UPDATE:FoMoCo PR asked us to replace the 2007 Escape photo we had up top with one that more accurately reflected the new and hard look that represents a more "masculine" and "manly" design in the new 2008 Escape mini-ute. So we went with a shot of it with the adorable and cuddly widdle puppet. Isn't it cutesy-wutesy? Yeah, it was either that or a picture of Ruben Stoddard next to the butt-end of one, Ford CEO Allan Mulally announced yesterday plans to have Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles on sale in the next 5 to 10 years. The Automaker will partner with energy giant Southern California Edison in order to bring the battery technology needed within consumer reach.
The reason we don't have plug-ins - or PHEVs in industry speak - yet is due to the enormous cost of the batteries required. By finding additional applications for plug-in technology the partnership intends to increase the market for them, thus bringing down the cost. One such use would be storing energy from an outlet in the car during off-peak hours, when its cost is low, then using that cheap energy during expensive times. PHEVs could also provide more efficient storage for electricity generated by solar panels, or use that energy for pollution-free driving. They're also looking at building the residual value of the batteries into the vehicle's purchase price. Ford and SCE think there could be a market for the batteries and their parts when the vehicles are scrapped.