In a recent announcement that included information about several upcoming autonomous, plug-in and hybrid vehicles coming to market, Ford once again announced that it will offer a hybrid half-ton pickup truck before the end of the decade.
For those who are keeping track, and excluding outside companies like Protean and VIA Motors, this technological expectation goes back to an "agreement of cooperation" with Toyota six years ago, where both parties decided to pool their resources to help further the possibility of a hybrid powertrain strong enough to deal with the normal workloads of a full-size half-ton pickup.
In a 2015 interview with NPR, Ford President and CEO Mark Fields announced the automaker would have an F-150 hybrid by the end of the decade. However, Ford has been talking about a hybrid powertrain for its popular half-ton pickup since 2011, when Ford invested time and money in parallel hydraulic systems that used a recharge accumulator on the Mighty F-350 Tonka concept to store and use tank pressure during braking and acceleration. In that same year, Toyota and Ford entered into a partnership to share information. Two years later they dissolved the collaboration, deciding to face the challenges of a rear-drive hybrid powertrain on their own.
Recent spy shots show camouflaged Ford F-150s that could be using hybrid powertains and/or new turbo-diesel engines. Regardless, if hybrid or diesel-hybrid powertrains begin showing up in future F-150s, it's likely that same technology could show up in Super Duty models as well. Increasing pressure from rising federal corporate average fuel economy targets will force all truckmakers to explore new fuel-saving technologies. We'd expect the commercial/fleet industry to be the first to see the long-term benefits and cost savings, but there's no doubt the new tech will work its way into premium consumer models as well, at least to begin with.