Ford Australia is preparing to launch the Escape Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) in the coming months, after a nearly two-year delay.
CarExpert spoke with a Ford Australia representative who confirmed the plug-in SUV is still on track for its second quarter 2022 arrival, though we may see an update to the pricing and specification of the vehicle when it finally launches Down Under.
“We are on track for the arrival of Escape PHEV in Q2 – and look forward to sharing more details soon,” the Ford Australia spokesperson said.
“We will confirm full specifications and pricing at the time of vehicle arrival.”
Originally due to arrive with the wider range in the second half of 2020, the Ford Escape PHEV has previously been detailed and priced in ST-Line guise, though vehicles haven’t landed Down Under and have seen multiple delays since.
Ford Australia most recently indicated the ST-Line would be priced from $53,440 plus on-road costs in MY22-spec. It’s likely given Ford and other brands have seen markups of late, the Escape PHEV could arrive costing more than initially promised.
Asked about the prospects of more model variants to be available with the PHEV powertrain option, Ford responded with: “We are confident the Escape ST-Line PHEV strikes the right balance of features for Australian customers and have no plans for any other electrified variants to share at this stage”.
There are also no plans to expand the Escape’s electrified offering beyond the PHEV variant at this stage either, despite there being an Escape/Kuga Hybrid offered overseas which would line up as a compelling rival to the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
Power in the Ford Escape PHEV comes from a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine paired with a CVT automatic as well as a lithium-ion battery and electric motor. The PHEV will be FWD-only.
System power output is quoted at 165kW, while the 14.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack offers 50-55 kilometres of zero-emissions range. According to the UK specifications, the battery charges in 3 hours with a Type 2 cable or 6 hours using a 3-pin British house socket.
The Escape PHEV will be one of two electrified vehicle launches for Ford in 2022, the other being the e-Transit electric van which is scheduled to arrive around mid-year.
Key rivals for the plug-in Escape include the new-generation Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the MG HS Plus EV, Peugeot 3008 GT Sport Plug-in Hybrid, Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid, as well as the upcoming Cupra Formentor VZe plug-in hybrid.
Ford Australia has indicated it plans to launch “at least five electrified vehicles by the end of 2024”, though declined to go into further detail.
The company’s European division just announced seven new EVs for the region this morning, including an all-electric version of the Puma, as well as two unnamed electric crossovers – both based on the Volkswagen MEB platform, likely to be related to the VW ID.4 and ID.5.
Elsewhere in the world there are the F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E electric vehicles, and thus far neither have been earmarked as future starters for the Australian range.
There’s a plug-in hybrid version of the all-new Ranger dual-cab ute in the works too, and we’d be surprised if that didn’t make the trip Down Under.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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