First U.S. deliveries of the 2021 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid have been delayed to 2021, due partly to the European recall of the Ford plug-in hybrid over fire concerns, according to a Bloomberg report.
The Escape Plug-In Hybrid was originally due this summer and was officially rated for 37 all-electric miles and, in hybrid driving, 41 mpg combined.
The Escape PHEV was originally likely to reach the market before one of its key rivals, the Toyota RAV4 Prime. In addition to the RAV4 Prime, a 2022 Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid due next year will stoke a rivalry.
Ford spokesman Mike Levine provided the following statement, confirming the move to Green Car Reports: “We are moving full scale production of Escape PHEV to the 2021 model year. The first Escape PHEVs will be sold next year.”
2021 Ford Escape
According to Bloomberg and other reports, the action is largely due to issues prompting the recall of the Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid, a model not offered in the U.S.
Seven vehicle fires in Europe related to charging triggered a recall for more than 20,500 Kuga models. Although Ford is still examining the issue, comments made to Bloomberg indicate that while the source of the issue is battery-related, the fires could have something to do with the battery’s proximity to the fuel tank.
In Europe, Ford has temporarily suspended sales of the Kuga Plug-In Hybrid, and owners are advised to not charge their vehicle and only drive in EV Auto mode—using the vehicle as a hybrid—until a dealer addresses the issue.
In the UK, Ford has offered impacted owners a “goodwill gesture” of 500 pounds ($650) for the extra gasoline they’ll use in the meantime.
2018 Ford Fusion Energi
Ford is without a plug-in vehicle for the U.S. market at the moment, with the recent discontinuation of the Ford Fusion Energi. Deliveries of the fully electric 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E start this fall.