Unlike some hybrids, this Escape is a full hybrid vehicle, meaning that it can operate without the internal combustion gasoline engine running. In fact, the Ford Escape Hybrid will be able to go as fast as 25 mph without burning a drop of fuel, albeit for short distances. Ford estimates that in city driving, the Escape can run on electric only about 40% of the time in bumper-to-bumper traffic. When the gasoline engine is used, Ford estimates that the SUV will be able to travel 500 miles between fuel stops.
Like other hybrids, the Escape Hybrid is equipped with an Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) that automatically shuts the gasoline engine off when it is not needed, such as when idling at a traffic light. The gasoline engine restarts when any demand for power is detected. The benefit of this system is reduced emissions and fuel consumption.
Regenerative braking captures energy created when the brakes are used to recharge the Ford Escape Hybrid's powerful battery pack. The headlights, stereo and climate control system will be operated using juice from the batteries, resulting in reduced fuel consumption because the engine won't need to continually power these accessories. Ford's hybrid system includes a thermal management system that cools the battery pack to prolong battery life. On the 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid show vehicle, an air extractor splits the left rear quarter glass.