The Ford Kuga, which is the Ford Escape in the States, is an important model for Ford in Europe. At the Frankfurt Auto Show, Ford is highlighting its electrified vehicle line that it says will combine to sell more units than its gas and diesel-powered vehicles by 2022. One of the key models in that plan is the Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid. Ford is proud to say that the Kuga is its first model to offer a plug-in hybrid, mild-hybrid, and full-hybrid powertrain.
The Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid has a powertrain that includes a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gas engine, electric motor, and a generator. The battery pack inside the Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid is a 14.4 kWh lithium-ion unit and combined the powertrain produces 225 PS. Ford bragged that the Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid was its first plug-in hybrid to deliver a pure electric driving range of over 50 km.
Drivers wanting to maximize the electric driving range of the car can plug it into a standard charging station to charge the battery. Ford Europe says that it can charge fully via a 230V electrical supply in about four hours. The Kuga Plug-In Hybrid has driving modes that allow the buyer to choose when to use the electric power with EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later, and EV Charge. When the battery reaches its lowest level, it automatically reverts to EV Auto mode and uses the gas engine.
Europeans can also get the Kuga EcoBlue Hybrid that uses the 150 PS 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel engine paired with mild-hybrid technology using a belt-driven integrated starter/generator that replaces the standard alternator. The standard Kuga Hybrid uses a self-charging full-hybrid powertrain with a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle gas engine, electric motor-generator, and a lithium-ion battery.
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I would like to know how the Escape PHEV will be priced
These electric features seem identical to what the Fusion and C-Max Energi models provide. So I believe that Ford transferred the same power train design to the Kuga/Escape, probably using a modification of the electric HF-35 transaxle. I know this system very well as a owner of a Fusion Hybrid, which does the same as the Energi, except for the larger battery, the plug-in charger, and the special “EV” driving features.
BTW, the HF-35 has two motors, not just one. The main traction motor is 100% geared to the axles so it drives on electricity most of the time. The second motor has three functions: as the starter for the gasoline engine, as a generator to supply power from the engine to the traction motor and battery, and as a third source of power during hard acceleration in conjunction with the traction motor and gasoline engine. The gasoline engine is clutched to the second motor/generator only when the battery charge is low, or under hard acceleration. So in other words, the Ford system is an EV with a gasoline motor assist.
The system used for the Escape Hybrid/PHEV is carryover from the Fusion with a updated battery pack. If the fusion hybrid was updated with improved packaging, we would see almost no intrusion into trunk space. But as you know, Ford has decided to cancel cars instead of fixing the relatively minor flaws they had. It’s sad to see the Fusion Hybrid disappear :(.