Ford Motor to Begin Selling Escape Hybrid SUV in 2003

April 09, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

Ford Motor Co. (Detroit, MI) will begin selling a hybrid-electric version of its Escape sport-utility vehicle in 2003, a compact SUV expected to achieve 40mpg in stop-and-go urban driving. The hybrid's electric drive train augments a four-cylinder engine that automatically shuts off during deceleration or while stopped, then restarts near-instantaneously. The hybrid SUV will have the acceleration of V-6 engine-powered models, and its emissions will likely be low enough to achieve California's stringent Super-Ultra-Low-Emissions Vehicle rating. According to Ford, the hybrid Escape could travel 500 miles per tank of gasoline. Ford plans to also sell it in Europe and use the drive system in other vehicles. Some of the hybrid technology was developed by Volvo, which Ford acquired in 1999.