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I've driven two Plug-In Hybrid Escapes. You can buy one today if you have the cash. ( $65k ) Both times I got nearly 50 miles from the battery, and equaled 142 MPG. The downside to the exsisting Ford Escapes is... you can only go up to 40 MPH on electric alone.
Other than that, they are remarkably similar to the one in this story.
I suspect the Ford 'could' be hacked to go up to 80 MPH on electric, but thats not the case right now. -John
Just watched the video. It looks like they have a more powerful motor that allows you to drive at "normal" speeds with sufficient acceleration to keep up in traffic and even get on the highway. Looked good!
Thanks John. hybrids-plus is exactly who I thought of when I saw the link on CNN. I assume the technology is fairly similar--there's only so many ways to skin a cat--er add batteries.
It all depends on how hard to want to "drive" the system.
Do you want 0-87 miles per hour EV car with quick acceleration and batteries that last 2 years?
Or a 0-40 miles per hour EV car with slower acceleration and batteries that last 10+ years? ( for the same cost )
The Fords put out about 25 HP in EV mode.
This is not enough to accelerate a 4,000 pound vehicle up to freeway speeds with reasonable acceleration.
You could run the "94 HP" traction motor we all have at full force, but that power, almost 4x the wattage requirement, is going to wear out the batteries ( used now ) in about 2 years.
So there is a compromise.
Right now, the FEH saves most gas by turning the engine off when idle, and regen brakes helps to a much smaller degree. It was not designed to be an electric car... I know... we all desire that! I do too!
Dang it John, we hate to hear the truth, even when we know it. The FEH/MMH firmware is very conservative, which we may be grateful years from now, but the thought of extravagent MPG today makes us wish for more.
Oh well, I'm getting infinite MPG when I'm on the computer
It is not a general purpose solution. What is needed is an integrated super capacitor and battery pack power system and this is what they have accomplished and hopefully patented. In a perfect solution, the battery cell, super capacitor and electronics would be an integrated unit. This could lead to some really interesting variations.
One that I would like to see is a zinc-air battery and super capacitor cell. A zinc-air battery has one of the highest energy densities but a fairly low power draw. It is a primary cell, once the zinc-air is exhausted, it is recycled. But such a cell would be a powerful combination.