From our innovative hybrid-electrics and plug-in hybrids to our all-electrics, Ford has made quite the impression when it comes to electrified-vehicles. Exciting? You bet, but new technologies bring questions, like: just what are the similarities and differences between these different types of vehicles and what kind of Ford Electrified Vehicle fits my lifestyle? Good news: we’ve got the answers!

How each model is unique

Telling the difference between a Ford hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and an all-electric is simpler than you think!

Ford hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles visualized

When you’re talking about a hybrid-electric such as a Ford Fusion Hybrid, you’re referring to a vehicle that has both a gas engine and a battery-powered electric motor. When driving, your car automatically switches seamlessly between the two, making sure that you enjoy efficiency and performance.

Mention a plug-in hybrid such as the Ford C-Max Energi, and you’re talking about a vehicle similar to the hybrid-electric, but with the option for you to plug in the car to charge it. And, at cruising speeds (city and highway) or shorter trips, you can drive in all-electric mode, meaning fewer trips to the pump to fuel that daily commute.

Finally, if you’re referring to an all-electric vehicle such as the Ford Focus Electric, you’re talking about a Ford that is powered completely by a rechargeable battery. That means you don’t require a drop of gas to hit the road, and the car produces zero CO2 emissions.


Leading the charge

When it comes to recharging batteries, Ford’s hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles all use something called regenerative braking. Essentially, it’s a technology that captures energy from the wheels when the brakes are applied. The motor then uses that energy to recharge the battery.

Ford hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles use different power sources

A Ford hybrid also keeps its battery charged by transforming the gas engine’s mechanical energy into electricity.

A Ford plug-in hybrid has both a gas engine and a chargeable battery. The battery is charged three ways: through regenerative braking, via transforming the mechanical energy into electricity, and by being plugged in.

A Ford all-electric vehicle is plugged in to charge.


Socket to ya!

When plugging in your all-electric or plug-in hybrid, you have two options to charge the vehicle’s battery: a standard 120V outlet or a 240V home charging station depending on how quickly you want the charge. The 2017 Ford Fusion will add at third option: lightning-fast, 480V DC charging.

Ford hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric charge their batteries differently.

It’s important to know that a 120V outlet will require an overnight charge, while the 240V charging station is a significantly faster way to get moving again. For instance, the 2016 Ford C-MAX Energi Plug-In Hybrid can fully recharge its battery in only 2.5 hours using the 240V station.

What’s more, the 2017 Focus Electric will come with lightning-fast, 480 Volt DC charging capability that can charge the battery to 80 per cent capacity in just 30 minutes with a projected range of up to 160 kilometres.


The Electrified Vehicle to meet your needs

Planning a road trip, or simply have to run a few errands around the neighbourhood? Depending on your needs, certain Ford electrified-vehicles may be more in line with your lifestyle than others.

There are different best usage cases for Ford hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles

A Ford hybrid uses gas and regenerative braking to charge the battery . With gas in the tank, you won’t have to worry about running out of juice—a good bet for longer trips. And with the added power from the battery, you can use less gas too.

A Ford plug-in hybrid can run in electric-only mode for shorter trips; but if you’re going for a longer drive, then it’ll work just like a regular hybrid. It’s the best of both worlds! And models such as the Ford C-MAX Energi can attain highway speeds in electric-only mode with ease.

A Ford all-electric vehicle is great for shorter everyday trips, and models such as the 2016 Ford Focus Electric only require 3.6 hours of 240/V charging; and the 2017 model will offer DC charging that will charge the battery to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes. All in, the 2016 Ford Focus electric has a Government of Canada-estimated range of 122 kilometres for every full charge you give it. And you can say goodbye to lining up at the pumps!

Now that you know the difference between the three types of Electrified Vehicles, you may be happy to learn that with government incentives available in some provinces, the cost of buying or leasing a Ford electrified vehicle may be comparable or even less than its gas-powered counterpart. Learn more here. Or find a dealer.