Ford Hybrid Vehicles

at Bob Boland Ford

How do Ford Hybrid Vehicles Work?


To answer this question, we have to ask "What is a hybrid car (HEV)?" HEVs can come in any form, from a hatchback to a full-size SUV like the new 2021 Ford Explorer Limited or Truck like the new 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid. A hybrid combines at least one electric motor with a gasoline engine to move the car, and its system recaptures energy via regenerative braking.

Sometimes the electric motor does all the work, sometimes it's the gas engine, and sometimes they work together. The result is less gasoline burned and, therefore, better fuel economy. Electricity comes from a high-voltage battery pack (separate from the car's conventional 12-volt battery) that's replenished by capturing energy from deceleration that's typically lost to heat generated by the brakes in conventional cars. (This happens through the regenerative braking system.) Hybrids also use the gas engine to charge and maintain the battery.

Automobile companies use different hybrid designs to accomplish different missions, ranging from maximum fuel savings to keeping the vehicle's cost as low as possible.

Ford Escape Hybrid

Ford Explorer Hybrid

Ford F-150 Hybrid




Type of Ford Hybrid Vehicles

Parallel Hybrid

In this most common design, the electric motor(s) and gasoline engine are connected in a common transmission that blends the two power sources. That transmission can be an automatic, a manual, or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). One very popular hybrid transmission is a power-split CVT. Transmission type and the size of the gasoline engine are the main factors that determine how a parallel hybrid will accelerate, sound, and feel. Brands that use the parallel design include Toyota, Lexus, Hyundai, Kia, Ford, Honda, Lincoln, Nissan, and Infiniti.

Plug-In Hybrid

A plug-in hybrid enhances the conventional hybrid concept with a much larger battery pack that, like an electric car's, must be fully recharged using an external electricity source-from your home, office, or public charging station. This greater amount of energy storage is like a larger gas tank: It allows for extended all-electric driving (between 15 and 55 miles depending on the model) and can significantly reduce fuel consumption. In fact, if you have a short commute and recharge nightly, you'll be running on electricity most of the time. Should you deplete the all-electric range, the car basically reverts to being a conventional parallel hybrid.

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