Plug-in hybrids are a great way for buyers to get a first taste of the electric vehicle experience.
Some may argue that PHEVs' limited all-electric driving range actually defeats their purpose because the driver would still have to rely on the internal combustion engine when the electric juice runs out.
The counterargument to that is the fact that the average US driver covered 39 miles (62 km) per day in 2019, as per the Department of Transportation—and since the pandemic, that average daily mileage has dropped significantly.
Theoretically, some plug-in hybrid models available in the US today have a longer electric range than that, at least according to their EPA ratings. The first that come to mind are the Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid (47 miles) and the Toyota RAV4 Prime (42 miles).
With 37 miles of EPA-rated electric range, the 2021 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid is also among the frontrunners, but can it really achieve this range in real-world driving conditions?
Our friends from Out of Spec Reviews wanted to find out, so they subjected a Ford Escape PHEV to real-world city and highway EV range tests. Jordan Schiefer charged the 14.4 kWh battery to 100%, selected EV mode, and then went on to drive it around town to see how many miles it could go on a full charge.
It’s important to note that his test loop consisted of city driving at speeds of up to 40 mph (64 km/h), without Jordan putting any effort into hypermiling the car. The outside temperature during the test was 46 degrees Fahrenheit (almost 8 degrees Celsius).
Once the battery got fully depleted, Escape PHEV had covered 39 electric miles, exceeding its EPA rating by two miles.
Watch the video above for Jordan's full driving impressions and overall opinion about the Escape Plug-in Hybrid, and make sure you don't miss the second half of the video, which sees Kyle Conner perform a 70-mph highway range test in the same vehicle. Can the electrified compact SUV sustain 70 mph constantly without the internal combustion engine kicking in? Will it cover at least 20 miles? The video has the answer to those questions and more.