Ford Motor Company has embarked on a bold mission to bring back the
Escort name in a revolutionary new Plug-in Hybrid vehicle.
The new Hybrid only vehicle will compete with the highly successful Toyota Prius which has established a loyal cult-like following since its introduction 7 years ago. The new Escort Hybrid is planned for the model year 2011 and to be introduced in the fall of 2010.
Ford believes a total from the ground up Hybrid Exclusive model is the only way to truly capture the growing market for Hybrid Vehicles since consumers have not fully embraced the idea of retrofitting existing platforms. The Escort name has huge market identification and Ford knows learning from past mistakes how instantly the idea of an Escort Hybrid will capture the hearts and minds of all the legions of Escort Alumni.
The System Ford has chosen is a single mode Hybrid instead of the Dual-mode Hybrid that is going to be offered by GM and Chrysler. The Dual-mode hybrid uses two smaller electric motors that assist the gasoline engine at different times in the acceleration cycle. Ford believes the Single mode Plug-in Hybrid system will be superior in the future with the introduction of
“Super Batteries” now being developed.
Ford is invested in the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium and is focusing most of its attention on A123 systems nanophosphate Lithium-Ion batteries to reach it’s expected 100 miles per gallon target. A123Systems high power battery technology is based on new highly active nanoscale materials that are inexpensive, nontoxic, extremely stable (Non Explosive) and quick charging. The new batteries are expected to have a life of 10 years and 150,000 miles.
Ford is in race with GM to bring out the new Escort before the Chevy Volt hits the market in 2010. Alan Mulally Ford’s new CEO realizes that Ford needs to
hang on to their perceived lead in domestic Hybrid technology first developed and introduced for the Ford Escape.
With the price of gas hovering around $3 per gallon and with Toyota Prius sales up 56% so far this year Ford now understands where the future lies, and they’re thinking Hybrid all the way.