The 2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid has been rated at 38 all-electric miles.

One key difference for the Escape Plug-In Hybrid versus the Ford Escape Hybrid is that the plug-in doesn’t offer all-wheel drive. The Plug-In Hybrid will be a front-wheel-drive-only model. 

Although not yet confirmed by the EPA, the numbers reported by Ford in a press release far outdo the “more than 30 miles” originally anticipated—and are closer than we expected to those of the 42-mile Toyota RAV4 Prime.

The Escape Plug-In Hybrid packs a 14.4-kwh lithium-ion battery below the second-row seats, rather than in part of the cargo area, Ford says, with a total output of 209 horsepower from its two-motor planetary-gear hybrid system. In-depth specs for the plug-in haven’t yet been released to allow a comparison of cargo volume. 

The Plug-In Hybrid charges on 240V in just 3.3 hours, or with a 120V AC outlet in as little as 10 hours, according to Ford.

2020 Ford Escape

2020 Ford Escape

Ford claims that the official MPGe number for the Escape Plug-In Hybrid is 100 MPGe, exceeding that of the RAV4 Hybrid. Although that’s a federal calculation that isn’t so useful for comparing vehicles, efficiency for the Plug-In Hybrid is otherwise rated at 41 mpg combined after running through a charge. To break them down city vs. highway, ratings are likely to closely follow those of the Hybrid, which gets 44 mpg city, 37 highway, 41 combined with front-wheel drive. 

Ford says that the Escape Plug-In Hybrid will offer Auto EV, EV Now, and EV Later modes, with a new EV Charge mode that allows drivers to charge the battery while driving—so as to generate electric-only miles to use later. 

European drivers have appreciated the latter feature when transitioning from highways into zero-emissions city center zones—and others might find it useful for simply going the last few miles home in the quieter, cleaner zero-emissions mode. 

2020 Ford Escape

2020 Ford Escape

Months ago, pricing for the Escape Plug-In Hybrid was released. The Escape Plug-In Hybrid is offered in SE, SEL, and Titanium models, with the price starting at just $34,285, including a $1,245 destination fee. SE versions come with a heated driver’s seat, LED headlights and taillights, and a 6.0-inch touchscreen, while the $36,865 SEL model adds the option for a panoramic moonroof, plus standard fog lamps, roof rails, and a hands-free power tailgate. The top $40,180 Titanium model comes with Bang & Olufsen audio, leather seats, wireless charging, and a 12.3-inch touchscreen.

There's one more cost advantage for the Escape Plug-In Hybrid. Buyers will be offered a federal EV tax credit of up to about $6,400. That's before any state incentives, both of which could cut the price of the Escape PHEV to below that of the Escape Hybrid.

An earlier version of this piece reported the all-electric range as 37 miles, per a Ford press release, but the EPA has since confirmed it at 38 miles.