Skip to main content

Ford is beginning its journey to becoming all-electric in the future by offering models such as the Mustang Mach-E and the F-150 Lightning. But it’s curious to see it only has a few hybrid models across the lineup. It’s even stranger to see only one PHEV variant to purchase. Which is it, and what can you expect?

How a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle works

A Ford Escape, the only Ford model available as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)
Ford hybrid | Getty Images

When it comes to EVs, there are primarily hybrid and fully electric models on the road today. However, we’re slowly seeing more plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) hit the markets. How does this type of electric vehicle differ from traditional hybrids, and how does it work?

A regular hybrid model charges up the battery while driving down the road. Regenerative braking takes the energy produced by the car and sends it to the battery so that you can continually keep the charge level up during the day. 

A plug-in hybrid is different. You can only charge the battery by plugging it into a charging source like your home’s 120 or 240-volt system. Once the charge is used up, the gas engine takes over. 

This kind of EV works best when you do a lot of short-distance driving because it can take up to six hours to charge with a 120-volt system. If you’re using a 240-volt socket, it will take only about 2 hours to charge, according to Progressive. Once fully recharged, you get anywhere from 10 to 50 miles before you have to plug it in again. 

What does the Ford Escape PHEV offer?

Ford only has one plug-in hybrid vehicle in the brand’s lineup for 2023, and that’s the Escape. With this model, you can expect to pay around $38,500 to start, according to Ford’s website. For that price, you get LED fog lamps, a power liftgate, a body-colored rear spoiler, door handles, and side-view mirrors with heated glass. 

Powering it up combines a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle Inline four-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor setup. The total output combined is 200 hp, and an electric continuously variable transmission is paired with it. Towing capacity maxes out at 1,500 lbs, which is fine for light hauling, and you can get 105 MPGe and 40 mpg combined in hybrid mode. 

You’ll also get dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control, speed sign recognition, Intelligent adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, remote start system, and selectable drive modes. 

Which Ford models offer a hybrid electrification powertrain?

While Ford only has one plug-in variant, there are a few standard hybrid models within its lineup. The Escape offers not only a PHEV but a traditional hybrid version as well. This one has a battery that works with a regenerative braking system to recharge it while on the go. The price for this version is $37,900 to start.

Ford’s Explorer has an optional hybrid variant for both the Limited and Platinum trims. Towing capacity for the Limited is 5,000 lbs, while you can haul up to 5,600 lbs with the Platinum level trim. The brand’s SUVs aren’t the only models that have a hybrid version. 

The Maverick also comes with one. The hybrid powertrain is standard with all trim levels of this model, but you can choose a 2.0-liter EcoBoost gas engine if you prefer. Pricing for this version starts at $22,195 if you’re able to get your hands on it. 

Ford offers a few hybrid variants, but if you’re looking for a plug-in hybrid model, you’ll only have one to select: the Ford Escape version. For $38,000, this SUV sure packs a punch as far as fuel savings go.


10 Excellent Plug-in Hybrids (PHEVS) With Electric Driving Ranges Over 30 Miles