There Is a Way Hybrid or Electric Pickups Can Work

Workhorse side plugs 1 II

Not everyone thinks an auto industry dominated by autonomous, hybrid and electric vehicles is going to work. Analysts believe there are certain automotive markets where it might not make sense at all, especially if those buyers are the hands-on types who like driving and use their vehicles for specific purposes — like pickup truck buyers.

According to Bloomberg, Ford might be taking a huge risk by pushing its cash-cow pickup truck, the F-150, into the hybrid- and electric-vehicle classes where few customers are asking for pickups. But Ford might have a sly-like-a-fox plan that could work that would provide extra value and benefits to the automaker and traditional pickup buyers.

The answer might be as simple as "more power." That is, charging power.

Automakers coming to market with hybrid or electric pickups — most likely Ford and Toyota — can currently gauge the demand for them courtesy of VIA Motors. VIA has been using GM half-ton and full-size van platforms for its hybrid-electric powertrains for several years now, and it doesn't seem to be getting the traction in the marketplace that it expected. Reception has been lukewarm at best.

So why would mass-market truckmakers want to jump into that small and shallow pool? The key could simply come down to how well they market the truck and if the right manufacturer, like Ford — which sells more than 1,500 F-150s per day — jumps in to prime the pump with a hybrid or electric pickup. Truckmakers also would need to promote these vehicles as mobile power sources to buyers who like the idea of self-contained and self-reliant living. That could be the key.

If there's a crowd that likes the idea of not having to rely on a bulky generator for camping, worksite chores or disaster relief, it's pickup buyers. Automakers can hook them by offering optional bed-mounted 110/120-volt outlets. The setup could power houses during electrical outages or run the coffeemaker at a campsite. The technology could be packaged in a special trim level.

The benefits would likely outweigh the extra weight and costs associated with a hybrid pickup. A hybrid or electric pickup could be attractive to a small segment of buyers with the money and the need. An automaker like Ford could slice off a small piece of a highly profitable mainstream product to build something unique and technologically advanced — exactly what the Blue Oval did with the F-150 Raptor — to become a tech-leading company and benefit all the way to the bottom line.

What do you think?

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Comments

Great idea. Puerto Rico could use a million of these trucks right now.

GM has had hybrid pickups and suv's for a long time already but they don't market them very well. That's for sure.
I think it would work for the GMC Denali lineup as an option.
Joe in T.O.

Hybrids are a waste. You have two systems and extra complexity.
Full electric maybe. I think if if everything goes electric the power grid will be overwhelmed and of coarse most power companies burn fossil fuels anyway And then what happens when you have a natural disaster and the power is out for weeks? At least you can truck in gas.

Hybrids are awesome. I know many people who own them. I would need to the specs on such a pickup before saying I would want one, but the idea is a good one. As Jim seemed to state above, it would need to be hybrid, not full electric, as outages could hamper charging it. The hybrid cars of today are awesome. I specifically like what Kia is doing with the Optima hybrids. they get around 40MPG and always go into electric mode no matter what speed they are going. I know the earlier Fusions would not run electric over a certain speed, but not sure on the new versions.

-CT

Ford has been fighting the last war (FE) for a long time.

It's because their Chairman is an ultra liberal guy who loves Green causes like global warming and reducing greenhouse gases.

Ford's stockholders and customers pay the price. Mr Ford cannot be outvoted because his family's shares control the corporation.

Any questions?

The approach Workhorse is taking could be really effective. Those who use their vehicles for work will get used to them and also bring them home and show others. I also see where a fully electric truck would appeal to suburban homeowners that helps reduce the costs of ownership and only need to tow their toys to the local dock (a lot of that in Florida) and pick up household items on the weekends. You could probably put an electric version, or something similar, of the Honda Pilot on the lots and they'd probably do well.

I can see where more rural buyers and long-distance towing applications wouldnt work for now, but that wont be the case forever.

Ford always following GM. YAWN.

it's really all about one thing: cost of batteries. You need a big battery to power a truck. And that drives up the cost a lot. plenty of people would love the features of an electric truck, but if it can't even come close to paying for itself nobody will want one. With current battery technology an electric truck is going to cost well over $100,000 to have batteries big enough to give it decent range and be able to do normal truck things. I'd be quick to buy one if they could keep the cost down and keep all the capabilities.

The way truck prices have been inflating maybe they are trying to prepare people for the cost of an electric truck in the future?

Here's a question for the 'mobile power' side of the equation.....how do you safely ground these systems?

These trucks will never work because they have limited range and flexibility when compared to a Gasoline or Diesel powered versions.

The other big hurdle is the life of the Battery Packs not lasting as long as the ICE designs and the cost to replace these packs. Its a bad business proposition when one looks at the overall life cycle costs...

Ed, unless they do like car manufactures, and offer 100K full battery warranty. I know Kia does this now, so the cost for batteries is more economical having the warranty. Hybrid version I am talking about.

-CT

I agree with Bebe, Batteries are key.
The tech is lagging the ambition and like any new product, the buyer is part of the R&D and will be left with the most expensive, obsolete version of what may be the next big craze.

Think cheaper, reliable batteries. Think Sodium.

By the way, I saw that Tesla is sending the first production model of their sports car to Mars... Self driver I'm guessing.

The people I know who had experiences with GM hybrid tricks/full size SUVs were very impressed and happy with them. Logically there should be a market (although certainly not large) for hybrid full size 1/2 ton and smaller pretend trucks. With these segments not nearly as focused on towing and heavy use as the 3/4 ton and up market there should be a lot of people interested in the additional mileage and advantages of a hybrid system (including many fleets). If one keep development costs low, delivers a reasonably priced and reliable hybrid platform in a 1/2 ton or lessor truck with good performance then it should capture some share of the market.

In regards to the price of the batteries, those things are expensive! But I wonder if all of the proposed benefits of the nearly maintenance-free electric motors help offset the total ownership costs to be similar or better than that of a purely ICE vehicle. Would love to hear from train engineers/mechanics who work on generated electric locomotives or even consumer reports from Tesla/Nissan Leaf (and other vehicles that are purely electric) owners to see if maintenance costs are better or worse than ICE.

I don't want one. Period. Or autonomous either.

FORD IS GONNA BE THE FIRST TRUCK MAKER TO DO SOME GOOD SALES OF THE F-150 NOT LIKE THE GARBAGE MOTORS COMPANY SHAKY SHAKY.

NOT LIKE GARBAGE MOTORS COMPANY.

NOT LIKE GARBAGE MOTORS COMPANY.

Would love to hear from...owners to see if maintenance costs are better or worse than ICE. Posted by: djjr50

@djjr50

good thought.

ICE has been in various steps of refinement for over 100 years. Electric drives and power sources will take time to completely evolve as drivetrains for autos/trucks.

papajim is a white nationalist. The alt right is very dangerous.

@Trucker
papajim is cool. Did you mix up your meds again?
And stop with the "white" this and that. Might bite you.
Ford is run by a bunch of - save the world as they know it - part loons.

Mild Hybrids, Like the old GM trucks offered this. The 48V BSG system on the JL Wrangler would work awesome with an inverter. The batteries even have cooling, so they can handle high charge/discharge rates.
That same system in a Ram could power a whole residential panel before utilities are connected.

Automakers coming to market with hybrid or electric pickups — most likely Ford and Toyota — can currently gauge the demand for them courtesy of VIA Motors. VIA has been using GM half-ton and full-size van platforms for its hybrid-electric powertrains for several years now, and it doesn't seem to be getting the traction in the marketplace that it expected. Reception has been lukewarm at best.
/QUOTE

VIA doesnt sell to the public,only fleets,,neither does Workhorse,,
I say build it and people will buy it,,wait and Tesla will beat you again..

http://workhorse.com/stepvans

Workhorse electric trucks have demonstrated potential to deliver more than $150,000 total cost of ownership savings per truck. These savings come from:

400% improvement in fuel efficiency

60% or greater reduction in maintenance expense

Workhorse’s ground-breaking technology gives companies the ability to improve fuel efficiency from 5.5 MPG to more than 26 MPGe and to significantly lower fleet maintenance, redefining the economics of the package delivery business.
/QUOTE

Not bad for a big square box van,,eh

Blue Oval a tech leading company ??????? Last rankings I saw Ford was way below average in hybrid , EV , and autonomous driving technology.

Prius has been on the market for almost 20 years and for the most part it is no more expensive to maintain than a non-hybrid. The battery range has actually improved. The main obstacle is to get smaller, lighter, longer range, and less expensive batteries which will eventually happen. I don't know if I would want a full electric vehicle at least for now but I would like a hybrid. I have driven a C-Max fleet car for several years now and have found it quiet, comfortable, and good acceleration and excellent fuel economy. One of my neighbors has a Buick LaCrose hybrid and gets about 40 mpgs on the highway. The only thing that I don't like about the current hybrids is the battery takes up a fairly sizable amount of room but if the batteries got smaller, lighter, and cheaper then I would not hesitate buying one. The quietness of the system is nice.

I think the right way to go is work like diesel–electric locomotive . ( The diesel engine drives either an electrical DC generator , the output of which provides power to the traction motors that drive the locomotive. There is no mechanical connection between the diesel engine and the wheels. ). By doing this they can use the most efficient generator and some super capacitors to meet the power spikes requirements + power generation for tools and other things on remote site as a vehicle mode.

I still don't understand why these are not priorities of these companies.

A few items some people seem to be missing here :
1) Higher fuel economy requirements are still written into the law whether we like it or not and this is an attempt by Ford to meet those requirements.
2) From what I have heard the GM hybrids were popular with contractors that used them to power tools on the work site.
3) Electric drive systems of all brands seem to be very reliable, including the batteries.
4) The cost of electric drive systems is dropping steadily.
5) Hybrid vehicles have much less brake system maintenance than non-hybrid.

From what I see it comes down to cost, maintaining the vehicle's capabilities and whether people can live without that V8 sound. I already don't need the sound so if the first two requirements are met I will be trading trucks when hybrids are available.

I will be trading trucks when hybrids are available.
Posted by: Walt | Dec 5, 2017

@Walt

Even with the pioneering work that automakers are doing on alternative power systems--and the progress made during recent decades--the alternative powerplants are still evolving very rapidly.

The downside is that people (and automakers) who commit to the wrong systems pay a huge price. Think BetaMax VCR format. Ditto Apple PCs during the 1990s.

Ultimately the technology will crystalize around a dominant form and those who are the early adopters of the dominant systems will get a lot of bang for their bucks invested.

The comments regarding costs are interesting to me. Looking at the market in Florida (and seemingly most other places...especially Texas), the prices of trucks are increasing on the high end. Full sized trucks are still affordable for the low end models, but that is not where the profit is. For those citing costs/ROI as the main deterrent to electric/hybrid trucks, are those the ones who bought a truck with ONLY the options needed? What is the ROI on a Platinum/Longhorn/High Country?

I dont know the numbers, but the assumption is that fleets purchase the work trucks, most truck buyers who buy new usually get in the $35k-$55k range, and those who are really conscious about price buy used. I think Tesla is showing many that some people, even if it is not yet the majority, will buy a vehicle at higher prices to offer the benefits of electric drivetrains.

@papajim

Good point about early adopters and the infrastructure (you forgot laserdisc...haha!). I dont think the other automakers will allow Tesla to continue to hold the mindshare that they have currently with their charging infrastructure for long distance travel. Even so, it may not be necessary for most people who will use their vehicles to commute well within their vehicle's range and charge at home. Add ride sharing services, taxis, and rental cars and a good portion of suburban people may find ways around the limits of current electrical vehicle ranges.

"it's really all about one thing: cost of batteries. You need a big battery to power a truck. And that drives up the cost a lot. plenty of people would love the features of an electric truck, but if it can't even come close to paying for itself nobody will want one. With current battery technology an electric truck is going to cost well over $100,000 to have batteries big enough to give it decent range and be able to do normal truck things. I'd be quick to buy one if they could keep the cost down and keep all the capabilities.
The way truck prices have been inflating maybe they are trying to prepare people for the cost of an electric truck in the future?"
---- Posted by: Beebe

There's somewhat a fallacy in this argument, though admittedly pickups have already become excessively expensive. A big battery, on its own, will not necessarily drive the price of pickups over $100K. Right now, the builder's price of a 100kWh battery pack by Tesla is somewhere between $8K to $10K, with smaller packs costing less. These packs give a Model S just over 300 miles of range (when driven reasonably). Considering you remove the weight of a massive engine and transmission yet gain the horsepower and torque of one of the big 8-litre diesels, the EV truck would be an effective local-use model for almost any kind of workman from construction through ranching.

True, without access to fast chargers you're limited to approximately 150 miles from 'home', that range is more than sufficient for most trucking tasks. And don't forget your 'fuel' will cost next to nothing compared to gasoline or diesel.

And yes, for those professionals like electricians and pipefitters, locksmiths and whomever needs to have power tools handy on the job, the EV truck saves time and money by being the available power plug rather than carrying a noisy, gas-powered generator.

Problem is, for too many they would much rather spend their money on something loud and ego-boosting rather than saving money and have something quiet and notably more powerful.

I would have looked at the GM offering years ago but they didn’t offer their hybrid in a crew cab... or even my State. Kind of hard to roll out something new if it’s limited to the Left States.

Skip the all electric designs, I don’t want my rig tied to a charging cord. Give me an electric drive system and a gas motor generator that recharges on demand and I’ll seriously consider it.

I would have looked at the GM offering years ago but they didn’t offer their hybrid in a crew cab
Posted by: Gravity | Dec 5, 2017

Indeed there was a Silverado hybrid in 2009

http://sportruck.com/news/2009-Chevrolet-Silverado-Hybrid/index.htm

"The downside is that people (and automakers) who commit to the wrong systems pay a huge price. Think BetaMax VCR format. Ditto Apple PCs during the 1990s."
Papajim

Those systems relied on purchased software to stay relevant and ran into trouble when that product was not available. Hybrid cars are independent of the world around them except for energy i/o which can be done through formats that have been standard for years and are extremely unlikely to change. I agree that a pure electric car might not be able to take advantage of future charge systems but that's not what we are talking about here.

@papa jim--Hybrid powered cars have been around for about 20 years now. Differences in the hybrid systems are not that great but the battery technology still has a ways to go. Getting the batteries smaller, lighter, less expensive, and more range will go a long way to increasing acceptance especially all electric vehicles. Advancements in battery technology is the key. Toyota has got their hybrid system down pat over the past 20 years. I am open to a hybrid system but I am a long way from going full electric until the battery technology has vastly improved and the price of an electric vehicle is more competitive with ICE vehicles. My opinion is that it will eventually happen but not in the foreseeable future.

Also I cannot justify buying a new vehicle just to get a hybrid or electric alone because I drive less than average and because of that I keep my vehicles much longer. When I lived in the country it was nothing for me to put 15k to 20k a year on a vehicle especially commuting back and forth to work and also having to travel far just to get groceries and necessity. For the past 16 years I have lived in suburbia and my commute is just 18 miles (round trip 36 miles) versus my prior commute of 35 miles (round trip 70 miles). In addition I work telework (work from home) 3 to 4 days a week and commute on the bus when I go to the office which is a 24 minute drive. My employer pays for my bus pass and the park and ride is only 3 miles from my house. The bus drops me off about 2 blocks from my office. I am far from a typical commuter and my doctors offices and shopping are no more than 5 to 10 miles from home. I have saved a lot of money on vehicle maintenance and my vehicles have relatively little mileage on them. I am far from the typical driver but then I don't miss all the driving that I use to do. For me when I need and want a new vehicle I will consider a hybrid but it is not a main consideration since I drive so little. I drive much less than 10k miles a year and that is combined for all my vehicles.

I tried to rent a Silvy Hybrid back then when I saw one on the rental lot. Turns out it belonged to an employee.
It was a crew cab.
Another by-gone system I would have liked is the four wheel steering with my 8' bed. It would nice to park without the three-point-turn's!

Nobody mentions the tax break for these vehicles or is that just for all electric?

Hybrid powered cars have been around for about 20 years now. Differences in the hybrid systems are not that great but the battery technology still has a ways to go.

@Jeff S

Jeff that's just dead wrong. There are several competing models for hybrid. Some hyrbids are all electric and use re-gen braking, some are gas/electric and re-gen; some are direct hybrid where the gas engine only powers the generator. The technologies continue to evolve.

@papa jim--ok, but hybrids themselves are not new, maybe the different types. Locomotives have had a hybrid system for at least 50 years--different than what you are talking about but nevertheless a hybrid. The batteries are a much more difficult nut to crack.

@Stevadore--I had the 4 wheel steering on a couple of riding mowers in the past and it was a great system. I remember those Silverados with the 4 wheel steer and Honda had it on the Prelude. I don't know why they disappeared unless maybe the cost too much.

Locomotives have had a hybrid system for at least 50 years--different than what you are talking about but nevertheless a hybrid. Posted by: Jeff S | Dec 6, 2017

Jeff please stick to what you understand. In my previous post I mentioned "direct" hybrids. That's the concept used by GM in the Chevy Volt. Gas engine runs the battery charger only. Just like a locomotive.

Think about BetaMax. The automakers who embrace the too-complicated hybrid types like Toyota's are in trouble.

The idea of these is cool and for certain people they work great. Some love the idea that they are saving the environment even though they don't understand how bad those batteries are for it. Making hybrid and fully electric cars are terrible for the environment simply due to the batteries. They do however work very well for those driving in cities where speeds are low. In stop and go traffic they work wonderful. For delivery trucks doing light work they will work extremely well. They are also fantastic for parking garage's. Being able to drive on electric power only is very nice. Once they stop trying to build them to do real truck work and target the people who own a truck and don't use it for work they will do much better. About 70% of the trucks never even get used for any heavy use work. The only way they will be able to make them do heavy work is with Fisker technology. Drive the wheels using 100% electric power and use the engine only as a power generator. A hybrid in that form with something like a 4 cylinder diesel (2.8L from VM Motori) would be quite efficient and able to power as big or bigger than a gas engine. No matter what cost is the other big problem. They shouldn't bother if they can't bring that down.



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