Hybrid powertrains are nothing new at Ford. After all, the Ford Escape has been evolving with a hybrid version for a long time, and the Fusion was also offered with this kind of system. But today, all that is changing, and Ford now offers three types of hybrid engines in as many vehicles.
First the Powerboost
The most striking of these is the Ford Powerboost, a unique variant of the Ford F-150 that also uses a hybrid engine. Under the hood is the secret of success: a 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine and an electric motor.
In fact, the latter is the most complex part. It consists of a 1.5 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery, a 41 horsepower (35 kW) electric motor integrated directly into the engineered 10-speed automatic transmission, and a regenerative braking system.
The hybrid system allows the whole operation of the electric vehicle under certain conditions. It works in unison with the gasoline engine to improve fuel economy while providing more power. A belt-driven starter is used for the water pump and belt-driven starter.
The second, more complex system is the Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). It's more complicated because it has to combine two autonomous systems. The first is an electric motor and a 14.4 kWh battery.
After a period of plugged-in charging, it will be able to travel some 61 kilometres in 100% electric mode. However, it takes about 3.5 hours using a 240V power source. The process takes 10 to 11 hours when using a 110V power source.
Once the battery is depleted, the Escape Plug-In Hybrid relies on a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 221 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy in full hybrid model is rated at 5.8 L/100 km.
A more traditional version of hybrid powertrains is used by Ford, however. It is found in the Ford Escape Hybrid but will also be found under the hood of the new Ford Maverick small pickup truck.
Here, the recipe is known. It includes a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, a continuously variable automatic transmission and a front-wheel drive. The vehicle has no independent electric range.
Instead, the electric motor, whose small battery is recharged by braking and without external assistance, supports the gasoline engine in all circumstances. As a result, the Maverick's fuel consumption is expected to be 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres.
Ford is taking the electrification of its lineup very seriously, but the focus is on fuel economy. That's why hybrid engines are so efficient and increasingly so.