We love hybrids. We love trucks. This could be sheer heaven.
We love our trucks. But as fun as they are to drive, the poor fuel economy may make you rethink having one for every day driving. Ford is changing that.
The first automaker to bring a hybrid to the truck market, the company just revealed the 2021 Ford F-150, now with an available hybrid option. The company isn’t saying yet how much more fuel efficient it will be or what the performance specs are, but our guess is it’ll be somewhere in the 23 MPG range (vs. 18MPG in the gas version) and slightly more powerful than its gas-engine counterpart.
And, with a 30 gallon gas tank, drivers should be able to drive about 700 miles on a tank of gas. You might tempted to turn it into your road trip ride.
Electric Trucks are the Future. But Hybrid is the Now
The auto industry, especially in the US, has been working hard on developing electric trucks for a while now. Of course, Tesla famously introduced one of the most unusual looking trucks, the Tesla Cybertruck. There are also electric versions coming from new auto companies like Rivian, Lordstown Motors and Bollinger Trucks as well as stalwarts GMC, with the Hummer, and Ford with an all-electric version of the F-150.
But until these roll out, and perhaps even afterward, hybrid is a great option for better fuel efficiency. Personally, I’m fan of the increased MPG of a hybrid, as well as the quiet motor, the low emissions and the message it sends to automakers: using less fuel while doing all the things I need to do matters to me.
Hybrid is Just One Option of the Redesigned F-150
Lending to a lighter-weight truck, the F-150 is still constructed of aluminum over a high strength steel frame. The 2021 model will feature new bumpers, wider-set wheels and new lights, but it’s still unmistakably an F-150.
Ford is offering 4 engine types: V6, V8 (each with two options, a standard gas engine or more powerful Ecoboost Turbo), a Power Stroke diesel or the new PowerBoost hybrid. Buyers can choose based on towing, hauling and horsepower capacity.
The PowerBoost engine is essentially an electric motor that assists the F-150’s 3.5. L EcoBoost engine, adding about 47 horsepower to the total power. It will also, as is typical with hybrids, use a lithium-ion battery to store power and regenerative braking will capture unused energy and feed it back into the battery. This makes the F-150 potentially even more fuel efficient.
More Power Outlets Turns the F-150 into a Generator
While pickup trucks in general are great for powering up all sorts of equipment — hello wide screen TV, electric blankets and a hot coffee station at the Homecoming weekend tailgate! — the bigger the engine, the more charge capability. So, from powering up phones and laptops to inflating air mattresses to running a cotton candy machine, almost anything is possible.
With capacity ranging from 2,000 watts to 7,000 watts of energy use at a time, there are two power stations in the 2021 Ford F-150: One in the truck bed and one in the cabin. This graphic shows what each engine size is capable of.
Related: 2020 Ford Explorer: With Hot New Features and a New Look, This is Not Your Daddy’s 7 Seater SUV
More Clever New Details on the F-150 Interior
Trucks have gotten quite smart, carving out more interior storage spaces and adding features that make a truck a great option for daily driving. These are some of the features we are exited about in the 2021 F-150.
The Ford F-150 is expected to roll into dealerships in late 2020, which is when the company will also release final fuel economy ratings for the PowerBoost hybrid and pricing, which we expect to carry a small premium over the 3.5L V6 EcoBoost.
You can see the full 2021 Ford F-150 announcement and get more details here.