Ford developing hybrid F-150
Ford has confirmed that it is "working very hard" on developing a gasoline-electric hybrid system for the new F-150.The gas-electric F-150 is expected to return over 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The project is still at the embryonic stage of development so further technical details are not available, but industry rumors indicate the drivetrain will be centered around the Blue Oval's popular 325-horsepower 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine.Raj Nair, Ford's global product development chief, acknowledges that falling gas prices will inevitably make a hybrid pickup truck less attractive to buyers. However, he explains that building more efficient vehicles is "the right thing to do" in order to reduce greenhouse gasses in the long run.The executive believes that a hybrid F-150 would be a better buy than Ram's highly-touted 1500 EcoDiesel because it would theoretically pay for itself much sooner. Nevertheless, Ford is keeping a close eye on the sales of diesel-powered full-size pickups.
"If we see demand, we've got diesels in the portfolio. We'll react," explained Nair in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. The gasoline-electric Ford F-150 is at least a couple of years away from hitting showrooms.
The idea of a hybrid full-size pickup isn't new. In 2009, Chevrolet and GMC introduced gas-electric variants of the Silverado and the Sierra powered by a hybrid system that was developed jointly in the mid-2000s by General Motors, BMW and what was then known as DaimlerChrysler. Although the trucks returned relatively good gas mileage, sales were dismal at best and they were axed in late 2012.
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