Ford has the delivered the first three E85 Escape Hybrids out of a total of 20 in a demonstration fleet that will be delivered to select fleet customers in six states. (Earlier post.) The first three went to the Department of Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition (GEC).
Ford first introduced a prototype of the E85 Escape hybrid prototype at the Washington AUto Show in 2006. (Earlier post.)
The E85 Escape Hybrid produces about 25% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a gasoline-fueled Escape Hybrid, according to Ford.
The Escape Hybrid E85 research project is a learning lab for Ford's flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) programs for 2010 and beyond. Tailpipe emissions of flexible-fuel vehicles still represent one of the biggest challenges and priorities.
Currently, no manufacturer’s FFV has been certified as a partial zero-emissions vehicle (PZEV). A full-hybrid application presents even more evaporative challenges because the vehicle operates on electric power alone without actuating the evaporative vacuum system that operates when the gas engine is in use.
Although we currently do not have plans to produce the Escape Hybrid E85, the research from this technology could lead to breakthroughs in even more advanced technologies.—Sue Cischke, Ford Senior Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering
In 2008, Ford will add hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan midsize sedans to its current offerings of the Escape and Mariner hybrids. Last year, the company produced 250,000 E85-capable vehicles, including the Ford F-150 and the Lincoln Town Car.