New Ford Kuga/Escape PHV system


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So Ford is bringing Puma, Kuga and Explorer to Europe. I was checking electricfied option of Kuga and noticed something. It has 2.5L I4 Atkinson cycle petrol engine mated with electric motor. Output is 166kw. To me this sounds awful lot like TMC 300h configuration. I can't find any info is this powertrain Ford's own. Could they be sourcing it from Toyota or its subcontractor?


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Very simply, the answer is: No, Ford does not use a Toyota hybrid system on the Kuga (known as the Escape here in North America), although it is similar to Toyota's 2-motor hybrid system.

The hybrid system in the larger, RWD Explorer is a much different, 1-motor hybrid system. It is similar to the hybrid systems used by Mercedes-Benz, BMW and VW Group, sandwiching the single electric motor between the engine and the normal 10-speed automatic transmission.

I am not familiar with the Ford Puma, but from what I read, it uses a 48-volt mild hybrid system. It replaces the starter with a more robust starter/generator, with a idle-stop system and using regenerative braking to recharge the battery.

The Ford Kuga's / Escape's hybrid system uses a power-split device (PSD) with 2 motor/generators, 1 driving the wheels and the other as a generator. The conceptual design of Ford's PSD is very similar to Toyota's PSD.

This is where it gets complicated.

When Ford first developed its hybrid system and used it in the 1st-generation Ford Escape in the mid-2000s, it looked even more similar to Toyota's hybrid system, although both systems were developed independently. Ford even licenced Toyota's hybrid system at that time, to prevent Toyota from suing Ford for patent infringement, Ford said. Ford even had its PSD supplied by Aisin (Toyota's transmission partner/supplier); Ford claimed at that time that no other supplier other than Aisin knew how to build PSDs.

Ford has since then further developed its hybrid system independently from Toyota (so that both systems are more different now) and Ford has also started building its own PSDs (no longer buying PSDs from Aisin).


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Ford and Honda both switched to PS hybrid system since Toyota's original patent expired in 2017, allowing other car makers to make PS hybrids without any legal consequences. The Ford PSD is very similar to Toyota's.

Ford made a very good decision to use P2 configuration on its longitudinal, high output hybrid system. To me the multistage PSD used by Lexus is unnecessarily overengineered and doesn't scale up as well as a P2 system.