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I came across this acticle today. Ford seems to have developed a gas-electric vehicle and has it on the road and in the hands of testers.

This sounds like it runs on a similar system as the Chevy Volt. I'm not certain about the platfrom and if it will fit other vehicles or if it is designed solely for the Escape. Sounds like the competition has been quietly working away while GM has been putting on a show.

88 mpg in the city in a small/mid-size SUV, that's incredible. I wonder how much space the battery pack takes up and how much of the cargo area has been sacrificed. I would sign up for one of these.

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/06/19/ford-gives-88-mpg-flex-fuel-plug-in-escape-hybrid-to-department/
 

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This is excellent news, as Ford has already said that it is 2 years behind GM, expecting to introduce their vehicle in 2012. Johnson Controls / Saft is working with other customers to create EV's as well, so they are a good supplier.

I am surprised that they are taking the Prius operating approach (not sure if the vehicle is series or parallel) in which pure EV operation is only up to 40 mph. Why not drain the batteries dry before turning on the flex fuel engine? I don't want to burn anymore fuel, if I don't have to.
 

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It simply looks like a plug-in converion of their current Escape hybird with computer mods to allow it to run on E85. A company in Denver is already doing these conversons sans the E85 part right now for $10,000. You just take them your Escape Hybrid, fork over $10,000 and they will convert it to plug-in operation for you.

Yes, this is a serial hybird system ala the the Prius. Our local electric coop had their Escape converted in January. They are getting similar peformance numbers to what Ford is advertising. This conversion is not rocket science, it works, but it's not a pure electric. Ask Fork how much thay have to run the ICE to "warm the catalic converter" so they can meet EPA requirement, or how much they have to run the ICE if you want the heat or air to work. Those are the dirty little problems with the parallel hybrid plug-ins that are being swept under the carpet right now.
 
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