2010 Ford Escape Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford asks: "are all hybrids created equal?" Well, um, no. Take, for example, the Toyota Prius. It's ultra-fuel efficient and starts at a reasonable $23,050. On the flip side, there's the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid with an EPA rating of 21 miles per gallon city and 25 mpg highway. Its price of entry starts at $67,700. Somewhere in between the Prius and the Cayenne lie the $28,340 Ford Fusion Hybrid and the $30,045 Ford Escape Hybrid.

Ford points out that recent studies have shown that some hybrid models give more bang for a buyer's buck and, according to the automaker, the Fusion Hybrid and Escape Hybrid are two vehicles that excel at doing just that. For example, Edmunds lists the Escape and Fusion hybrids as class leaders in monthly fuel cost. The gas-electric versions of both models cut monthly fuel costs by over $100 compared to competitive vehicles for what we assume is a driver putting on above-average miles.

Furthermore, CarGurus named the Escape Hybrid one of the best values in the gas-electric segment. According to the site, the Escape is one of a handful of hybrid vehicles that consumers can justify paying a premium for over the gas-only model. Of course, there are other hybrids worthy of consideration, but Ford's pair of gas-electric vehicles offer reasonably low fuel consumption without hefty price tags.



Photos by Chris Shunk/ Copyright ©2010 AOL

[Source: Ford]
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Ford Hybrids Rated Highest for Customer Payback, Value

* Ford hybrid vehicles rank at the top of the list for payback and fuel cost savings, giving consumers more value and return on investment, compared to competitors
* Ford's hybrid vehicle lineup – the Fusion Hybrid and Escape Hybrid – is industry leading for overall investment among competing midsize, luxury and SUV hybrids
* Hybrid vehicles are part of Ford's overall electrification strategy, which includes a suite of five new electrified models spanning hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and all-electric vehicles

Dearborn, Mich., March 31, 2011 – With gas prices on the rise, the interest around fuel efficiency and hybrid vehicle options is top of mind for potential car buyers. But are all hybrids created equal? Recent industry studies show that certain hybrid models provide car buyers with much more bang for their buck, and the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid are at the top of those lists, demonstrating the best return on investment compared to competitors.

Edmunds.com lists the Ford Escape Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid as class leaders for best monthly fuel cost in the publication's annual best and worst monthly fuel cost estimates analysis. The hybrid versions of both vehicles led the pack for best monthly fuel costs, with consumers paying over $100 less for fuel per month, compared to competing vehicles.

Further building Ford's reputation as a leader in hybrid vehicles, CarGurus.com recently named Escape Hybrid one of the best vehicles for hybrid investment. According to the site, the Escape Hybrid is one of the few hybrid vehicles consumers can justify paying a premium for, compared to the gas-only version, as the Escape Hybrid pays for its own premium once gas prices and savings are factored in.

"In less than 10 years, Ford has become a leader in hybrid technologies that are both advanced and innovative for the market," said Sherif Marakby, Ford's director of Electrification Programs and Engineering. "True to our electrification strategy, we continue to invest in hybrids and improve on technologies every year."

The science behind the fuel economy
Building on 10 years of experience with hybrid technologies, current Ford hybrids use the company's second-generation full hybrid system, with battery technology that provides 20 percent more power than the first-generation system. To achieve this fuel economy, Ford's Powersplit technology system uses two motors and a continuously variable transmission that uses the most efficient points of the engine. By doing this, the energy flow between the battery and the engine is optimized to drive the wheels and achieve the best fuel efficiency for all operation modes. To date, Ford's Powersplit technology has received more than 200 patents.

Additional ways in which Ford hybrids achieve fuel economy improvements include:

* Second-generation Ford hybrid vehicles improve performance by modifying components like inverters, to increase efficiency of electric components to more than 90 percent
* An electric compressor is used for climate control systems, to optimize energy use
* Ford Fusion Hybrid has an added boost converter on the battery, which instantaneously provides power when needed – for acceleration – but doesn't carry this power in the battery at all times, improving overall fuel efficiency

For more information on Ford's hybrid vehicles and technologies, please visit http://www.ford.com/ and http://www.ford.com/technology/electric/.

The power of choice
Electrification is an important piece of Ford's overall product sustainability strategy. Ford's aggressive strategy includes five new electrified vehicles in North America by 2012 and Europe by 2013. Ford launched the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van in 2010 and in addition to Focus Electric in late 2011, will introduce C-MAX Hybrid, a second next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrid and the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid in 2012.

Best-in-class fuel economy
Ford invested billions in researching and developing new fuel-efficient engines, transmissions and electrified vehicles, even during the depths of the economic downturn when competitors dialed back product spending. Today, Ford has 12 vehicles with best-in-class fuel economy and four models with at least 40 mpg – a claim no other full-line automaker can match.

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About Ford Motor CompanyFord Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 164,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

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