An innovative new hybrid research vehicle being developed by Ford Motor Company has a dual mission: help reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

At the Washington Auto Show, Ford unveiled the Ford Escape Hybrid E85, a research vehicle marrying two petroleum-saving technologies – hybrid electric power and flexible-fuel capability. Escape Hybrid E85 is the world’s first hybrid vehicle capable of operating on blends of fuel containing as much as 85 percent ethanol, a renewable fuel that can be produced from American-grown corn or sugar beets. And ethanol use releases no fossil-based CO 2, so its use as a fuel in place of gasoline reduces the release of greenhouse gases.

As a leader in both hybrid vehicles and in vehicles capable of operating on ethanol-based fuels, Ford is the ideal company to bring both technologies together for the first time,” says Anne Stevens, executive vice president, Ford Motor Company, and chief operating officer, The Americas.

This innovative research program could lead to breakthroughs to significantly reduce our nation’s dependence on imported oil while also helping to address global climate change,” Stevens says. “Both the Escape Hybrid E85 and the ethanol fuel it runs on are made in America . This is another example of how Ford is driving American innovation.”

Ford already is a leader in both technologies:

  •  Ford has two full hybrid electric vehicle models on the road today – the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid – and will increase production capacity to 250,000 hybrid vehicles a year globally by the end of the decade.
  • The company will produce up to 250,000 ethanol-capable vehicles this year, including the Ford F-150 pickup truck, as well as the Ford Crown Victoria , Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car large sedans.

Ford Developing New Hybrid Models

The world’s first hybrid SUV, the Ford Escape Hybrid, was introduced in 2004. Along with the new Mercury Mariner Hybrid, it remains the cleanest and most fuel-efficient small SUV available anywhere. No other American automaker today offers even one full hybrid vehicle.

Ford Motor Company will introduce several new hybrids in the coming years, including a Mazda Tribute Hybrid next year and hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan mid-size sedans in 2008. Next up, in the 2008 to 2010 time period, will be hybrid versions of the Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego full-size sedans, and the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: