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Ford Escape Hybrid Battery Pack Questions

mperskimperski Posts: 13
Does anyone know of a way to charge the hybrid battery with a battery charger?


  • Just adding to my post, My hybrid battery is not low I would like to charge it to a higher state, lets say 80-90% so it will run in EV mode longer. I'm trying to increase my mileage. I wondered if I put a charger on the 12V battery and hit the recharge button in the kick panel if that would help any.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    Since we don't have a specific discussion dealing with the hybrid battery pack, I'm going to rename this one to use it as the start of one!

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    The HVBattery State of Charge (SoC) is closely monitored by elements of the powertrain control module to prevent exactly what you are attempting to do. Ford engineers have determined that keeping the HVBattery between 40 and 60 % will allow the battery to perform well past the 8 (or 10) years and 100,000 (or 150,000) miles that the special warranty covers.

    Remember, SoC is only one variable that controls when the ICE comes on. I don't know if charging to 80 or 90 percent will get you the benefits you think.....especially if you include the expense of replacing the HVBattery. Likewise, it would be nice to use the electric motor (only) at times over 40mph but there is motor life to be considered as well.

    If you wait a few years, some fully engineered and tested plug-in conversion kits may be on the market to get the advantage of increased EV operation. :D

    [The recharge button on the kick panel does not work the way you propose]
  • I'm sure that battery life is the main reason why the Soc is only 40-60% that's why I'm only wanting 80% or so. I've been able to drive almost 2 miles in ev mode at 30mph, increasing the battery charge would certainly extend the range some. Also if I started with the battery more charged up instead of low, the alternator would put less drag on the engine when first starting which would also increase mpg. I intend on selling the vehicle in 3yrs or around 60,000 miles, and buying a full EV assuming they are available by then. Used hybrids are bringing top dollar, especially the Escapes if you can even find one!

    Some one is already making a conversion kit but they are not cost effective. I think their around $19,000 or some outrageous amount.

    Also my heated seats get hot then cool off, then hot again and so on. Are they on a timer or are they not working properly and a circuit breaker is kicking?
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    I don't have the heated seats but I have read that they are on a timer.

    There is no alternator in the FEH. The HVBattery is charged through a motor/generator (MG1) directly by the ICE or when you engage the brake pedal. "Drag" during operation can be felt in MG1 during regenerative braking and can be negated during coasting by shifting into "N" (nuetral).

    The ICE operates during "first starting" for several reasons and most of them cannot be avoided to improve FE. The catalytic converter has to get up to temperature. The engine has to get up to temperature (can be accelerated by using a block heater to hasten the engine getting to temperature during/after cold overnights).

    There are numerous driving techniques that have been developed by the "hypermiling" community and documented on these forums. Many cases of folks getting over 40 mpg in their FEH consistently. [Without increasing SoC beyond the 40-60% range] :D
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "There is no alternator in the FEH. The HVBattery is charged through a motor/generator (MG1) directly by the ICE or when you engage the brake pedal."

    Just a side note. "MG1" is a Toyota HSD term. The Ford system was independently developed; I wonder if Ford uses the same terminology...
  • I found this doc which is a guide for emergency response people for dealing with the escape high voltage system. It might be good to know
  • autodrautodr Posts: 27
    One effective way to increase the mileage on electric drive mode would be turn to off some electrical goodies... like those heated seats. Even though they are on the 12v side and are being fed by the 12v battery, the 12v side is being recharged by the HV side. Instead of an alternator, what you have... for the 12v side.. is a DC to DC converter. That is the box sitting on the pass. inner fender behind the dual coolant resivours. It is taking power from the HV side and charging up the 12v battery.. and runing for 12v goodies, like the radio, heated seats, and what ever else you are running on the 12v side.

    Otherwise, the short answer to your original question is "no", it is designed to keep you from messing with it for your own good.
  • I have an '08 hybrid and live in Baltimore city. On cold mornings it seems to take about 10-15 minutes for the car to go into EV mode. By this time I am usually out of the city and onto the highway. Is this normal? Friends with Prius' and camry hybrids don't report this.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    Sounds rather normal....remember, the PCM takes a lot of variables into account before it allows EV......Catalytic Converter Temp, HVBattery Temp.....many of them sensitive to cold temperatures.
  • rita15rita15 Posts: 3
    Hi guys, I have a 2005 Escape hybrid, and driving it after a while it doesn't switch to battery. Is that normal?
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    I assume you are a new owner of a used 2005 FEH.

    Full Electric Vehicle or EV mode will only be noticeable on the FEH under certain conditions. The rest of the time the High Voltage HVBattery will drive the traction motor to assist the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) in propelling the FEH. The ICE stays on for many reasons - not all of them related to propulsion. For instance, only the traction motor (and HVBattery) can propel the FEH in reverse. So when you first start the FEH and back out of a parking spot, you are operating as an electric vehicle even though the ICE is running.

    Because of other design limitations the ICE will always run at speeds over 40mph

    After several minutes of driving in nominal weather, the FEH should easily operate in EV mode at speeds below 25mph (i.e., parking lots, etc.) as long as the driver is gentle on the "gas" pedal. If this doesn't happen - something may be wrong.
  • rita15rita15 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the answer. I just bougt this used one, and the problem is if I drive it for like half an hour, even if I stop, or go very slow, it doesn't turn off the engine anymore. The next day it works perfectly again. I discovered if it just turns off the engine but I have to push the gas again immediatly and it has to turn on, it never stops again.

    Who can check what is the problem? It doesn't show any failure code on the computer.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    The engine will run constantly if you have the airconditioner/heater selector positioned on any of the red symbols - including defrost, etc.
  • rita15rita15 Posts: 3
    I know that. Nothing is on, I drive it normaly, but after a while it decides not to switch off anymore.
  • dhc1dhc1 Posts: 1
    Have a 2006 FEH with 40000 miles. No problems until today. Went to start car this morning but not enough charge to start ICE. Checked 12Volt and it was down to 8.5 volts. Recharged 12V using battery charger and engine started easily. But after turning off engine and removing key the continual clicking of a relay could be heard in the engine compartment. After about 3 hours battery was again to low to start car. Hadn't noticed any problems previously, high voltage system was kicking in as normal. Any suggestions?
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    Have the DC to DC downconverter checked by the dealer. I believe it charges the 12V battery. It is one of the "hybrid" unique components covered under the 100k warranty.
  • tpaultpaul Posts: 3
    Just brought an 06 Escape Hybrid. The only time the car switches to EV mode is during the the first half hour or so of driving. The rest of the day ICE continues to run even when stopped or when driving under 20 mph. Even when it is working during the first half hour of the first drive of the day, it does not do so as expected, under 25mph, instead it kicks into EV mode at 15 -20 mph. Also, the needle on the gauge at the left which indicates assist and charge never moves. We make sure that the AC is off so that is not the problem. Millage on the car is 56,000. Any ideas? Has anyone else had a similar problem and a possible resolution?
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    The PCM (computer) is definitely getting a signal that is telling it not to use EV. There are many many reasons the FEH will switch out of EV, even at 15-20 mph.
    Throttle position
    HVBattery State of Charge
    Brake pedal positon
    Heater Controls Positon (and of the red positions)
    Gear Shift Lever position

    I would try driving in L for awhile to see if it makes a difference. Then it might be worth it to see if someone can see if there are any fault codes registered in the FEH computer.
  • tpaultpaul Posts: 3
    Computer has been checked out,tried it in low,everything is off,battery is charged. Only works in the morning,but as soon as things warm up,EV stops stops working. To bad Ca. Lemon Law doesn't apply to used cars.
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