USA Today test drives the Ford HySeries Edge

Click on the image for a gallery of high-res images of the Ford HySeries Edge.

One of the two Ford HySeries Edges which will ever be built was put through its paces by USA Today in late January en route to the DC Auto Show (AutoblogGreen has driven it as well) . A cutting edge, alternative fuel vehicle, the fuel-cell plug-in hybrid Edge is described as "smooth, tight, quiet and well-finished." Steering was reviewed as being good but the customisable regenerative braking was a little harder to deal with when set too high, resulting in sudden nose-dives.

The big issue though was that it had "sluggish" performance which was considered to be due to unnecessarily heavy extras such as a second electric motor for all-wheel drive. The vehicle was also utilising less than two-thirds of the battery pack due to requirements of the current testing phase.

Analysis: Weight is the killer for plug-in electric vehicles because the more a vehicle weighs, the more batteries you need which just weigh it down further. DaimlerChrysler is testing fuel-cell vehicles too, but they're working on a modified Mercedes A Series which seems far more appropriate. Still, Ford has the experience and the tradition in trucks and SUVs so maybe sticking with their strengths for the time being isn't a bad thing.

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[Source: James R. Healey / USA Today]

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