You can run cars on water, (check it out,) that's what I would consider a REAL effort to save the planet.
        june muraco
        • 6 Years Ago
        @june muraco
        HI, to Rob, David, Nardvark,
        In answer to all who commented on my comment about cars running on water, and my negative reaction to the automobile industry's pathetic attempt i.e., raising the MPG, and are therefore impacting the environment in a positive way to avert the dooms day predictions of the past. One fact remains, that fifty years ago scientists brought the messge to the people, on PBS, watched film showing the pollution from factories etc., and the predictions for the future. It is a fact that the automobile industry, along with government stalled efforts to lower the carbon monoxide emissions. I never stated that automobiles were the only contributor to green house gases., methane, from cattle, yes, plain old flatulance, also a huge contributor, dry cleaning businesses, and coal burning plants, left to regulate themselves, that should work, duh. If anyone can deny that oil, and coal are not the worst contributors of green house gases, then what is? And yes I do know that Climate Change is the optimal term today, much less scary than Global Warming. I'm glad the price of gasoline is up, it may help to bring down the usage, which is destroying the planet. This is the only way to get peoples' attention. Make it hurt in their pocketbooks. Nothing else has worked in the past, so give those big oil magnates a word of thanks, they seem the only ones to have any common sense. Our own president not exactly an environmentalist has refused any long term comittment to reduce carbon monoxide emissions, as it would hurt the economy even after we have contributed the highest per cent of these gases over the last 200 years or so, isn't it time we cooperate with the rest of the world in an effort to do something to keep from destroying the planet and the people too. Yes one more thing to all you macho guys out there, (that don't know or care that they are contributing to the problem) the ones who drive those big gas guzzlers, who say they have a right to own them and won't ever give them up. Just wonderful. Stop manufacturing them. Ban them. Do something to stop this insaneness. And Rob aren't there hydrogen cells we can use for energy rather than electricity? You know they showed a prototype of the car that runs on water and that it is being evaluated, and any car can easily be converted to running on water.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @june muraco
        I hate to break your heart but electricity production produces around 4 times more greenhouse gas emmissions than autos do. However a certain political party has forced the idea of the evil gasoline burning engine as the sole source of ruining the planet. Why would they do this? If big oil looks bad so do its supporters (the other party). Votes quicker than oatmeal. You've been had by that false ideology that oil and autos are solely responsible and should be the only ones that have to change. A candidate can use the word change a million times but my vote goes to the guy laying down actual plans. IE more power plants, cleaner power plants. We'll need them with the coming generations of plug in hybrids and full electric cars. I suspect they will be popular in the land of already rolling brown outs.

        PS. Its not called global warming anymore. It has been changed to climate change to sway people in areas that had the coldest winter in 50 years.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @june muraco
        I don't think the EPA existed 50 years ago.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think most are missing the point. Our concern should to rely less on imported oil, especiall from f**kers such as Venezuela (Chavez), Iran (Ahmadinejad), Saudi Arabia (all fat-ass Sheikhs), etc...

      The main point is that being plug-in, a lot of people who have short commutes will barely need the use of the IC engine. But f they do or for those who have longer commutes, once the IC kicks in, it will be burning E85 which is only 15% gasoline. So the main point is not MPG
      but MPGG--Miles Per Gallon of Gasoline. Even at a 50MPG combined-cycle , given that gasoline is only 15% of the total, this is equivalent of 333 MPGG. So now we are really reducing our consumption of gasoline.
      What we need is more of a nationwide plug-in infrastructure as well as more ethanol (celulosic or otherwise). We can accomplish this if the Federal government would embark in a cross-country ethanol-only pipeline system production (they can privatize later and recoup investment). Louisiana and Florida could provide the sugar-cane to help alleviate the corn issues. (Besides, we in Florida need another industry to help out our housing bust).
      • 6 Years Ago
      As nice as it sounds Ford is in the same boat as everyone else: waiting on battery technology. If they were to mass produce this exact car there is no telling how much it will cost. Batteries are expensive and heavy right now. I hope it won't be too long before some breakthroughs make it to the mainstream market that give us cheap, energy dense batteries.
    • Load More Comments