You did not mention where you live (cold weather) and what year your Escape is. The battery pack looks below:
Yes there is an internal hybrid battery heater. BUT..if requires option 41H to work with the engine block heater. There is a thin electrical wire that comes out of the hybrid battery pack and runs thru firewall, into the engine compartment and ends under the radiator coolant bottle. The engine block heater (option 41H) has wire that connects to this location and thus to the electrical outlet to provide heat to the hybrid battery heater. When the hybrid battery heater is COLD, it will perform a series of charges and recharges in an attempt to warm itself. Your gas mileage drops significantly when the hybrid battery pack is cold. When it is cold it doesn't accept and release electrical amps as fast as when it is warm.
BUT wait, there is more, early in the 2008 model year, FORD Motor company made a change and no longer provided the wire from the hybrid battery pack to under the coolant reservoir bottle. You might be out of luck if you have a 08 or newer version. See below for what the newest vehicles look like:
Oh lordy, had a similar question, and once I get mine on Friday I'm hoping to be surprised as I live in Alaska where temperatures are going to be in the negatives here shortly... 2010 Mercury Mariner so this may be an issue. Any fixes?
There is software that activates when the battery pack's temperature becomes too low. The software will cause the hybrid battery to undergo a short series of charges and discharges in an attempt to warm the battery. Lightly holding your foot on the brake (look at the assist/charge guage)and/or pumping the brakes is another method. The battery pack is insulated from the cold but prolong exposure will lower the internal temperature of the battery pack. Cold temperatures means the battery pack will not readily accept charging or produce charging (amps). Your fuel mileage will suffer in the cold weather months.
I also live in Alaska, and am very interested in just how much the MPG drop offs will be. Part of my reasoning for possbily buying a escape hybrid is for part of my monthly fuel savings (My DD bronco get ~10mpg) to help pay for monthly payments. Basically meaning I might pay an extra $200 month alltogether, but be in a brand new, sweet pimped out escape.
A 30mpg escape will get 3x my current fuel millage.
A Gas escape at 20mpg would only be 2x, but it is significantly cheaper... decsisions decisions... It all depends how my money situation works out this summer, and if I can get my X-pin, but I would LOVE to drive a black limited hybrid P
I also had no idea about mileage loss in colder climates.
I went from around 35 mpg in 50-60+ degree environments, to about 26 mpg in 10-20 degree environments.
However some of this will depend on your commute as your battery will eventually "warm-up". I have a 30 minute commute and by the time I get near my destination the hybrid battery works better than at the beginning.
We have a 2010 FEH and the Summer / Fall Mileage was typically 34 to 37 MPG. Now that the Stanley Idaho winter (know for being the Coldest spot in the lower 48) is truly upon us we are averaging more like 27 MPG. On a longer trip to Boise IDAHO (130 miles) each way with the cold temps warming to above zero we are averaging closer to the the Summer MPG's at 30 to 31. Never drive over 55 MPH as the roads are mostly snow and ice covered. We keep the FEH in our garage but the garage is typically around 10 to 20 degrees. Yesterday was minus 34 F. and today is a balmy minus 18 F. I sure wish we had a heater for the Hybrid Batteries.
I am waiting for my 2010 FEH limited 4x4 to arrive in Norway,
I live pretty far north in Norway as well so this will be an big
issue for me. I was planning to isolate my garage and install
heating, since I kind of need heating to work in there anyways.
But what temperature would I need to keep? At what temperature
does the MPG start to decline?
To go into Electric mode, your FEH vehicle needs a radiator (fluid) temperature of at least 154F, engine cylinder head temperature of 184F and hybrid battery pack temperature of at least 48F. All these values have been obtained from use of a scanguage II hardware--3rd party vendor. In general there is a one mile per gallon (USA Value) loss per 10F drop from an outdoor temperature of 60F.