Just found this newer link about the Plug-in FEH. You can now see the upgrades that needed to be done to the '08 model and get an idea of possible changes to the new '09 with the 2.5L engine.

"The liquid cooled battery pack is provided by Johnson Controls-Saft. JCS is also one of the two development suppliers to GM's plug-in Saturn Vue program. The trans-axles in the vehicles have been beefed up and an electric lubrication pump has been added to compensate for the fact that the engine is off much more of the time. The electric motor is unchanged from the production Escape hybrid. That means that the ability to run on electric power alone is still limited compared to a purpose-designed plug-in vehicle.

Although the lithium battery theoretically has the capacity to provide up to 10 miles of electric only motivation, in the real world, the limited power of the motor means that the engine will typically start up long before that. In typical driving, the battery has enough capacity to provide significant hybrid boost for about 30-35 miles before the battery is largely depleted, getting you back to normal hybrid performance at that point. Even with that caveat, Frenette reports that Ford has seen up to 120mpg in city driving and 80mpg on the highway with the PHEV.

In our little tour of Manhattan the starting and stopping of the engine actually felt even smoother than the production Escape. The engineers on this program have made some control changes that Frenette hopes to roll into the production program. By the time we returned to the front door of the Javits Convention Center the fuel economy readout showed and average of 83mpg without really trying for maximum efficiency. Frenette says a production plug-in hybrid could be on the road within five years once the battery durability has been validated. The cost of lithium batteries still remains a major obstacle with the latest rumors indicating a potential price in the region of $48,000 for the Saturn Vue PHEV. That's a price point that just won't see much mass-market appeal, even at 80+mpg."


Happy reading!