Ford and Azure Dynamics, a maker of hybrid electric and electric powertrain components for commercial vehicles, have announced that they will collaborate to produce F-Series Super Duty chassis cabs with plug-in hybrid technology by 2013.
The two companies currently collaborate on production of the Ford Transit Connect electric van and Ford E-450 hybrid step van. The new relationship will extend the partnership to F-350, F-450 and F-550 cab and chassis models aimed at business and fleet buyers, such as airport shuttle services.
A parallel plug-in hybrid powertrain will be used, said Patrick Liebler, Azure's spokesman.
Ford and Azure's agreement covers all Super Duty engines, including the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V-8 and 6.8-liter V-10 gas engine, but "Azure will likely prioritize a specific powertrain application for the initial build," Liebler said.
All chassis cab trucks, regardless of make, have frame rails that are spaced exactly 34 inches apart. The distance from the back of the cab to the rear axle is also uniform, so upfitter applications can be easily bolted behind the cab and ported from one truck to the next without the need for custom fit or engineering. Azure is in the process of working with several upfitters to create new standards for battery placement on the frame, so they won't interfere with upfit products, Liebler said.
[Source: Ford, Azure Dynamics]