Ford’s seemingly relentless pursuit of improving fuel economy in its F-150 pickup trucks is seemingly leading to a hybrid powertrain. Recently, the automaker’s global product development chief, Raj Nair, said that The Blue Oval is still working hard to bring hybrid pickups and SUVs to market by 2020.
That’s not exactly news, as rumors about the automaker’s hybrid plans for its pickups (F-150) and SUVs (Expedition) have been floating around for quite some time now. However, a hybrid powertrain makes a great deal of sense with Ford’s all-new 2015 F-150 and its lighter curb weight thanks to extensive use of aluminum. As such, the combined effect of a lighter truck and a hybrid powertrain would likely give Ford a significant competitive advantage over the competition.
But a Ford hybrid truck isn’t a first for the segment, as GM offered hybrid trucks years ago on its GMT900-based pickups and SUVs. These vehicles proved to be unpopular in the marketplace due to minimal improvements in fuel economy matched over a standard non-hybrid model, but a higher retail price.
Though there’s no specific timeframe on hybrid variants of Ford’s pickups and SUVs, we hope that the dropping fuel prices don’t prevent the automaker from pursuing electrified powertrain route. Although we’re not complaining about the lessened cost of fuel, either.