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Toyota’s PHEV Prototype Makes Its Public Debut

Ford Delivers First Escape Plug-in Hybrid to Southern California Edison

Today at EVS-23, Ford will deliver the first of its announced 20 research plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) to Southern California Edison (SCE) to begin road testing. The delivery comes five months after Ford and SCE announced their collaboration to advance the commercialization of PHEVs by exploring new technologies and business models, including vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services. (Earlier post.)

The research prototype uses a 10 kWh lithium-ion battery pack from Johnson Controls-Saft based off a 41Ah cylindrical cell. Ford and JCS developed the plug-in pack together. The PHEV uses a blended operating strategy, and delivers an equivalent 30-mile all-electric range, according to Ford.

The pack runs in charge-depletion mode down to approximately a 30% state of charge, before switching over to charge-sustaining mode.

Although the Ford-SCE partnership envisions exploring V2G and vehicle-to-home (V2H) services later in the multi-year project, the initial PHEVs are not outfitted with the supporting hardware or software.

Ford will initially work exclusively with SCE to develop the testing procedures and define its initial demonstration fleet. As Ford’s plug-in hybrid program grows, the automaker will look for broader participation as it develops a business model not just for Southern California, but potentially nationwide.



I've seen this vehicle. It's got some fancy door handles.


Wow! Fancy door handles? Just what the world needs now.


Good to see that something is finally coming out of the Johnson Saft cooperation. With no news at all for a while one could fear that this cooperation had failed. But this is obviously not true.


It is a pity they don't do a PHEv Focus or Mondeo.
Then they would have something to compete with the Prius and next gen Prius.

Nice to hear about the door handles, though.


And, now the sixty four dollar question: Will these also end up at the crushers?


30 mile range? Hell, I won't bother to wait for the 40 mile range of the Chevy Volt, I'd much rather buy a Ford Escape PHEV in 2008 or early 2009, if they would sell them at a reasonable price, than wait til the end of 2010 for the Volt.
But if they are getting 30 miles from a 10 kWh battery and only allowing it draw down to 30%, they must be charging it nearly to 100%, which would mean the longevity would take a hit.

The Escape Hybrid is a very good vehicle, 34 mpg in the city with room for five and space to haul a ton of stuff...


Note that they don't say the truck has an "all-electric" mode. They only specify "equivalent 30-mile all-electric range"; whatever that means. My take on it is that the gasoline engine must be running in order for the truck to move. Not so great IMHO.


Kevin, it says the PHEV uses a blended operating strategy. Sounds to me like it definitely kicks the engine on at times and won't allow you to run on electric only for 30 miles of range, but I can't really say how it operates since I don't have one. Maybe it is power demand dependant (you push the throttle more and the ICE kicks in for more power). Makes sense if the layout does not change much from a regular Escape (guessing it is a parallel hybrid in PHEV form).

I still like the volt in that it always gets power from only the electric motor to drive the wheels (serial hybrid) so you only kick on the motor when the battery charge is low; not when you need to accelerate faster.

Personally, I would not want the Focus to be PHEV unless they design it with that intention from the beginning - mainly to maximize space and chassis dynamics for braking and maneuvering. I could probably go for a Fusion PHEV done as an afterthought just because the heavier vehicle might handle the weight better and it could have more room to offer for the large battery pack.

green banana

My impression is that the main appeal of a PHEV is that it is intended to allow you to commute, for example, without using gasoline as long as you stay within the electric range. This blended strategy introduces a degree of uncertainty which takes away from its appeal. After all, doesn't the Prius hybrid, in effect, use a blended strategy as well without a plug in feature. The Escape seems more like a super hybrid than a plug in vehicle with electric only features.

green banana

My impression is that the main appeal of a PHEV is that it is intended to allow you to commute, for example, without using gasoline as long as you stay within the electric range. This blended strategy introduces a degree of uncertainty which takes away from its appeal. After all, doesn't the Prius hybrid, in effect, use a blended strategy as well without a plug in feature. The Escape seems more like a super hybrid than a plug in vehicle with electric only features.

And, now the sixty four dollar question: Will these also end up at the crushers?

Depends on who gets elected (or selected by Supreme Court) next November.


When a GM exec was asked why 40 miles, he smiled and said it is easier to go down than up. That says to me that they may be willing to compromise on the all electric range to get the first E-Flex vehicle out there.


30 miles - 40 miles - just get it out and let people see if it is any good.
Also, loads of people will start hacking them to improve the range etc..
Just get them out and let people start testing them.


Is this the one?
it seems to me this elelphant should be out of nappies by now.
For this effort detroit will get away with 15 guzzlers. The only joy Is that these white elephants will soon be reognised as the recycled junk they are, eventually.
But If i'm accused of detroit bashing,I Know they do what they do quite well.
Others are 'better limbo dance critics'.
Why dont they get on with a technology they can understand.(I believe.)like wind or anything but more of the same.
If I was running a buisness with the (human) resources that many of these generic detroit or global
co's command I'd be inclined to ask what do we need? not yesterday, cause we wont be needing any of that tomorrow.
But what do we need tomorrow(today?)
Answer not more of the same.
There must be a talent pool in detroit somewhere?
Never did like the 'advertising' model by wich, evidently you can sell anything till the public cotton on.
By then your onto the next.
previous comment says it all: Get it out there so some can hack it and make it work.


If I was a Detroit exec I'd be thinking that with 10kWh of batteries
a) the best thing for the planet would be to split them in to many mild hybrids (ala BMW)
b) marketing would say to build a few full HEV or even PHEV
We in this forum tend to agree with (b): does this make us early adopters willing to subsidise new technology or posers arguing for what we want over what is best for the common good?


It's good to see hat ford have Edison on board as a partner here. Better late an never.
The Edison report on transport news is well written, informative and describes the sensible analysis of the situation.
In this sense the collaboration is leading the way and we certainly need that.
Will it lead to improved outcomes Yes.
Am I jumping up and down not quite.
If the undoubted talent of deroit(generic) with input and experience of major electricity producers are going to see their full potential,not only supporting the talent pool, But breaking down some of the restrictive culture could be helpfull.
Ok all in good time.
All in good time.

Stan Peterson

The fundamental point about PHEVs that y'all overlook is the comparative cost of the same amount of energy delivered as electricity, and as a liquid, such as gasoline.

Electricity can be generated from many sources from solar to indirect solar (falling water, wind, wave, newly dead plants, or old dead plants), to splitting atoms, and eventually true controlled solar (fusing atoms). Electricity is even now, significantly cheaper and cleaner to create and to consume.

Why pay $3.00 or $7.00 ( in Europe) for a gallon's worth of energy when you can pay $0.75 a gallon worth of electricity that will carry you just as far; and being more efficient, even further?

That is the reason for the PHEV and the BEV. The HEV still consumes gasoline but merely makes its consumption more efficient. The HEV is just half a step, but you start with small steps.

Regardless whether you believe that hydrocarbons are a threat, there is just no case that the supply is not finite; whereas Electricity generation is NOT limited, in any constraining sense.

Of course, Peak Oil Tomorrow, is a crock, but in the next few hundred years the costs will climb for poorer and poorer sources pf such hydrocarbon raw materials.

There is enough Electrical Energy that can be created for all the people that inhabit the planet. We can do so and every day Mankind is doing exactly that. There is NOT enough hydrocarbons to supply all the wants of all the actual or potential consumers. Plus hydrocarbons are concentrated in parts of the world that is unstable. Electricity generation does not have to be, and with in thirty years won't be at all; as there are no secrets, as demanded by Mr. Bush when he re-created the eventual solutions to the World Energy, Development and if you believe in fairy tales, Global Warming, issues.


A good case could be made for using solar electric to charge EVs. You could offset 10 cents per kwh for your home OR offset $3 gasoline. The payback on PV could be better with EVs, especially if it keeps your home from entering the upper tiers with higher rates for the monthly total.



Not sure I follow your math re: gas vs. electric. A gallon of gas (at 44 MJ/kg and 0.73 kg/liter) is about 33.8 kW-hrs. In my neck of the woods, its about 10 cents/kW-hr. That's $3.38 per "gallon worth of electricity." And, that's out of the wall, not out of the battery. Given an 80% in/out efficiency of the battery, you're up to about $4.23 per gallon worth of electricity, into the electric powertrain.

It is true that, round numbers, an electric powertrain from battery to wheels will be about 2.5 times as efficient as a gasoline powertrain (tank to wheels, including all your auxiliaries, but the biggies are a/c or heating, power steering, cooling, and lubrication). That would bring your fuel cost down by the same ratio, so you are in the $1.50 - $1.70 range, but not 75 cents.

I'm all for EVs and HEVs. I just think we should compare Joules to Joules, or dollars to dollars, and not be overly optimistic.


An EV can go 4 mile per kwh. If you go 20 miles, that is 5 kwh of power used. At 10 cents per kwh, it costs 50 cents to go 20 miles.

If your gasoline car gets 20 mpg, then that 20 miles used 1 gallon of gasoline at $3.00 per gallon.

So that 20 miles cost you $3.00 for gasoline instead of the 50 cents for electricity.


Howdy, SJC,

A car that, as an EV, only needs 0.25 kW-hr/mile (your example) will get much better than 20 mpg as a gasoline-powered vehicle. My 1998 Mercury Villager gets 20.3 mpg over every imaginable kind of driving I do in Michigan, in all sorts of weather, day and night, a/c running or heater on full blast, full of passengers.

Your example of 4 miles on 1.0 kW-hr (at the wall outlet) is pushing the limits of physics JUST to propel the car - no accessories.

All I ask is a balanced presentation of the facts. EV's make a lot of sense without the hyperbolic arguments which don't stand on fact.


ev nut

Don't make another Pinto mistake. Please make this with large format nickel metal hydride batteries. Sue Chevron for sequestering and suppressing them just when we need them most. Nickel batteries made in the early 1900's still work today 100 years later. Short lived Lithium will be one big worthless exploding brick I would not want to have to replace in my car. Don't make the transition from electric only mode unnoticeable. As a PHEV buyer I want to know when I begin to consume gas!

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