Ford Escape PHEV (plug-in hybrid) on sale in Australia from $53,440

Ford has confirmed the first local deliveries of its Escape PHEV (plug-in hybrid) will be taking place later this month, marking the release of its first-ever EV available in Australia.

Following the launch of the latest generation Escape in late 2020, Ford is offering mid-size SUV buyers a plug-in hybrid option within its range as the company hopes to introduce as many as five electrified vehicles here in Australia by 2024.

Under the bonnet, the Escape PHEV features a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine paired with an electric motor, onboard generator and a 14.4kWh battery pack, producing a combined 167kW of power transferred to the front wheels via a CVT automatic. The battery pack offers up a claimed range of 56km (WLTP) of all-electric driving, while the combined fuel economy figure stands at a 1.5L/100km.

It features four separate driving modes including an EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge setting for the plug-in hybrid system, and features regenerative braking. Owners can recharge using the Type 2 socket on the passenger front guard via either a conventional home socket or wall box.

The Ford Escape PHEV is being introduced to the Australian market in a single ST-Line variant only, which is set to receive a $1000 price increase from July 1. The ST-Line comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, ambient LED interior lighting, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with sat-nav, digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 10-speaker B&O sound system.

The Escape PHEV ST-Line is on sale now priced from $53,440 (excluding on-roads), and comes packaged with a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty for the vehicle’s hardware, while the electric motor, high-voltage systems and battery pack are covered by an eight-year/160,000km warranty.

Those purchasing an Escape PHEV will have colour options including Agate Black, Blazer Blue, Blue Metallic, Frozen White, Magnetic, Rapid Red, Solar Silver, and White Premium.

There are also a number of optional extras for the Escape PHEV, including an ST-Line Pack that adds an automatic tailgate lift, heated front seats, head-up display and LED projector headlights for $1950, while the $1500 Park Pack adds a front camera, active parking assist and protective cladding for the doors.