Ford and Toyota are currently collaborating on the development of a hybrid pickup truck. Both automakers are creating rear-drive hybrid technology that may lead to a Ford F-150 hybrid, reports WardsAuto.
“The nut we’re trying to crack is: how do we do an F-150 hybrid?” said Kevin Layden, Ford director-electrification programs and engineering, to WardsAuto. “We’re working with [Toyota] and developing plans.” This strategy may prove effective, as the F-150 has remained the best-selling truck in the U.S. for years.
The automakers will both benefit from economies of scale and reduced time for product development. However, developing a hybrid pickup truck presents a challenge for the automakers to prioritize both fuel economy and towing and handling capabilities. Both automakers are looking to harness their individual achievements in fuel-efficient technology to make a new hybrid pickup. Depending on the success of the initial collaboration, there is a possibility that the Tundra and F-150 could share a platform in the future.
“By working together, we will be able to serve our customers with the very best affordable, advanced powertrains, delivering even better fuel economy,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally last year when signing a preliminary agreement. “This is the kind of collaborative effort that is required to address the big global challenges of energy independence and environmental sustainability.”
The automakers said that the new hybrid technology for light trucks will be ready for use later this decade.
For drivers looking for a hybrid pickup truck today, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid and the GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid are some of the few options available. Both achieve 20/23 mpg and up to 30 mpg on electric mode alone. The prices for these cars hover at $40,000.
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