• Feb 11th 2011 at 3:01PM
  • 18
Ford electric-drive animation – Click above to watch video after the jump

Ever wonder what differentiates a gas-electric hybrid from a pure battery-powered vehicle? Probably not, but maybe you're perplexed about what actual features distinguish a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) from a battery-powered car that plugs in. While we're fairly certain that most of our regular readers have a thorough understanding of the differences between hybrids, electric vehicles (EVs) and PHEVs, newcomers to the green scene may have difficulty grasping some of the complex concepts.

Fortunately, Ford has released a three-minute animated video that does a rather remarkable job of explaining, in simplified terms, the differences between hybrids, PHEVs an EVs. Hop the jump to catch Ford's animated clip explaining the distinguishing features of each of its electric-drive models.

[Source: Ford]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good and easy to understand video suited for the larger public. The various hybrid designations (hybrid, PHEV, EREV and what else) will be too confusing for the larger public, and my guess is this will melt into just hybrid (with or without a cord).
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nicely done. Very simplistic but it gets the basic points across.

      I wish all those vehicles were available now.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like Ford's attitude towards electrification.

      They seem committed to providing a product the customer wants. Not what Ford thinks the customer ought to want.

      /If GM was smart, they'd adopt Ford's attitude and disown the whole "range anxiety/more car than electric" campaign.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Which selection of electric offerings are you indicating? You can buy exactly one of these cars.

        Sure, a year from now or more Ford may offer a car in each of these slots. GM may also do so by then. You can't know until we get there.

        Credit for actions, not talk.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ford would obviously like you to wait and buy their products once they're available. (i.e. wait for the Electric Focus as opposed to buying a Leaf now). That's to be expected.

        The point being that Ford is offering a selection of electric offerings and will let the market choose.

        My takeaway is that Ford is a little more "listen to the customer and provide what they want" where as GM is a little more "manipulate the market with advertising, the customer doesn't know what he wants anyway"...... kind of like when GM's CEO was comparing cars to soda pop.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ford shows a video wherein they show 5 vehicles, 3 of which you can't even get, one of which is only offered in very limited numbers and your takeaway is Ford is more customer-oriented?
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Ford shows a video wherein they show 5 vehicles, 3 of which you can't even get, one of which is only offered in very limited numbers and your takeaway is Ford is more customer-oriented?"

        There's alot of terms being thrown around. Why wouldn't they want their customers to have a distinct understanding of each type, especially if they're in the company's current and future line-up?

      • 4 Years Ago
      Fantastic! ... Next link to http://FocusFusion.org ... for economical, safe, plentiful electical power ... From aneutronic (non-radioactve) electrical power plants fueled by the fusion of hydrogen & boron ...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well done. Easy to follow and understand. These types of videos are what's needed so the vast number of folks who only think about a car when it's time to buy will understand the differences.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed - maybe they should show videos like this in schools to educate the children who then to educate the parents.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Pretty good explanation, I do feel Ford danced a bit by calling an EREV in extended mode to be "in hybrid mode" and saying a (non-plugin) hybrid sources its energy from anything but gas.

      I also think if they want to offer a plug-in that has real, useful all-electric mode, they are not serving themselves by calling it a PHEV, even if the SAE says so. When people drive, cheaper, less capable plug-in hybrids like the Prius PHEV, you'll have trouble making them understand how your vehicle costs more when you call it the same thing Toyota calls theirs.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well . . . an EREV in extended mode is 'hybrid-mode'. They tend not to be as efficient as the parallel hybrids (The Prius does better than the Volt.) But they gain efficiency by storing excess power in the the battery when braking and drawing power from the battery when accelerating to supplement the power from the gas engine.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The EPA sticker , http://gm-volt.com/2010/11/24/official-2011-chevrolet-volt-epa-fuel-economy-released/ , actually makes it pretty clear how good the Volt is.
        "All Electric Range (battery) 35 miles | Extended Range (gas) 379 total"

        (Bad grammar from the EPA, they should have hyphenated the triple-world phrase "All-electric range")

        It'll be interesting to see whether cars that can only drive all electric at limited speeds get to claim an all-electric range on the EPA sticker, and/or get an asterisk. If the EPA decides against a Prius PHEV that turns out to max out at 62 mph in EV mode... I foresee another $2M for Washington lobbyists! Regardless of ratings or naming, a plug-in hybrid that, say, can only hit 45mph in EV mode but can do it for 25 miles would be appealing for some city drivers.

        I don't know why you bring up "EREV", Ford never utters that word or "extended". I understand what GM was trying to do, but IMO it's not going to happen. Most of the public go "Extended-range electric vehicle? So it's one of them electric cars but it goes further. Huh, 35 miles doesn't sound very extended to me. Oh this extender is a gas engine. So you mean it's a hybrid that plugs in." GM made the world's first plug-in hybrid (in mass production, for sale), they should be happy and proud.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't give up because it's an important distinction. It's important for EVERY manufacturer who ends up making one, not just GM.

        Saying the Munroney covers the difference isn't enough. You don't see the Munroney in the TV commercial. Marketing is about getting the message out, not hoping people show up to your showroom, read the Munroney and properly interpret it!

        I do agree that a PHEV that only functions as a city car in CD mode does have some additional value beyond that of no-ZEV-range PHEVs. Unfortunately, I'm not sure people will understand this. They already don't understand that with "only" 35 miles of practical EV range will cover likely allow them to drive without gas 90% of the time. So for them to understand that they actually drive at city speeds at times too seems awfully hopeful to me.

        Right now, Ford can afford to just display the different kinds of cars because, to be honest, they don't have anything other than a single model to sell anyway! No complicated decision making process there. I'm interested to see how Ford covers their bases once they have more types of vehicles available. Or even whether they bother at all. Given that the Focus EV is going to be in very limited numbers and the Transit EV is in extremely limited numbers, they really will have one car to sell to people that they don't already understand, the C-Max Energi.
        • 4 Years Ago
        An EREV is a PHEV. But it's not a PHEV plain and simple. Unfortunately, PHEV has been co-opted by companies who offer vehicles which plug-in but provide no useful all-electric range. For example most Prius PHEV conversions are of this sort.

        You can plug them in and you will get better fuel economy for the first few miles. But you will always use fuel for non-trivial trips.

        An EREV requires a larger electric motor so that it can work off electricity only, at least for a certain number of miles. This increases the cost of the vehicle, as Ford notes in the video. If the customer doesn't know that there's a difference between the vehicle you are selling and another kind of PHEV that doesn't really have any zero-emissions vehicle, they won't want to spend more.

        GM will not be the only company with this problem. Every company who wants to offer an EREV will have it.

        Spec, yes, I agree from a technical perspective, saying "hybrid-mode" is accurate, since that's what the vehicle is doing. It is still using its electrical systems like a non-plug in hybrid to increase efficiency over a straight ICE car. But I still feel does some wiggling here on both the non-plug in hybrid and on an EREV in CS mode, by trying to say the vehicle has an energy source other than gas. It does not. It gets all its energy from gas in that mode, even if it has regenerative braking.
        • 4 Years Ago
        An "EREV" is a PHEV, plain and simple. Just because GM made up a new term doesn't mean it's something special, it's not.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "An EREV requires a larger electric motor so that it can work off electricity only, at least for a certain number of miles. "
        No, a 5 mile PHEV or a 40 mile PHEV can use the same exact motor, it's the battery pack size that makes the difference. Just as EV's don't need a different motor or a different term to designate between one that goes 100 miles and one that can go 200 miles. A PHEV is going to be designed to run a significant number of miles otherwise it makes no sense to design it as a PHEV. You aren't going to see a 2 mile PHEV. EVREV is an unnecessary term created by the marketing department that everyone here except you can see through.
      • 4 Years Ago
      sooo it's a ford fusion ad combined with some FUD for all the unsuspecting sheep that then go to the ford dealerships to be slaughtered in an ICE machine.

      an honest version would include admission that they have been dragging their feet as absolutely best they can such that you can't have anything with a plug.

      if well built alternatives with a plug were actually available there wouldn't be a demand for the prius type hybrid. the one car they do have.

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