Ford Social Answers Your Questions About Hybrid Vehicles

By Sean J.

Hybrids are making their way into the automotive world in a big way. No longer science experiments with eye-popping price tags, today’s hybrids are practical, more affordable and represent the new frontier of automotive technology.

With all that new technology, there’s a bit of a learning curve. Completely new acronyms, concepts and equipment are making their way into the automotive language: PHEV, HEV, MPGe and li-ion batteries, just to name a few.

To help clear up the confusion, we went straight to our fans on the Ford C-MAX and Ford Fusion + Hybrid Facebook pages. We asked them what nagging hybrid questions they would like cleared up by the experts at Ford.

Then, we went straight to the top of the Ford Advanced Electrification Center and sat down with Nancy Gioia, Ford Motor Company’s Director of Global Electrification . If anyone can help shed some light on how hybrids work in a language that doesn’t require a master’s degree in electrical engineering, it’s Nancy.

To answer one of the most frequently asked questions, “What’s the difference between a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid?” we need to understand how the battery works with the rest of the car.

“A hybrid doesn’t require a plug, but it has a large battery stored on board that stores energy, and works in combination with electric motors to then help make the vehicle 50 percent average – 70 percent in the city, better fuel economy. But, no change in behavior for the customer, ” explained Nancy.

“A plug-in hybrid…now you have a plug. So overnight – or in four hours – you can recharge your plug-in hybrid and get up to 21 miles, on the cycle that the EPA uses, of full-electric. So, the first thing you do in a plug-in is charge it up, you discharged that electric energy and then what? It runs like a regular hybrid.”

But with advanced batteries and new technology comes additional cost.With all of these fancy new parts and expensive electronics, how does Ford prevent sticker shock?

According to Nancy, “To help make this as affordable as possible at Ford, we’re the only manufacturer – the only one out there – that actually uses the same components for the motors, the power electronics, the cables and the controllers between our hybrid and our plug-in hybrid.”

Now that you understand how the different types of hybrids work, and see that Ford offers some of the most affordable hybrids on the market, you  might be asking, “How do I decide which is right for me?”

To answer that, Nancy said you have to ask yourself one question and then do some math.

“Do I get cost-of-fuel savings and insurance and maintenance and all of those things that may offset a slightly higher initial purchase price?”

She added that one thing getting a hybrid won’t cost you is a fun driving experience.

“We want to make sure the drive experience is uncompromised. It’s a real car. It’s fun to drive. It’s good to go down the road. It’s intuitive and easy to use. You’ll enjoy it. It meets all your needs, and gives you a reasonable payback period.”

Want to go in-depth on hybrid technology at Ford? Watch the video to see the whole interview and get answers to other commonly asked questions, such as, “What is MPGe?” and “How does charging work in a plug-in hybrid?”

Are you kicking the tires on a hybrid or electric-powered vehicle? See how the Ford Fusion gives you “the power of choice” and more ways to power your vehicle than ever before.

Already driving a hybrid? Want to show it off to the world? Upload a photo of your fuel-efficient ride or grab an I Love Hybrids badge !
Wendell Ferrell 05/17/2014
I wish someone would make vehicles (including airplanes), with a magnetic motor-no fuel or recharging!
James Benz 09/19/2013
I would enjoy some information on the electric motors. Power, amperage,voltage, efficiency, other.
Greg 08/15/2013
have enjoyed my new C-Max SEL, but I cannot tell if this is a tax credit vehicle or not.  This was one reason I bought it but from the IRS site it is not qualified, what a bummer.
Larry 08/15/2013
We have an C-Max and we love it, great gas mileage, this cars computer systm gets to know the drivers habbits and makes the changes for the best mileage.We now have over 5000 miles and most of the time we get 42-45MPG with this car. We think this is the best buy on the market now.If you can find one buy it, you wont be sorry. Happy C-Max owner
B. Scherer 08/15/2013
I wish Ford would speak up for the Lincoln MKZ gas/hybrid since the Ford dealerships do their service.  Our 2012 gas/hybrid is the best car we've ever had.  It has the same base sticker price as the gasoline engine.  In Florida we get around 44-45 around town because the land is flat.  In PA we get around 40-42 around town because the land is hilly.  This is a great car and we would buy another in a heart beat.  We have more than 23,000 mi on it in 17 months!
Josh 06/18/2013
When are we going to get the Escape Plug-in Hybrid? It was tested on the old model, but dropped. It would need to have more than 50 mile range on battery and good performance to be worth it. Just do not loose the ground clearance for the batteries.
Lisa 03/20/2013
How many miles can it go on one charge?
Barbara B 02/25/2013
I would be nice if Ford would come up with a high profile vehicle that is a hybrid. I have owned 2 Escape Hybrids, and love that vehicle. I live where we get snow in the winter and really need a high profile vehicle.
Rob F 02/09/2013
Vent mode please
signed love my 2010 Fusion hybrid
kendall c 01/30/2013
lets have some options in the Titanium Hybrid fusion interior color choices?
Joshua M 01/29/2013
Sounds like a neat car..Ford has great ideas always
Rob F 01/28/2013
Looking for a good hybrid dealer in Houston, Tx, any suggestions ?