The first E85 Escape Hybrids are hitting the streets this week, as Ford Motor Company delivered three of 20 new vehicles Wednesday to the Department of Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition.
RFA president Bob Dinneen was all smiles as he climbed into the driver’s seat of the new vehicle which combines hybrid and flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) technology.
“The combination of hybrid and flex-fuel technology in one vehicle enables increased energy independence and reduced carbon emissions like no automobile before,” said Dinneen. “Ford has introduced a vehicle that runs primarily on ethanol created by our nation’s farmers, and then, with its hybrid power train, travels further on every gallon of that renewable fuel. This is an important achievement in the drive towards sustainable, secure energy.”
The experimental Escape features an electric motor that powers the vehicle at low speeds and a gasoline internal combustion capable of running on fuel blends up to 85 percent ethanol kicks in a higher speeds, according to Sue Cischke, Ford’s senior vice president, Sustainability, Environmental and Safety Engineering.
“Although we currently do not have plans to produce the Escape Hybrid E85, the research from this technology could lead to breakthroughs in even more advanced technologies,” said Cischke.
U.S. Senators Kit Bond (R-MO), Carl Levin (D-MI) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) joined Ford for a press conference on Capitol Hill to announce the new hybrid and talk about alternative fuels.
“Every gallon of biofuels grown in the Midwest means a gallon of oil we do not need to import from the dangerous Middle East,” said Bond. “We can and should do more to reduce pollution from vehicles. Ford today is showing its leadership in clean and efficient vehicles with a first-ever hybrid SUV that will also run on biofuels.”