December 20, 2014

Electric Vehicles Renewable Energy and Storage News

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It’s well known that Ford has chosen to not fully invest itself in electric vehicles, EV and their hybrids, HEV, such as the upcoming plug-in hybrids, PHEV phase.  Nonetheless, we can expect to see some limited version of their SUVs available as PHEVs soon.

The gist, Consumer Reports talk about the new upcoming Ford Escape Hybrid.  We have already introduced the current Escape HEV here, and suffice it to say Ford has the only SUV that can boast 33 mpg in city driving, a number most sedans can’t even touch today.

The PHEV is the same as the regular Ford Escape except it is not available, yet.

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The numbers, with a 10 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, the SUV can travel up to 30 miles and 40 mph electricity alone.  Rating the fuel efficiency of an hybrid, HEV or PHEV and even an electric vehicle, EV depends mostly on what type of driving and how aggressively you accelerate.

Ford has been looking into ways to offset the batteries costs, such as the possibility for consumers to buy the car and lease the batteries.  The pros to this approach would be to guaranty ready replacements, ensuring the batteries are reused (likely by a power company) and reducing the cost.  This sounds a little like Better Place.   How would this work? It would take six to eight hours to fully charge the plug-in Escape from a 110-volt outlet and when the batteries need changing, you would drive into a Ford dealership to swap them.

Ford is working on a partnership with Quantum Technologies to build 100 PHV for testing purposes at Southern California Edison and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

We look forward to hearing more about this adventurous approach as we are sure it would appeal to many users who worry too much about the life-time of batteries and their cost.

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Plug-in Hybrid