In 2004, Ford announced its first hybrid model––the Ford Escape Hybrid. This compact SUV was well-received and was soon followed by the equally popular Ford Fusion Hybrid sedan. Since then, Ford’s fleet of alternative fuel vehicles has only grown, and the list of 2021 Ford hybrid and electric models will excite anyone looking for both fuel efficiency and performance. Not only does it contain old favorites such as the 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid, but it includes some surprising additions as well. This includes the all-new 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid pickup and the groundbreaking 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E all-electric performance SUV. Since its creation, Ford has not stopped innovating, and for 2021, it will be providing drivers with a collection of powerful and eco-friendly models to choose from.
How does a hybrid work, though? Unlike an engine powered entirely on gas, a hybrid actually works better in situations where stopping and going is more common, like driving through a city, because the braking generates power through momentum and charges the electric battery. An electronic system in the vehicle utilizes the electric engine whenever possible, automatically switching to the gas-powered engine when necessary. By using the electric engine whenever possible, the vehicle saves on gas and cuts down on emissions from burning fuel. Plug-in hybrid vehicles are a little different. A plug-in hybrid has a larger battery that can hold more of a charge so it can operate longer without using fuel, which is why the plug-in hybrid gets a much higher fuel efficiency. These larger batteries can be charged by plugging them into a power source along with regenerative braking systems.
In terms of driving a hybrid, Ford integrated innovative features like the smart gauge to teach drivers how to conserve energy, including a “tutorial” mode for drivers new to the hybrid experience. This gauge treats energy conservation like a sort of game by growing leaves and vines on the dashboard indicator to encourage more energy-conscious driving. Other gauges show the amount of battery life available versus how much gas is left in the tank, and the fully electric vehicles have only battery life measured. Fully electric vehicles are designed with gauges, which show how far your vehicle can drive in miles, typically an estimate based on your measured driving habits. This gauge takes time to gather data based on your driving habits to become more accurate.
Hybrids and fully electric vehicles are becoming more widely available overall in today’s market, with companies like Ford leading the way toward a full roster of vehicles that reduce or eliminate emissions. Over time, the single hybrid offered by Ford became several available options across the Ford spectrum of vehicles, building up to the exciting new all-electric Mustang Mach E, which is roaring with power. The next iconic Ford model to receive the EV treatment is the best-selling F-150, with the new F-150 Lightning electric truck bringing even more capability to America’s favorite pickup.
The Ford Escape is a capable SUV made to drive like a car with the capability of a small truck. Traditionally, the Escape offers drivers the choice between two gas-powered engines and a hybrid powertrain. However, the trims with a hybrid engine option have been rather limited. For 2021, Ford is adding to its list of hybrid options for the Escape to include the SE, SEL, and Titanium trims, and with the option for a plug-in hybrid on some trims as well. This means that the only Ford Escape trim without a hybrid option is the base trim, the S. Front-wheel drive will be standard on all three trims, with all-wheel drive remaining optional.
All the 2021 hybrid Escape trims will have a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine assisted by two electric motors, while the plug-in hybrid will have a larger battery to allow for electric-only driving for up to 37 miles. These hybrid models will engage regenerative braking to recharge the battery and will utilize an eCVT transmission.
At this time, fuel economy ratings have not been released for the 2021 Ford Escape; however, we can get a good idea of what they will look like based on the 2020 model year. For 2020, estimated fuel efficiency ratings for hybrid models are 44 MPG in the city and 37 MPG on the highway, while the plug-in will have a potential range of 102 MPGe combined. For the 2021 model, Ford estimates approximately three hours for the plug-in hybrid battery to fully charge when using the proper equipment.
With the 2021 Ford Hybrid Escape, drivers and passengers will never run out of room. For example, the rear seats offer 38.9 inches of legroom, and the cargo area offers up to 34.4 cu.ft. of space when the second row is in use. Additionally, cargo space opens up to a maximum of 60.8 cu.ft. with the back row folded down. The plug-in models will lose about three cu.ft. for the battery in the rear cargo area, but it will not affect the legroom in the second row.
With a hybrid vehicle, incredible fuel economy ratings and performance features are a requirement, but tech and safety features should never be overlooked. Ford understood this premise and included plenty of features perfect for all types of drivers. With the Escape, drivers can find features like power front seats, electronic auto climate control, and an audio system that has FordPass Connect and Sync 3. Also available are selectable drive modes, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and intelligent access with push-button start. For safety features, there is pre-collision assist, a lane-keeping system, and BLIS with cross-traffic alert.
If you are looking to get the most out of your Ford Escape, the Titanium is the best choice. This trim will have the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of safety features, a ten-speaker B&O audio system created by Bang & Olufsen, post-collision braking, electronic curve control, electric power-assisted steering, adaptive cruise control, driver’s seat memory, heated front seats, voice-activated navigation, heated steering wheel, and auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Making its debut in 2021 is the Mustang Mach E, a sport utility vehicle directly inspired by the original Ford Mustang. The Mach E will be fully electric and capable of going from zero to 60 in under four seconds. With the proper equipment, the Mach E is able to drive up to 300 miles on one charge.
New for 2021 will be a Sync 4A system for infotainment, which integrates smartphone activity, voice commands, and personalizes the system, which learns from your own preferred settings. Over-the-air updates will keep your infotainment system up to date so your Mach E won’t have to go into the shop to keep the system running smoothly with the most recent version. Even better, the Sync system runs on a 15.5-inch tablet centrally located on the dash, and it will control not just connectivity but will also offer mood settings with ambient lighting based on your own preferences.
Several more innovative and new features are incorporated into the Mustang Mach E, from the future-forward interior to the uniquely styled exterior. With the fully electric engine, there is more space available inside the vehicle, including under the hood. A useful 4.7 cu.ft. of space under the hood is both waterproof and has a drain for wet or messy items. The dashboard may surprise drivers with a fully electronic screen for sharing the vehicle's data and a tidy, uncluttered command seat with few knobs or controls. Virtually all the controls are electronic and seamlessly integrated with voice commands or touchscreen.
The Mach E's list of features is never-ending. Drivers can utilize an available panoramic sunroof and a trip planner that details your route with the available battery and suggests where to find charging stations along the way. There is also a system for personalized driver profiles, which will automatically adjust seating and other preferences before you even open the door. This is an incredible feature if you share the Mach E with a partner or child. You can also expect driver-assist tech to be extraordinary with Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0. This system goes beyond the usual suite of safety features by offering evasive steering assist, intersection assist, and a 360-degree camera with split-view and a washer.
Ford has arrived at a pinnacle moment with the release of its new full-hybrid F-150. The F-150 has held the record for highest truck sales in the world for the last 40 years, and now Ford is ready to test the waters with a new F-150 engine that could revolutionize how trucks are powered for the future. If buyers can come to appreciate the ease of owning a hybrid and the opportunity it brings for savings on fuel, the F-150 could be the first successful series of trucks to overturn the market of diesel and gas engines.
The Ford F-150 can utilize a 3.5-liter PowerBoost Full Hybrid V6, which delivers an impressive 430 horsepower and 570 lb-ft of torque. In addition to great horsepower and torque ratings, this powerful engine can tow up to 12,700 pounds and can haul a maximum payload of 2,120 pounds when properly equipped. Paired to a ten-speed automatic transmission, the hybrid engine incorporates an electric motor that regenerates from power typically wasted in the process of braking. It can also run a class-exclusive generator that can support the use of power tools for a job site.
When you build your hybrid F-150, you get all the same features and options available with the gas-powered models, plus you save on fuel and get a powerful generator as standard equipment, a feature new to the F-150 models for 2021. The 30.6-gallon gas tank, which will run in tandem with the electric motor, can allow for a range of up to 700 miles. Cab sizes and bed sizes are all within the same ranges as the other engine options, so buyers won’t be limited in any way by the hybrid powertrain. If anything, it may offer only advantages.
Standard features on the base trim include an eight-inch infotainment screen, a rearview camera with hitch assist, rear-wheel drive, automatic high beams, and automatic headlights activated by rain. Other features include pre-collision assist with auto emergency braking, Sync 4, FordPass Connect, a post-crash alert system, curve control, trailer sway control, and roll stability control.
Also standard with all hybrid trims is one of the most revolutionary of all the features onboard the new F-150: the ProPower Onboard Outlet, which is a generator accessible from the bed of the truck. At first, this may mildly pique your interest to consider having the convenience of a generator in your truck bed until you realize this is about as good as having actual power outlets that can handle power-hungry equipment. If you need to plug in power tools like saws, welders, or even a jackhammer, the F-150 hybrid can handle it. With the largest generator at 7.2kW, there is virtually no end to the appliances or tools you could power.
Options for base trim models will vary based on the size of the cab and bed, as well as choosing four-wheel drive. Front tow hooks are automatically included when opting for four-wheel drive, as are all-terrain tires. Selectable drive modes are standard with any model, but more are available with 4x4 models. Other options include an electronic locking rear differential, skid plates, an integrated trailer brake controller, trailer reverse guidance, back-up assist, 360-degree camera, voice recognition, and Sirius XM. One exciting new feature is an optional interior workspace that folds flat on the center armrest of the front seat and acts as a desk.
The XLT trim will add to the base trim with heated exterior mirrors, a 170-degree rear door with the SuperCab model, the Boxlink tie-down feature, which adapts to a variety of clamps or ramps to hold items secure in the bed, and halogen fog lights. Next up is the Lariat trim, which sees an increase in the infotainment screen size to 12 inches. Other features include auto-dimming exterior mirrors, LED box lighting, remote tailgate release, interior auto-dimming rearview mirror, the reverse sensing system, heated and ventilated front seats, a black leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-trimmed seats, and Sirius XM.
Upgrading to the King Ranch trim will offer standard equipment like the 400-watt power outlet in the back of the bed (in lieu of the generator), a cargo light in the bed, remote locking tailgate, two-tone exterior paint, adaptive cruise control, adaptive steering, a forward sensing system, heated steering wheel with powered tilting and telescoping memory, a wireless charging pad, wood trim accents on the interior, a B&O audio system by Bang and Olufsen, enhanced voice recognition, navigation, and a 4G hotspot. Sliding up to the Platinum trim adds the Ford Co-Pilot360 safety suite, rain-sensing wipers, FordPass Connect, leather seats, lumbar for front seats, heated rear seats, and driver seat memory.
When ranging to the upper trim, features like power running boards that automatically sense your approach, a power tailgate, a tailgate step with work surface, moon roof, a full suite of driver-assisted safety features, and power-adjustable pedals with memory feature are added. Options like fully reclining front seats, lockable fold-away storage under the rear seats, and bed liners can all be added to the standard features for this uppermost trim.
The new PowerBoost F-150 Hybrid has launched a new era for efficient and capable pickup trucks. However, its revolutionary capabilities are just the start for Ford. Soon, the gasoline, diesel, and hybrid versions of America’s favorite pickup will be joined by the all-new F-150 Lighting electric truck. With over 300 miles of range, dual-motor all-wheel drive, and incredible acceleration, this pickup will redefine capability and demonstrate what an EV is capable of when built by the Blue Oval. Whether at the job site or on the trail, the 2023 F-150 Lightning is all set to continue Ford’s domination of the pickup truck market when it hits dealership lots next year.
For 2021, the Explorer Hybrid is expected to be offered only through the Limited trim. Under the hood will be a 3.3-liter V6 hybrid engine that has the capability of towing up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. The engine is paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission. Because the Explorer is an SUV, it could also come with the available terrain management system with selectable modes for driving.
Inside the Explorer, the Limited hybrid has room to seat seven with the configuration of captain’s chairs in the second row. Legroom for the first two rows is comfortable for adults, with legroom in the rear row at 32.2 inches, which is great for older kids. Cargo space in the trunk area with all seats in place is an incredible 18.2 cu.ft., which is larger than the standard trunk of a midsize sedan. With the third row folded down, cargo space increases to 47.9 cu.ft., and with all back seats folded flat, the cargo space increases up to 87.8 cu.ft.
Safety features on the Limited are numerous. For those living in snowy, cold climates, the AdvanceTrac with roll stability control can help keep the vehicle stable in adverse weather conditions. Traction control assists with managing the spinning of wheels on slippery surfaces. A post-crash alert system will deploy flashing lights and the security horn to warn oncoming traffic of your position so help can assist you in the case of an accident.
Some driver-assist features include lane-keeping assist, lane-keeping alert, and driver alert. A forward and reverse sensing system is available and will alert the driver when the front or rear of the vehicle is nearing an object. In addition, a MyKey system allows for features to be programmed with limits for specific drivers, such as speed or volume of the stereo, to help protect teens while they drive without adults.
Ford has done an incredible job of offering incredible features on the Limited trim. A few highlights include a B&O sound system created by Bang & Olufsen, voice-activated navigation, heated second-row captains chairs, and tri-zone automatic climate control. Wherever you need to go, the Explorer Limited can get you there in style.