In an interview with National Public Radio last week, Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields confirmed that an F-Series Hybrid is in the works. We take this to mean that specifically the F-150 light duty pickup will receive a conventional hybrid-electric drivetrain in the midterm future, but a Ford F-Series Hybrid Super Duty might also be possible.
Speaking with All Things Considered host Ari Shapiro shortly after unveiling Ford’s planned $4.5 billion investment into electrification over the next four years, Mr. Fields stated that Ford “plans to have a rear-wheel drive hybrid truck by the end of the decade. So yes, we’re working on [an] electrified F-series, and it’s really around a conventional hybrid.”
Previously, Ford had been collaborating with Toyota on a hybrid drivetrain which likely would have yielded both an F-Series Hybrid and a comparable offering from the Japanese automaker, but the joint venture fell through. General Motors offered a hybridized version of the Chevrolet Silverado pickup until 2011, but the electrified full-size truck ultimately failed to deliver enough of a benefit to fuel consumption or appeal to customers to justify its continuation.
Mr. Fields’ use of the words “by the end of the decade” suggest that an F-Series Hybrid will likely be one of the 13 new electrified models promised by the automaker by 2020. With a range of fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines to choose from, plus a sizeable reduction in weight thanks to the use of aluminum, such a Ford F-Series Hybrid might actually deliver fuel economy impressive enough to pull its own weight.