Ford Develops New Hybrid Electric Vehicle Powertrain
The new Ford Escape HEV sport/utility vehicle, which will debut in 2003, will feature a new PowerSmart transaxle system that will offer improved power, performance, and fuel economy.This is achieved through improved initial acceleration in electric launch – when the vehicle takes off using the electric motors and battery – and improved overall system efficiency during highway driving.Escape HEV combines an electric motor and fuel-efficient, four-cylinder gasoline engine. With regenerative braking and nearly instantaneous start-stop capability, the Escape HEV will deliver nearly 40 miles per gallon in urban driving. The hybrid-electric Escape will be capable of being driven more than 500 miles on a single tank of gasoline.The hybrid powertrain will deliver acceleration performance similar to an Escape equipped with the 200-horsepower, V-6 gasoline engine. The PowerSmart transaxle aims to improve performance by offering many of the benefits of a continuously variable transmission, including nearly seamless shifting.The system was developed by Ford and Aisin AW, based in Aichi, Japan.