Automotive

Ford brings new plug-in hybrid powertrains to 2020 Escape, with 30-mile all-electric range

Ford brings new plug-in hybrid...
The 2020 Ford Escape now comes with 30-plus miles of all-electric driving thanks to a new plug-in hybrid version
The 2020 Ford Escape now comes with 30-plus miles of all-electric driving thanks to a new plug-in hybrid version
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Full-color dash looks nice
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Full-color dash looks nice
Sunroofs are an available option
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Sunroofs are an available option
The Escape compact SUV
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The Escape compact SUV
Few are going to be fast-charging their Escape – most will charge it overnight at home and just use gasoline mode otherwise
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Few are going to be fast-charging their Escape – most will charge it overnight at home and just use gasoline mode otherwise
The new Escape can be driven to the side of a lake if necessary
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The new Escape can be driven to the side of a lake if necessary
It'll be much more at home in urban settings
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It'll be much more at home in urban settings
Kick under the tailgate to open it when your hands are full
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Kick under the tailgate to open it when your hands are full
Infotainment/navigation touchscreen
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Infotainment/navigation touchscreen
You can put things in the trunk
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You can put things in the trunk
2020 Ford Escape interior
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2020 Ford Escape interior
2020 Ford Escape interior at night
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2020 Ford Escape interior at night
Non-hybrid models can put the back seats right back for better legroom. Hybrid versions will run into the battery pack
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Non-hybrid models can put the back seats right back for better legroom. Hybrid versions will run into the battery pack
Optional B&O speaker system
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Optional B&O speaker system
Titanium models can be optioned up with a heads-up display
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Titanium models can be optioned up with a heads-up display
The 2020 Ford Escape now comes with 30-plus miles of all-electric driving thanks to a new plug-in hybrid version
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The 2020 Ford Escape now comes with 30-plus miles of all-electric driving thanks to a new plug-in hybrid version
At least 30 miles of all-electric driving range 
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At least 30 miles of all-electric driving range 
Active park assist is now a totally hands- and feet-off parking experience for both parallel and perpendicular parking
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Active park assist is now a totally hands- and feet-off parking experience for both parallel and perpendicular parking

While the world waits for electrics to improve their range and charge time figures, the plug-in hybrid is a terrific compromise, allowing fully electric city driving with extended range gasoline touring when necessary. Ford has ticked those boxes with the release of a plug-in hybrid version of its new Escape compact SUV.

The plug-in hybrid version's liquid-cooled 14.4-kWh lithium battery pack can handle 30 or more miles (at least 50 km) of purely electric driving, enough to allow many folks to complete their daily commuting runs without buying fuel or creating any tailpipe emissions. For longer range or harder driving, a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle gasoline engine kicks in, with the system boasting a total power output of up to 221 hp (165 kilowatts).

The plug-in will charge fully from zero in 10 to 11 hours on a 110-volt wall plug, or 3.5 hours on a 240-volt level 2 charger – fast charging really isn't a factor for these things, since the gasoline engine takes over seamlessly when power runs out, so you'd simply charge it at home overnight and probably end up doing the vast majority of your driving in electric-only mode. So really, few are going to be doing this:

Few are going to be fast-charging their Escape – most will charge it overnight at home and just use gasoline mode otherwise
Few are going to be fast-charging their Escape – most will charge it overnight at home and just use gasoline mode otherwise

There are four EV modes to choose from – EV Now, which goes fully electric until the battery runs down; EV Later, which goes full gasoline and saves the battery power for later use; Auto EV, which lets the vehicle choose the most appropriate power delivery; and a new EV Charge mode, which runs it on gasoline and powers up a generator to charge up the battery as you drive.

Other engine options include a couple of EcoBoost turbos, the biggest being a 2-liter, and the smaller being a 1.5 liter with cylinder deactivation technology as a focus on fuel efficiency. There's also a regular hybrid using the same engine and motor configuration as the plug-in, but without the large battery. On the upside, the non-hybrids get a bit of extra leg room in the back when you slide the seats right back.

Infotainment/navigation touchscreen
Infotainment/navigation touchscreen

Technology-wise, there's plenty of driver assist gear available, from adaptive cruise control (which works all the way down to a full stop and helps keep you in the center of the lane), to active park assist (which is now a totally hands- and feet-off parking experience for both parallel and perpendicular parking), to evasive steering assist, and plenty of other bits and pieces. Titanium versions can be optioned up with a neat little HUD, and all versions come with a standard 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection that connects up to 10 devices to the internet as you drive.

You can get it with the Sync 3 voice-control system, and add on Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, as well as Ford+Alexa and Waze navigation if you like ducking down backstreets. And you can option it up with a 10-speaker, 575-watt Bang & Olufsen stereo upgrade.

The new Escape can be driven to the side of a lake if necessary
The new Escape can be driven to the side of a lake if necessary

Above all, Ford is touting the new Escape as a light, responsive and fun thing to drive. We look forward to getting our hands on one when the plug-in hybrid version hits showrooms sometime in Q2 2020. Other versions will appear later this year.

Source: Ford

5 comments
Howe
The 2020 Escape can be summed up with just 3 letter. Meh
SimonClarke
Nissan leaf gets 80 miles out of a 20 kwh battery, that is 4 miles per kwh. Tesla's get around 3 where as this only gets 2 miles per kwh, that seems really low. when quoting charging rate in house the 0-80% should be included. it is this portion of the charge that is the fastest. the last 20% can take as long or even longer than the 0-80%. with the range of full EVs coming out this year in the 60+ kwh 300+ mile range I feel that Hybrids are already past their sell by date.
Mzungu_Mkubwa
I think this is a great step in the right direction for the intermediary hybrid segment, as we transition away from traditional I/C's & fuels. I would love to be able to go full electric back and forth to work, except that it's about 20 miles each way. With this 30 mile range, that means I'd have to plug in while at work. While my company has no facilities for this at present, hopefully this is coming. (Does the vehicle have a mode which will fire up the engine while parked to self-charge?) Otherwise, I agree with SimonClarke that the electric range is a bit shy, tho I'm sure this is due to the extra weight of the I/C engine & it's support systems (e.g. fuel). Good job, here Ford! Heading in the right direction!
LordInsidious
Too late for hybrids, most issues with range extenders is the ICE doesn't get used enough to avoid problems so you end up with a small range and an unreliable backup. Lose lose.
tsvieps
I do not get the negative comments here. We love our Prius plugin. An SUV version with more than a 30 mi EV range sounds ideal. Is it also AWD? Our Prius gets about 4 mi per KWH, but an SUV is not so aerodynamically efficient. At lower speeds, I expect the vehicle to do much better than 2 mi/KWH. But maybe at freeway speeds it has a lot of sail to push. Any one know expected price?