Charging hybrid batteries via chord to outlet

Hello fellow drivers. I’m thinking of buying a Ford Escape Hybrid and am was wondering if any of you know if I can charge the batteries with some kind of charger that is plugged into an electrical outlet in my house, in order to cut down fuel consumption even more. I gues this question would extent to other electrical hybrids as well.

Thank you,


I know people have done this with Priuses (Prii?), but it requires extensive modification as well as complicated reprogramming of the computer. It is definitely not a job for amateurs, although I believe there are companies out in California that will do it for you in exchange for a very large amount of money. Also, I’m pretty sure it’ll void any and all warrantees. It really is a good idea in theory-- a Prius can supposedly usually go about 40 miles on the batteries, which means that for most trips, you don’t even need to turn the gas engine on. Supposedly there is a plug-in Prius coming out and this is also the concept behind the Chevy Volt, which may or may not be coming out soon. I don’t know if a plug in SUV is coming any time soon. Keep in mind that the Escape gets less than half the mileage of the Prius, so the total range for a plug in Escape would probably be less than 20 miles.

There are people making these conversions. They are fairly pricey and require some serious DIY skills unless you want to pay even more for them to make the conversion for you. Going that route, you will likely spend more for the modifications than you will save in gasoline.

Edrive Systems, a private Los Angeles company, plans to offer by early next year an aftermarket kit that converts a Toyota Prius into a PHEV. Target price for the under-the-hood makeover: About $12,000.

There is no such thing as free energy. By “plugging” anything in it costs money for that electricity and fossil fuel is typically consumed to produce the electricity you consume.

What do you expect to gain?

You won’t save fuel. The batteries are charged when you apply the brakes. The engine has nothing to do with it. The engine runs when extra power is needed. Just enjoy your Escape as it is. There will eventually be cars that use the engine to charge the battery, line the GM Volt. They are not available yet. But I would buy a Volt if it looks anything like the concept car and not like an Aveo.

Now, if only the roof was a solar panel that could charge the battery in the work parking lot. Thats free energy!!

The battery in the Escape is not large enough to power the vehicle for any distance at all. It’s merely a receptacle for the energy captured during braking.

The Prius battery is somewhat more robust, but claims of a 40 mile range must be taken with a grain of salt and the life of the very expensive battery will be GREATLY reduced if it is abused in this way…

Plug-in electric vehicles are already on the market. They are called “Golf Carts”.

You might be thinking of the totally electric cars with 35-40 mile ranges, total, that require being plugged in every day. These are great units for regular short commutes, but so far hybrids are winning a much larger market. Cheap electricity overnight is sacrificed for greater range all the time.

The Prius will not run 40 miles on battery power…more like 3 miles with luck. Also the gas engine in the Prius does charge the battery.

I just read that link that Twin Turbo posted. With the upgrade they do which includes a new battery pack and the hardware to turn it into a plug-in, they claim it might go about 30 miles without the gas engine coming on if you’re driving under about 45 MPH.

Jtsanders may be thinking of the honda-style hybrid system, which still has a more-or-less conventional powertrain, but has the electric system that charges from braking and then uses that energy to start the car moving again or augment the conventional powertrain. In the Toyota system the gas engine isn’t directly connected to the drive train but instead does nothing but charge the battery which runs the traction motor, which can be reversed into a generator for regenerative braking.