3 Things Every Student in Automotive School Should Know About the 2020 Ford Escape PHEV

With more and more information being released about climate change and the impacts of traditional gasoline-powered vehicles on the environment, a lot of automotive research and development is focused on developing more eco-friendly alternatives. From hydrogen-cell to electric, the Tesla Model 3 to the Chevrolet Bolt, options in this area are quickly expanding. 

Many automakers are taking advantage of this niche by producing hybrid vehicles. Hybrids give the best of both worlds, combining the power and versatility of a gasoline-powered engine with the economical and ecological benefits of a battery. One option that’s making waves among car fans is the 2020 Ford Escape PHEV. 

What’s the Difference Between an HEV and a PHEV? 

There are actually two different kinds of partially electric cars being released under the Escape name this year. The Ford Escape Hybrid is making a triumphant return, having last been seen during the 2012 model year. However, it’s also receiving a sibling in the 2020 Ford Escape PHEV. But how exactly is a PHEV different from a hybrid? 

PHEV stands for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Unlike traditional Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV), PHEVs can be plugged in to recharge their battery packs. Traditional HEVs cannot be plugged in and typically aren’t able to drive solely on electric power for long periods of time. 

PHEVs tend to cost more, but the benefit can be made back on the saved cost of gasoline. The 2020 Ford Escape PHEV has an all-electric range of over 60 kilometres, which is a significantly longer distance than the 48 km initially advertised by Ford. Giving the battery a full charge will take about 3 and a half hours with a 240V charging station, or 10-11 hours with a standard 110V power outlet. 

Students in Auto Mechanic School Should Know the PHEV Doesn’t Cut Corners 

One of the most exciting aspects of the new Ford Escape PHEV is the updated style and interior design, with the model upgrading to a sleek, modern look for the 2020s. Students in automotive school will be happy to hear that the improvements from the previous generation also include increased interior room and better technology. The 2020 Escape PHEV is equipped with a standard Ford Co-Pilot360 system, which includes blind spot monitoring, lane departure alert, lane keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. 

Check out the 2020 Escape PHEV in this short clip: 

The 14.4 kWh lithium-ion battery grants a generous amount of distance between charges, but the engine is more than capable of taking over. The 2.50-litre four-cylinder engine gives 221 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque. The truly impressive aspect of the 2020 Escape PHEV, though, is the fuel economy, hitting 100-MPGe in charge-depleting mode, and 41 MPG in charge-sustaining mode. 

The Ford Escape PHEV is Neck and Neck With its Direct Competitors 

The 2020 Escape PHEV races neck and neck with its direct competitors, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Toyota RAV4 Prime. The most obvious benefit of the Escape over its neighbours is its price. As those in auto careers will know, a lower price point can give a vehicle a significant edge over its competitors. The Escape PHEV starts at $37,540 CAD, plus rebates if the consumer lives in Quebec or British Columbia. This price point puts it below the RAV4 and the Outlander. 

The Ford Escape PHEV does well to keep up with its class competitors

It also outperforms its competitors on fuel economy. Toyota’s RAV4 carries an impressive 94-MPGe, but neither it nor the Outlander can break the triple digit barrier like the Escape does. The only area where the competitors clearly surpass the Escape PHEV is in drivetrains. The Escape only has a front-wheel-drive system, lagging behind its competitors’ all-wheel-drive options. 

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