By on April 3, 2019

Image: Ford

Amsterdam, home to green medicinal plants and red lights, was the site of a Ford product extravaganza on Tuesday, with the automaker announcing a number of hybrid or electric models for the highly regulated European market.

A total of sixteen electrified models made their (future) existence known, with most falling under the automaker’s new Ford Hybrid banner. Some, like the Fiesta EcoBoost Hybrid and Focus EcoBoost Hybrid, are products thrifty American greenies can only dream of. There’ll be no more Fiestas or Focuses for you, sorry. Another is one Americans with loftier lifestyles might desire, and one Ford could sell here, but won’t: a plug-in Explorer.

Of course, Tuesday also brought a Ford announcement in the U.S. — that of the newly urbanized 2020 Escape, offered in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid guise. Europe’s version of this model, the Kuga, dons a similar strategy, as well as a much more Focus-inspired grille.

The jury’s out on which crossover has it better (or worse) on the styling front.

As part of its plan to offer an electrified version of every model in its lineup, Ford also plans to field a battery-electric Transit van for 2021, a model that might stimulate interest in North America. Ford wasn’t talking U.S. availability in Amsterdam, however. In the U.S., Ford recently announced a revamped Transit line for 2020, with the popular commercial vehicles adding new engines, all-wheel drive, and a 10-speed automatic.

Some may disagree, but the sexiest news arising from Ford’s Dutch greenfest did not involve discontinued American nameplates or vans. It was the Ford Explorer Plug-in Hybrid. While Ford will offer a hybrid variant of the recently launched 2020 Explorer in North America, the presence of a plug-in Lincoln Aviator in this market means the lesser Ford must go plugless, lest it steal some panache from its ritzier platform mate. It would also give the Explorer a sky-high MSRP.

Like the electrified Aviator, which won’t be sold in Europe, the Explorer Plug-in borrows a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, electric motor, and 13.1 kWh battery, good for a combined 444 horsepower and 620 lb-ft of torque. Electric driving range is estimated at 25 miles, presumably on the European WLTP cycle. In America, the Aviator Plug-in boasts 450 hp and 600 lb-ft, though we should mention those are “targeted” performance figures. (The Aviator lands at U.S. dealers this summer.)

For those Americans who like the idea of a high-performance plug-in Explorer, they’ll be even more annoyed to hear Europeans get an ST-line version with upgraded wheels and blacked-out trim.

[Images: Ford]

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6 Comments on “Ford Unleashes a Slew of Hybrids on Europe, Including Some You Might Want...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Man, the Focus Ecoboost Hybrid sounds amazing.

    As for the Explorer PHEV, with only 25 miles of WLTP range it almost seems like they shouldn’t even have bothered. Given the conventional transmission I’d bet the electric motor is weak sauce, which will prompt kicking the gas engine on if you so much as breathe on the throttle.

    For hybrids to make sense manufacturers really need to re-evaluate the gas/electric power split. The electric side should be at least as powerful as the gas side, which requires a rethink on transmissions.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Have you driven a Ford hybrid lately? I do every day. With two C-Maxes in my driveway, one hybrid and one plug-in, I think I’m qualified to speak of the differences. One shows 38 cumulative MPG, and one has recorded 64.8. The plug-in’s advantage is not only the 20 miles of EV range- though that covers every local local shopping trip, and those short trips are the ones where a cold engine is least efficient. But once the plug-in portion of the battery is spent, it’s still used to store regenerated energy. This can easily account for 20% of your miles in city driving. The hybrid car uses its gas engine much more often.

    Plug-in MPGs vary wildly according to your driving style. I’ve met a C-Max Energi driver who claimed 200 MPG, but he drives his truck on every trip over 20 miles. Frankly, I don’t see the point of that. MPGs won’t account for the shore power you put in the battery every night, but I will. Each recharge costs me about 80 cents. I’ve worked out the combined fuel/electric cost as around 4 cents per mile. That’s good enough for me!

    My EV motor was strong enough for an easy merge onto a 65 MPH highway today, but if I’d needed more, I’d just have floored it, activated the engine, and enjoyed the car’s 8-sec. 0-60 time. I wan’t a hybrid true believer before I drive a C-Max, but now I’m a believer. Put the same drivetrain into an Escape (or a VW chassis) and I’ll be back at the showroom again.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Always liked the C Max.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I have always liked the C-Max as well having driven a fleet one when I needed to travel on business. The C-Max became my favorite drive.

  • avatar

    I thought Ford is shutting down or selling its European operations to VW. It looks like Ford Europe lives another day or two.

    Yes I drove Fusion hybrid and it is slow and battery takes too much space in the trunk. So I want BEV optimized platform.

  • avatar
    jh26036

    While 25 miles of EV range isn’t a lot (especially for that battery size), soccer moms could basically cover a whole day without using any gasoline. This would save both time from fueling up overall and be much less wear on the ICE.

    I always thought if GM put the Voltec technology into something like the Traverse and Equinox, they would have a really fantastic line of PHEV SUVs.


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