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2022 Ford Maverick: Why There’s No AWD Hybrid Version of the Small Truck—Yet

2022 Ford Maverick: Why There’s No AWD Hybrid Version of the Small Truck—Yet

Lost amid the hoopla surrounding the launch of America’s cheapest hybrid and its only pickup truck to boast a full hybrid powertrain as standard: The 2022 Ford Maverick boasts an entirely new electric traction motor that is the first one developed and manufactured fully in-house at Ford. Its form factor isn’t terribly different from the motor used in the Ford Escape Hybrid, but it renders the e-CVT transmission a unique new part number from that used in the Escape Hybrid. 

So although there is no packaging or technological impediment to modifying the Escape Hybrid AWD model’s e-CVT to accommodate the Maverick’s new motor, Ford decided not to bite off more than it could chew by developing and launching both front- and all-wheel-drive Maverick hybrid variants in the first model year. Let those who demand AWD spring for the fancier, more profitable 2.0-liter EcoBoost Maverick. Ford can fan the sales flames later by adding an AWD Hybrid version to the lineup. 

What’s New With the Motor?

The whole shootin’ match, really. Technically speaking, the Maverick’s motor is an internal permanent-magnet reluctance design. It places magnets in V-shaped slots that help maximize magnetic attraction at some angles and minimize it (maximizing reluctance) in others. This is the type of motor Tesla employs on the rear of its Model 3 Performance and in the Raven setups in Model S and Model X Performance and Long Range models. 

The rotor in this new 2022 Ford Maverick motor hides its magnets in double-V slots as opposed to single-Vs in the previous motor (which still powers the Escape Hybrid). This design uses more and smaller batteries, and they’re all molded in place during the manufacturing process. The previous design glued the magnets in after the rotor’s manufacture. The molded-in magnets can tolerate much higher rotating speed, and although the Maverick doesn’t take advantage of this capability, we expect to see all-new hybrid systems designed to use this motor that will indeed do so. 

The stator also gets an overhaul, switching from round-wire windings to square wires featuring “hair pin end turns.” The major benefits are that the square windings fill the space more thoroughly so they can conduct more electricity, which helps increase torque density. Those hair pin end turns conduct more heat for better, more efficient cooling.

These seemingly minimal changes increase the motor’s efficiency and reduce its mass. The latter benefit critically includes the mass of copper and increasingly scarce rare-earth materials used in the magnets. The new motor is said to weigh 20 percent less than the one powering the 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid.

What’s the Power and Torque of the New Maverick Motor?

Output jumps from 88 kW (118 hp) and 149 lb-ft of torque in the 2021 Ford Escape to 98 kW (131 hp) and 173 lb-ft. But the Maverick’s motor power is actually pegged at 126 hp because the 2.5-liter engine’s speed is limited in this application, such that the engine and motor-generator can only muster 94 kW of juice to feed this motor. Now, someday a PHEV variant could fix that (keep reading). 

I Heard the Maverick Motor Makes 2,300 Nm of Torque?!

We blame the GMC Hummer for starting this whole axle-torque nonsense, but we can use that ridiculous number to figure out the Maverick Hybrid’s unpublished direct-drive gear ratio. Multiplying the traction motor’s 235 Nm torque figure times the published 2.91:1 axle ratio gives 684 Nm, so the fixed gearing between the motor and axle must be around 3.36:1.

How Does the Battery Compare to Other Fords?

The new 2022 Ford Mavericks use a 27-kW, 1.1-kWh battery pack that’s essentially the same as the one used in the current Escape Hybrid. However, the battery’s power delivery is tuned a little bit differently to suit the pickup truck’s unique power demands. Ford builds these batteries in Rawsonville, Michigan, just east of Ann Arbor.

Might There Be a Plug-In Hybrid Maverick Someday?

The 2022 Ford Maverick team would sooner walk on its lips than discuss future products, but the entire rear floor of the hybrid Maverick is slightly higher than in the EcoBoost models (which is why there’s an inch less legroom back there), even though the wee 1.1-kWh battery only consumes the passenger side. The PHEV battery would require both sides, so consider the Maverick “package protected” for PHEV. Sure, 90-plus mpg-e would be nice, but Ford’s Pro Power Onboard could be an even bigger selling feature.

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