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Next-Generation Ford Electrics and Plug-ins Photo Gallery

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On: Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 9:44AM | By: Chris Weiss

Next-Generation Ford Electrics and Plug-ins Photo Gallery

In addition to the 2011 Ford Explorer, Ford brought a few current and future green models to Salt Lake City last week, and had a lot to say about the future of its hybrid and electric line. On display were several Escape Hybrids, as well as the plug-in Escape Hybrid and a rather psychedelic Focus Electric. Billed by Ford as "The Most-Fuel Efficient SUV on the Planet," the 2010 Escape Hybrid offers up to 34 mpg and is available now. The other two models may launch next year for the 2012 model year.

The 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid uses a 2.5-liter I-4 engine and an electric motor/generator that combine for 177 horsepower. Battery power is supplied through a nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) pack that is recharged through regenerative braking. The crossover is capable of all-electric driving at speeds of up to 44 mph, helping to deliver an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 34 mpg in the city. Highway economy is actually a little less at 31 mpg. Those specs are for the front-wheel-drive model. The all-wheel-drive variant includes a second electric motor mounted to the rear axle and offers a rating of 30/27 mpg. The Escape Hybrid originally launched in the 2005 model year. The 2010 model bases for $30,585.

Ford has been tinkering with the plug-in Escape Hybrid for several years. Unlike the standard Escape Hybrid, which relies solely on regenerative braking to charge the battery pack, the plug-in version allows owners to recharge through the grid using an outlet on the side of the vehicle. Instead of the NiMH battery pack, the plug-in Escape features a lithium-ion pack. Ford claims that the plug-in Escape Hybrid is capable of 120 mpg and offers 30 miles of all-electric driving. It charges in six to eight hours. Ford has not announced official plans for the plug-in Escape, but it has indicated that it will debut a plug-in hybrid in 2012.

Announced this past January, the Ford Focus Electric is scheduled to debut next year as a 2012 model. It'll compete with models like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. It will get around 100 miles worth of range per charge and will be rechargable via standard wall outlet. It will take six to eight hours worth of charging in a 220-volt outlet to fill up the lithium-ion batteries. Last month, Ford announced that Compact Power, Inc., the battery manufacturer behind the Chevy Volt, will build the lithium-ion batteries for the Focus Electric.

The Focus Electric is one of five electric vehicles Ford has scheduled between now and 2012, joining the Transit Connect, two lithium-ion powered hybrid vehicles and the aforementioned plug-in hybrid.

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


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