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EPA Certifies First Hybrid SUV

Release Date: 08/05/2004
Contact Information:


Contact: John Millett, 202-564-7842 / millett.john@epa.gov


(Washington, D.C. - Aug. 5. 2004) EPA has certified the first Hybrid SUV for sale in the United States. The Ford Escape Hybrid complies with EPA’s stringent new emission standards for light-duty vehicles and trucks, and according to EPA estimates, the 2-wheel drive version gets 36 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The 4-wheel drive fuel economy is estimated at 33 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Model-year 2004 SUVs averaged 17.9 mpg.

Unlike conventional gasoline cars, hybrid vehicles make use of an electric motor that supplements or, at times, takes over as the power source. The Escape Hybrid captures the energy that would otherwise be lost during braking and stores it in a battery used to power the electric motor. When the demand for power is low, the electric motor takes over to augment or replace the gasoline motor, so that the vehicle burns less fuel.

EPA will list this vehicle in the Green Vehicle Guide along with all other 2005 models in October, 2004. EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide (http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles) is a consumer guide that assigns air pollution scores to vehicles on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the least polluting. The Green Vehicle Guide score for this vehicle is a 9 out of 10 for federally certified vehicles. With this score, the Ford Escape Hybrid achieves significantly higher fuel economy than traditional SUVs, and it is among the cleanest SUVs available in 2005. Ford expects to have vehicles available for purchase in September 2004. EPA certifies vehicles for emissions and determines fuel economy values prior to sale in the United States.

The 2000 Honda Insight was the first hybrid passenger car introduced to the U.S. market, and the 2004 Toyota Prius was the first mid-size hybrid sedan.

More information about hybrid technology can be found at: http://www.fueleconomy.gov and at: http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles .