Ford Motor Co. revealed details today of advancements it has made to its Escape Hybrid. A research version of the vehicle has been designed to operate on gasoline containing a blend of up to 85 per cent ethanol. It makes complete sense, of course. Why not use the best that hybrid technology has to offer while at the same time reducing emissions on the internal combustion side?
Ford unveiled the design at the Washington Auto Show today. “Ethanol-fuelled hybrids could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” the company said in a statement. “Ford Escape Hybrid, already the world’s cleanest and most fuel-efficient small SUV, would produce about 25 per cent less carbon dioxide if operated exclusively on renewable E85 ethanol fuel instead of carbon-rich gasoline.”
What Ford is acknowledging is that there is no silver bullet to auto design, and that it may take more than one approach to create the most efficient car with the lowest emissions. Imagine a plug-in flex-fuel-hybrid Toyota Prius running on a blend of 85 per cent cellulose ethanol? There’s no reason it can’t be done today…
(NOTE: Should point out that demand for plug-in hybrids is gaining momentum in the United States, with a growing number of U.S. cities demanding that the major automakers seriously consider the design.)