CLAYCOMO, Mo., August 6, 2004 -- Citing its pacesetting fuel economy and status as the world's first full hybrid SUV, Ford Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ford celebrated the production launch of the 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid at the Kansas City Assembly Plant yesterday.
Driving in a green Ford Escape Hybrid with Charlie Hoskins of United Auto Workers National Ford Department, Bill Ford joined Missouri Gov. Bob Holden, employees and local plant officials to officially mark the occasion. The Ford Escape Hybrid is the world's first full hybrid SUV and the first hybrid vehicle to be built in North America.
"Ford has a history of introducing vehicles that change our industry and change our world. Escape Hybrid is one of those vehicles, " Bill Ford said. "Escape Hybrid is our first production vehicle aimed at mainstream customers powered by anything other than an internal combustion engine.
"It's the first, but it won't be the last," he added. "We're going to be leaders in automotive technology that makes a difference for our customers and the world they live in."
2005 Ford Escape Hybrid
Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certified fuel economy numbers that put the front-wheel-drive Ford Escape Hybrid at 36 mpg city/31 mpg highway.
Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant is home to the Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute and Ford F-150. It is Ford Motor Company's most productive North American plant in terms of numbers of vehicles produced, and with the Escape Hybrid, now is home to one of Ford's most innovative products.
"Ford Motor Company has been building vehicles in Kansas City since 1912, and that relationship has been good for both Ford and the State of Missouri. Ford's decision to build the world's first hybrid SUV right here in Kansas City, relying on the skills and productivity of Missouri workers and the company's ongoing investment in assembly plants at both Kansas City and St. Louis, is clear evidence of Missouri's strong business environment and the quality of our workforce," Gov. Holden said. "The fact that Ford has chosen Missouri to build the first hybrid vehicle in North America shows that our relationship is focused on the future."
Ford plans to produce about 20,000 Escape Hybrids during in its first full year. The Escape Hybrid is the first hybrid electric vehicle that can comfortably accommodate five adults and all of their gear. Its fuel-efficient, four-cylinder engine combines with an electric drive system to deliver acceleration performance similar to that of the V-6 Ford Escape.
While a conventionally powered vehicle burns fuel and creates emissions while idling in stopped traffic, the Escape Hybrid's engine shuts down to conserve fuel. The electric generator can smoothly start the gasoline engine in less than 400 milliseconds, without the increased emissions produced when starting a conventional engine. It never needs to be plugged in because the battery continually recharges itself by reclaiming energy when the brakes are applied.
Escape Hybrid is an extremely clean vehicle to operate, producing 97 percent less hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen emissions than vehicles that meet today's nationwide Tier I emissions standard. That's clean enough to qualify the 2005 Escape Hybrid for the stringent Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) standards.
In addition to hybrid vehicles, Ford's environmental commitment includes investing in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, hydrogen internal combustion engines, clean diesel, biodiesel and other fuel reducing technologies.
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