Friday, June 20, 2008
Ford Escape Hybrid
The Ford Escape Hybrid, launched in 2004, is a gas-electric hybrid powered version of the Ford Escape SUV developed by the Ford Motor Company. Built in Kansas City, Missouri, it was the first hybrid SUV to hit the market.
A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to propel the vehicle.
Hybrid versions can be identified by the "Hybrid" badges on the front driver's and passenger's doors as well as on the tailgate. In addition, the driver's side window in the cargo area is smaller in size in order to accommodate a ventilation slot for the high voltage battery.
The Escape hybrid is a "full" hybrid electric system, meaning the system can switch automatically between pure electric power, pure gasoline engine power, or a combination of electric battery and gasoline engine operating together, for maximum performance and efficiency at all speeds and loads. When braking or decelerating, the Escape's hybrid system uses regenerative braking, where the electric drive motor becomes a generator, converting the vehicle's momentum back to electricity for storage in the batteries. With 155 hp (116 kW), the Hybrid Escape has nearly the same acceleration performance as the conventional 200 hp (150 kW) V6 Escape.
The Escape Hybrid's 133 horsepower (99 kW) gasoline I4 engine and 94 hp (70 kW) electric motor combine to give performance similar to the 200 hp (150 kW) V6 engine commonly used in the regular Escape. The hybrid is said to give approximately 75% greater efficiency, with about 33 to 36 mpg (U.S.) (6.5-7.1 L/100 km) in city traffic, (and has demonstrated it can travel 400–500 miles (644-805 km) on a single 16.5 gallon (62.4 L) tank of gasoline in city driving), and 29 to 31 mpg (U.S.) (7.6L-8.1 L/100 km) on the highway. Unlike conventional vehicles, hybrids often achieve better figures in the city because they do not waste power idling and can recover some power when stopping (by using regenerative braking) that would be wasted on a conventional vehicle.
The Escape Hybrid can accelerate up to approximately 39 miles per hour (63 km/h) on electric, with a gentle acceleration. A maximum distance of 1.5 miles (2.4 km) - 1.8 miles (2.9 km) can be performed on electric before the batteries will discharge and the gasoline will restart. When coasting, if the brake is gently tapped when passing below 40 mph (64 km/h), the gasoline engine will cut off, and the coast will continue with no gasoline being consumed. Electric mode does not perform as well when below 50 degrees F (10 °C), and performance degrades further as outside temperature drops further.
The Escape Hybrid gives a top speed of 102 mph (163 km/h).