Spy photographers have managed to capture a plug-in-hybrid version of the Ford Escape crossover (Ford “Kuga” in Europe) testing on public roads. The test mule was wearing the post-facelift body of the current-generation Ford Escape, even though we expect the PHEV to launch as a next-generation model for 2020.
The spy shots can be seen over at the Inside EVs website.
Ford hasn’t officially announced a Ford Escape PHEV – or “Energi”, as the automaker brands its plug-in-hybrid vehicles – but the prospect that one could be in the works should come as no surprise. The share of crossovers and SUVs as a percentage of all new-vehicle sales has waxed in recent years, growing from 22 percent little more than a decade ago to 32 percent as of last year. In December of 2015, the automaker announced an investment of $4.5 billion into electrified vehicles (hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and battery-electric vehicles), and plans to introduce 13 new electrified nameplates by 2020.
So far, the automaker has announced seven of those thirteen models, the list including forthcoming vehicles such as a Ford Mustang Hybrid, Ford F-150 Hybrid, Ford Transit Energi, and a battery-electric crossover.
Now, we can tentatively add a Ford Escape Energi to the list. Check in with Inside EVs for the evidence.