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Ford developing hybrid truck

Ford developing hybrid truck






Not content
with getting better gas mileage through a lighter truck, Ford are exploring every avenue to come
up with ways to meet ever increasing emissions standards while still giving
buyers the power and utility they demand. One way of doing that is with hybrid
powertrains.

Ford has
proven the worth of the aluminium body but it isn’t enough to meet upcoming
rules on fuel economy and emissions. So more needs to be done to ensure F-series
trucks remain a viable option going forward. Which is where hybrid technology
comes in.

Ford is
planning a hybrid version of an F-series truck within the next couple of years.
Hopefully with better results than the ill-fated Chevy Silverado hybrid we saw
in 2011. Coincidentally, that was the same year Ford and Toyota announced a
joint venture to develop hybrid trucks before Ford pulled out.

Hybrid challenges

So while the
hybrid powertrain may be the answer to one problem, it brings a whole host of
its own. Hybrid technology is complicated and expensive. It’s also not really
designed to deliver the kind of power truck owners need or are used to. More
importantly, those who buy heavy V8 trucks aren’t really interested in fuel
economy anyway.

Balancing
these challenges and getting people to buy hybrid trucks is an uphill struggle.
It will be tough to convince buyers they are a viable option before the proposed
U.S.
federal corporate average fuel economy standards hit in 2025.

Ford does
have an advantage though, the huge market share it’s F-series trucks enjoys.
With over 750,000 F-150s sold each year, there is definitely an appetite for
Ford trucks. Whether the automaker can translate that into a desire for one
with a hybrid powertrain remains to be seen.

At least Ford
has the expertise to deliver quality hybrid vehicles. The Fusion and C-Max
hybrids prove that. While the main challenge of making the powertrain light and
compact is important in a passenger vehicle, those priorities change when
thinking about trucks.

Size and
weight aren’t the issue with a truck, power is. If a truck owner is used to
300-plus horsepower and another 300-plus pound feet of torque, they are going
to want that kind of power in their hybrid. At the moment, there isn’t a hybrid
setup that can deliver those kind of numbers with the reliability and dependability
that truck owners will demand.

Ford says
they will have something ready by 2020, which will be in plenty of time for the
U.S. CAFE measures. Whether buyers will have an appetite for the truck remains
to be seen, but having successfully managed to convert truck owners from steel
over to aluminium, there’s no telling what Ford will be able to do.

The Ford
F-series truck is their most successful model to date. Visit Northway Ford Lincoln, 388 King George
Road Brantford ON N3S 3N2 for a test drive.



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Categories: Ford, Brantford

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