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Ford Escape Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers



  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) concept is really starting to take off and several companies are working on Li-Ion (laptop) type batteries that can store more energy per unit volume and don't have to be heated or cooled like the current NiMH batteries. [Ford is displaying a PHEV Escape at this year's auto shows] It will be a few years before the technology is perfected and the retrofits can be purchased for an affordable price.....but the motors and the software and the rest of the hardware is already included in the FEH. When this happens we may even see our residual value go up...

    Many of the current products are just piggy-back extra batteries that take up all the space in the back of the FEH.......the Li-Ion retrofits will likely fit in the same space as the current HVBattery. [There are prototypes out there right now that can do this and get over 100mpg]

    Drive during the day. Recharge overnight. Repeat. But it will be a few years....
  • I totally agree. But, be careful with statements about the $3,000 federal tax credit. With the impact of AMT, a family of 4, with an approximate income of $75k annually might qualify, or a family with income exceeding $800,000 (yes, almost a million dollars) would also qualify. If your income level is essentially between $75,000 and $800,000, you will not qualify for the credit due to AMT. The wild card is the level of deductible expenses you can show on Schedule A-Itemized Deductions versus your income.

    Finally, AMT will not even allow you to receive partial credit as well.
  • Central Florida driving. I was wondering what I could expect my Electric motor usage to be under the following conditions. 35 mile highway commute avg speed 65mph. Then on area driving of about 40 miles avg. speed under 45 mph with approx 1-2 hours of parked idling. Then a 35 mile commute home, avg.speed 55mph. The A/C would be on April thru October.-Thanks
  • Good Response.

    If you see a car as an investment, you will be one disappointed investor...For some reason, as soon as I said I got a FEH, the first comments were on ROI. And then I get the overstated fuel consumption on non hybrid vehicles. The best one: I get 44 mpg with my Chevy Cobalt :P
  • exbexb Posts: 2
    I live in the Chicago area and have had my 2008 FWD Escape Hybrid since June of 2007. The summer was great. On every tank, the mileage was between 32 and 34 mpg. When winter arrived, the honeymoon was over. Currently the mileage is 20-25 mpg - definitely disappointing. In 8 months, I've driven it 8,000 miles with many short trips. I still enjoy the vehicle but I hope the mileage improves.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    Compare the drop in FE in your FEH with the drop in FE (mpg) in your previous vehicle in the winter......huh?......what's that? don't remember/never measured what kind of drop you got in the winter in your previous car?

    Trust me, it was very close in percentage to that you are seeing in the FEH. And you are not alone, many many sob stories about how "lousy" the FEH is now that we have the traditional winter weather everywhere. But in reality....non-hybrid vehicles that get 17 to 20 mpg in the summer are now getting 13 - 16 because it is cold. That 25% drop would be comparable to the FEH getting 30 mpg in the summer and now getting 21 -24 mpg in the winter. To preserve the health of the HVBattery, allow for safe braking, and keep the emissions as low as possible.....the computer brain in the FEH runs the ICE for longer periods and allows less regenerative brakin in cold weather. :D
  • We recently purchased a 2005 escape hybrid with 17,000 miles on it. The mpg has been horrible, seemingly barely getting 20 mpgs out of it. the avg read about 27 when we got it. now its already down close to 23. we do have a thule box on top, but would that affect it sooo much? also, we can barely get 12 gallons of gas into an empty tank, or so the computer is telling us, yet itis supposed to have 15 gallon tank. help!!!
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    I lose 1 - 2 mpg when I have an open rack on top....I imagine it would be twice that with a full box on top. (Note: I lose the same amount of mpg on my non-hybrid with these items on top)

    A 12 - 13 gallon fill is normal if the gauge reads near or on E. The tank will take 15 (or a little more) if it is fully drained, way past E.

    Reset the mpg calculator often....and see if you can tell what part of your driving is really killing your FE. Have you adjusted your driving to the hybrid system yet?(more light braking, shifting to "L" to get into EV, etc.,etc.) Good Luck. :D
  • Speaking of driving in L.

    The owner's manual indicates that driving in L provides max regen braking. Is there a risk of wearing prematurely the cvt/regen braking system by driving constantly in L and/or at high speed?

    To be safe, for slower trips, I'm in L and Hwy, I use D. ;)
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    "L" is just a different set of PCM doesn't actually shift anything mechanically, so the popular opinion is that driving in D or L has no detrimental affect on the health of the just may help with Fuel Economy (FE).

    Google "low gear advantage" and "fake shift" with the words escape hybrid and you will some some lengthy dicussions on the subject of driving the FEH for optimum FE. :D
  • exbexb Posts: 2
    Without question my previous car (a 2002 Ford Focus) got poorer mileage in the winter. I tracked the mileage on the Focus the way I track the mileage on the Escape. My hope was that hybrid power would somehow improve winter mileage, too. This week I got a pleasant surprise. When the windows started to fog up, instead of running the defroster, l set the temperature control to 75 degrees on the economy setting and cranked up the fan a few notches. I was not uncomfortable and the windows stayed clear. The engine started using the HV battery sooner than it had all winter. So far I have driven 220 miles on this tank and the fuel needle is straightup at half full (or half empty depending on your outlook). The mpg reading on the panel indicates between 30 and 31. I'll know for sure at the next fill up when I make my own calculation. Here's hoping!
  • All cars, both hybrid and non-hybrid, get worse milage in cold (below freezing weather. The use of ethanol & other smog-cutting additive, the longer time to get to operating temperature, and the general cruddier conditions combine to reduce your milage. My ride, a BMW, drops 10-15% in milage during the winter. My F-150 truck is 15-20%. At least it uses regular unleaded.

    So if you add the inefficiencies of cold batteries and electric motors, the need to keep the batteries, the Catconverter and the human warm, its no suprise you take another 10-15% hit in milage with the Hybrid.

    The FEH still gets better gas mileage, even cold, than the non-hybrid version of the same vehicle.
  • Hi,

    I have had an 08 for about 8 months. I bought it in the spring, so I got the benefit of high mileage in the warm weather. I calculated between 31 & 32 mpg until the temp dropped. I live in the Chicago area and this winter has some bad cold snaps. My mileage started dropping when the temp went below 40. When the temp was hovering around 0, the mileage was down to about 25 mpg! While 25 mpg is good for an Escape being driven in the city, it is still quite a drop.

    The temp is back around 0, so the RPMs stay in the 2500 range for the 1st 30-45 min the engine is on. If the engine shuts off at a stop, it is only for about 30 secs and that is after everything has warmed up. The battery really suffers in this weather and appears to need quite a bit of changing after sitting in the cold all night. I keep my vehicle in the garage, so I can't imagine what the battery performance would be if the vehicle spent the night outdoors! The good news is that as the temp goes up, so does the battery performance. I expect my mileage to go back up when spring arrives.



    P.S. I drive about 90% in the city/burbs.
  • Thanks Tom,

    This is very good to hear as I bought our 08 FEH at the end of January and have pretty much been in the 22 - 26 MPG range. I've been wondering weather I bought a lemon or not, but have been told to just wait till the weather warms up. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    Thanks, John
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    Wow, been away to long, lots of great conversation going especially on the Cold Weather front.

    Good to see less talk about lemons when the mileage drops. When you put it in perspective though, 22-26 MPG in the winter for an Escape is still good mileage. Spring will come and mileage will go up (just when gas prices go up as well) and with every price increase you'll be smiling at the pump.

    BTW don't forget to factor in the 10,000 mile oil changes/maintenance instead of every 3 to 5. This just piles on your overall savings. :)

  • This is one area that I'm still leary about, regardless of the vehicle. Engine oil is an expendable fluid that directly impacts how long the engine will running without a rebuild. Considering all the gunk and dirt and grit contaminates that oil picks up, and the fact that when the filter gets packed up with this stuff, a blowby valve opens to keep the oil flowing, regardless of how polluted it is, makes me really skeptical of the "benefit" for 10 kmi oil benefit. I really like the truck, and the way it's put together, and I want to keep it for at least 200 kmi, as I typically do. I wouldn't put it past an unscrupulous finance group at FMC to "stretch out" the oil change intervals in order to save a couple of bucks on factory-financed service, with the long term impact of reduced engine life, especially since I don't believe the standard oil used is a full synthetic. In my mind, regular oil changes are cheap insurance for longer engine life. Same thing with engine coolant, but to a lesser degree.

    Does anyone closer to the automotive community have thoughts on this? Also does anyone know if there is any particular sensor that monitors the down-stream oil pressure from the filter, or the pressure drop thru the filter on the MMH? Would be reassuring to know. Otherwise, I'll probably stick with my own rule of oil changes every 5 kmi, regardless.

  • Most wear and tear on an engine is from idling. Where the oil is not fully pumped throughout the engine cylinders compared to when the RPMs are at optimum. The hybrid, through design, does not idle anywhere near as much as a standard ICE vehicle. Thus the reduced demand for oil changes. I have a 2006 hybrid 2wd. I have had the owner's manual suggested 5k, 10, and 20k changes. No more, no less. Ford has put millions of miles on their test vehicles. Do you think they would put something in their manuals that could lead to non-support of hybrid vehicles because of engine damage? They had to get everything right with this vehicle. I think they have.

    The only problems I have had is with a low tire pressure sensor being a little too sensitive in the winter time when its <40 degrees outside.
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    I agree, the book says you can go 10K (depending on driving conditions). I have always followed the stated recommendations in my manuals for oil change intervals and have had no problems. My '98 Ford Windstar has close to 170,000 miles on it by following the manuals recommendations.

    I do periodically do a visual inspection of the oil and so far it looks good (I know looks can be deceiving) but if I saw contamination or a serious degradation in the appearance I would change it sooner.

    With my Windstar I typically go to those Quick change sites, but the Hybrid I do take to the dealer (doesn't cost much more but does take longer) but I figure the certified tech gets to look at it each time it comes in and more time than not he's tweaked something that has helped optimize performance (I guess I'm lucky on that front). :D
  • I have a quick question about the MPG shown in the car and the actual mileage I get by hand calculation.

    In the below table the Avg. MPG is my hand calculation and the Given MPG is from the car. I reset all of them everytime I refuel. Why is there a difference between what is shown and the actual? Is there anything I am doing wrong?

    Mileage Between Filing------------Gals filled------Avg. MPG---------Given MPG
    401-------------------------------------------14.5-----------27.65517241--------- ----28
    465.4----------------------------------------13.609--------34.19795723----------- --34.8
    470.9----------------------------------------13.656--------34.48301113----------- --36
    448.5----------------------------------------13.721--------32.68712193----------- --34.7
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    This phenomenon is well documented by many FEH owners (as well as owners of other vehicles from other mfrs). Your numbers are the most accurate...especially if you fill up at the same pump every time. The slightly higher mpg reported by the vehicle has to do with how the software is designed - Exponentially Weighted Moving Average (EWMA) and such. I am not as concerned with an absolute number so I use the vehicle's numbers to compare tank-to-tank on a relative basis. :D
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