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Series Parallel operating in the _Ford_ Escape.
The _Ford_ escape hybrid operates in a similar way to the _Toyota_ Prius. The fact of the matter is that the Ford transmission patent (the mechanical way the vehicle switches betwixt combustion engine and electric moteur) is the Toyota transmission patent. Someone else will have to type the schematic and mechanical specifics, but I can tell you how mine operates in the real world. The first thing one notices is that the footfeed is very sensitive. The pedal will initiate the electric motor alone at startup if one doesn't tromp on it. The trannie knows when to add the piston engine in. The combustion motor is added above speeds of forty miles/ hour, or when extra torque is needed, such as on a hill, accelerating heavily, or when the batteries need charging, I suppose a sensor and a shunt or other voltage regulator determines this last point. Part of the reason the engine is desired at speeds above forty M.P.H. is that the drag of the engine if needed in an emergency stop is greater. The owners manual says that it is to prevent unsafe coasting.
During braking, the 4 wheel disc brakes are assisted by the torque of the electric motor against the wheels turning, and the motor is used inversely as a generator. The torque of the brushes, or brushlessness... helps to slow the automobile. When one starts the vehicle with the key, every time the gasoline engine is engaged. This engagement of the gas engine helps to charge the battery, and does not stop until the batteries -single 12V or big sealed 3XX V battery in the rear are at an acceptable level to the computer. This is where folks want to change the hybrid a little bit; adding a plug in charging system, and therefore the engine will not net to engage to charge the batteries so much, offering even greater fuel economy. IN addition to running at startup, above forty M.P.H., the gasoline and electric assist the higher velocity acceleration at times. The Electric motor kicks in with acceleration i.e.: at highway speeds to pass, and at low speeds to pass, thus saving fuel during high revolution use. For the size, weight, safety, handling, and great mileage, my experience in driving my Escape has been tremendously positive. It is making a statement that people can have a REAL car, SUV, truck with great looks, hauling capacity, and curb appeal. In this vein also it is a good transition automobile for our society, part electric, part fossil fuel. I believe we should moderate just how much we demand of these great production vehicles, i.e. battery weight, heat of electric motor and look at the other limits set by the original engineers as well, just to make sure we don't over exceed the specs, and also that if one wants to get a plug-in addition, they won't pay an exhorbitant price. Solar would also be a great addition to my Escape, but not too tacky, so that people wouldn't think we are a bunch of freaks. Really we have to consider this, when we try to alter the way things are. Automobiles are very much social extensions of ourselves -you and I may dig a full out electric with stickers, and a suspension that drags the ground, but our audience may not. They are just now getting the idea that electric can work, by seeing hybrids. Let's not blow it for our culture. Thank you, and happy engineering on this Plug-in Hybrid discussion. E=I*R
- --Richard Parker of Austin, Texas 19:14, 29 September 2006 (CDT)