20 September 1999

According to press reports, Ford Motor Company is the first automaker to deliver a prototype of a full-size family sedan powered by a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system. The P2000 LSR car is supposed to be delivered for testing to the US Department of Energy (DOE) later this year.

The P2000, with the size and driveability comparable to that of Ford Taurus, delivers 60 miles per gallon of fuel (3.92 liters per 100 km). This impressive fuel economy was made possible by utilizing a fuel efficient diesel engine coupled with a hybrid electric powertrain and by minimizing the vehicle's weight.

A small diesel engine powering the P2000 drives an electric generator which provides energy for the electric propulsion motor. Increased power needed for accelerations is provided by a battery pack. Regenerative brakes recover part of the braking energy which is used to charge the battery pack.

The car weights only about 900 kg (2000 lb), a 40% less than the Ford Taurus. This weight reduction was achieved by the use of aluminum alloys and other lightweight materials in place of steel.

Ford has been developing the prototype under the DOE's Hybrid Propulsion System Development Program. The objective of Phase I of the program was to deliver a 50 mpg hybrid propulsion system by 1998. Phase II will target the 80 mpg fuel efficiency goal by 2004.

Source: AP