Ford F-150 Used to Develop 40 MPG Hydraulic Hybrid Powertrain

Ford F-150 Used to Develop Hydraulic Hybrid Powertrain

Ford is working with the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power and Folsom Technologies to develop a prototype F-150 light-duty pickup truck propelled by a hydraulic hybrid powertrain.

Hydraulic hybrids differ considerably from gas-electric hybrids, like the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid, but the goal is the same: to improve fuel efficiency.

“We have the potential to reach 40 miles per gallon or higher with hydraulic power,” said Perry Li, co-deputy director of CCEFP and a mechanical engineering professor. “But we feel like we don’t give up anything versus an electric hybrid, and there are no batteries and nothing to recycle.”

Instead of using batteries and electric motors, a hydraulic hybrid uses components called a reservoir and accumulator. The reservoir stores fluid that’s pressurized in the accumulator, which acts as a secondary energy source in tandem with the F-150’s internal combustion engine (a 4.6-liter V-8). The pressure is converted into energy that is sent to the rear wheels via what Li calls a “power split hydraulic hybrid architecture.”

The power split system variably combines power from the F-150’s V-8 with power from the accumulator inside a special hydraulic continuously variable transmission supplied by Folsom. The CVT adds two hydraulic pump-motors connected via a set of planetary gears, similar to the Chevy Silverado’s Two-Mode hybrid architecture which houses two electric motors inside the transmission to provide gasoline-free power as needed for efficiency.

Hydraulic hybrid diagram: CCEFP

“The combined fuel economy of the [stock] F-150 is around 16 to 18 mpg,” Li said. “By adding the CVT, we believe it will be above 20 mpg. When we add the hydraulic hybrid system, there’s the potential to reach 40 mpg or higher in urban driving. The gain is not as much on the highway, but it’s significantly better.”

Mileage is better in stop-and-go driving than highway cruising because the hydraulic system captures energy normally lost during braking – which also saves wear on wheel brakes – and uses that energy to recharge pressure in the accumulator, in a process called regeneration. Engine power can also be used to regenerate pressure.

Ford has donated the truck and is providing advice from its engineers on the CCEFP project.

This isn’t the first time Ford has partnered in research into hydraulic hybrids. In 2003, the company showed the Mighty F-350 Tonka concept which featured Hydraulic Launch Assist developed by Eaton.

Since then, Eaton has developed a production hydraulic hybrid system for garbage and delivery trucks that improves fuel economy by more than 25 percent in stop-and-go driving. However, it's been difficult to downsize and make a cost-effective system that works in passenger vehicles, which is where the CCEFP comes in.

The CCEFP is a network of seven universities and 55 industrial partners working together to create innovative breakthroughs in hydraulic and pneumatic technology. It's funded by the National Science Foundation.

Li hopes to start testing the hydraulic hybrid F-150 by the end of the year.

“Right now, the focus is on determining when to use the engine only versus hydraulic power,” Li said. “We need to balance efficiency and drivability. In 2012, we expect to get hard [fuel economy] numbers on the EPA test cycle.”

Improved fuel economy isn’t the only expected benefit.

“There’s also the potential to tow as much as a current F-150 or more,” Li said.


This sounds like promising technology. I have bee hearing about it for a couple of years now. Great work Ford...for not being afraid to try new technologies (i.e. 3.5L EcoBoost)!

Nothing new, Chrysler has already been working on this technology with the EPA in the new Caravan's...!OpenDocument

Sounds good, but will it tow?

@Evan: See the last two lines.

“There’s also the potential to tow as much as a current F-150 or more,” Li said.

How come everytime I go to it takes me to google? very confused, the only way i got here was through Facebook.

The "we made it first" comments are really childish. If a company came out with some wild and wonderful technology first it would be subject to patent laws. Then no one else would be able to use it (until the patent expires).

I've heard of similar rumors in relation to hydraulic power.

I think that the technology of the future are hydrogen fuel cells. The problem is converting water to hydrogen at a markerable cost.

1. Sounds similar to the system on a tractor/backhoe

2. Is there enough room/clearance for a T-case and front

3. I agree with Let it go, hydrogen is the future...

I recall that BMW is developing some interesting new energy conserving ideas using the heat from the exhaust to create pressure from fluid and store in an accumulator. It would also use a separate pump to create pressure when going downhill and braking.

Makes sense we would see this technology in trucks before cars as there is more space to but all the new dangly bit and pieces.

Once these systems are "perfected" I can imagine there being enough stored energy to propel the truck to cruise speed with no combustion required. That would result in a huge improvement in itself.

I have wondered for a very long time why hydraulics couldn't benefit a vehicle's drive train. They can help lift very heavy objects, why not help propel the driveshaft? Obviously it can. I still don't love the idea of CVT though. Gears just seem more durable and capable. Especially if the internals of the CVT get wet.

oh re read it again. Wow this sounds very good. Go Ford!

Anyone remember or hearing UPS testing hydraulic hybrid propulsion in their fleet vans?

Hydro-stat truck?? Slick. Imagine the add-on applications too that could tap into the system.

Would suck in the mud though.

This is fantastic! I have been waiting for this news for a while now! I prefer small trucks by far but if there would ever be any reason for me to move up to a full size. This would be it. It's would also bump ford up several points in my book. Man this is exciting!!!

Im pretty sure most companies have at least looked into this so no more who did it first this is just the first ive head of it on a pickup hence it being on this great site. Now to the subject I see no reason why this wouldnt eventually become a major player in the alternative energy vehicle world I would be much more apt to try this out than many other ideas ive seen nice work Ford

I guess this will really rain on Bobs parade, as I often hear him tauting the Silverado hybrids 22mpg rating or whatever it is.

Hey Bob...Better luck next time.

wow this is not dodge idea...

Two wishes.

First that it works efficiently, as well as affordably, and the second is it goes into mass production before I die, which should be about thirty years out.

Doesn't rain on my parade at all Nate. Ford engineers didn't develop the technology in the first place. GM is still the most fuel efficient company that produces trucks today. So, sorry to rain on your parade Nate, but you LOSE again.

You must really be a big fan of my Nate if you can't stop talking about me. Now get off of mommies computer and go play nice now. GM is better than Ford and nothing you can say or do will change that. bye bye now.

@ Bob
How can you say they are the most fuel efficient trucks ford is beating GM by one mile to the gallon with a V-6 that has just as much power if not more, at least ford is trying new things instead of just sitting around waiting for more Government bailouts Jealousy gets you nowhere Bob stop trolling if you don't like the news stop commenting, love this website but am tired of guys coming on here with a closed mind

I think has potential in light and medium duty segment. I like how they are focusing on maintaining currenty payload and towing capabilites.

I have been doing some research on this for awhile and to get the system put in the truck will cost a bit more but no the extend of a hybrid system. I do think this will work. If it could get a truck up to 30 mpg city at least it will be a winner.

@ bob,

so what if a company dosen't produce a technology first, if a company can come in and utilize it and make it work then they are just smarting for seeing a technology and using it to there best ability. I saw this years ago when UPS and i believe also garbage company or a city pick up not 100% sure on that. The V-6 F-150 is the most fuel efficient full size on the market. In my mind hybrid systems are not the way to go at all.

Good Work Ford, hope to see this in the next two to three years when I am ready to buy a new F-150.

I like the fact that THIS hybrid is not restricted in its towing ability (like a certain other hybrid that can only tow half of its non-hybrid brother). It also doesn't need to get a larger gas engine to make it work either! I also like how the results in performance and fuel economy are actually a dramatic improvement too. Rather than having a ginormous 6.0L gas V8, couple with a weak electric motor. I am actually all for electric powered vehicles, I just don't think it has been done properly yet. Maybe with the exception of the Fisker Karma.

Anyone remember this 60 mpg F150 article from 2006?

Ford Invents Hybrid that is *300% more efficient* than Toyota Prius:

This article used to pop up on the F150 forums every so often. They said it was scheduled to launch in 2008. Then we never heard anything.

I am glad we are finally we are getting an official update on it.

LOOKS LIKE THE FUTURE WILL BE FULL OF THROW AWAY CARS AND TRUCKS.IMAGINE THE REPAIR BILL FOR ONE OF THESE JUNKERS ! (not knocking just ford but any manufacturer with these technologies)




i have a 100MPG truck that can kill and hybrid fuel economy its a V12 10L engine and it weights 12,000 lbs.
the 40mpg is never going to happen get real you could see a 25-30mpg truck in the next 10 years but not with weight reduction, smaller displacement, and some kind of hybrid system
think about it if ford could make a 40mpg truck they would have it on the market and kill GMC, chevy, dodge, toyota
the global ranger with a diesel engine can only manage 35MPG and can only tow 3,500lbs

Who's on first?

The Ford Expedition was the first hydraulic hybrid. The EPA and Ford were a partner in this.

EPA Displays the First Advanced Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicle
Release date: 03/08/2004

ford escape hybrid can go over 300,000 miles on the same battery
they provide it with taxi cabs most went to almost 350,000 so when people say battery does not last it does

its just Honda that put golf cart battery in the first hybrids that gave them all a bad rap only going just over 100,000 miles
even the Toyota can go over 300,000

what about the crown Vic taxi well the transmission will only make 200,000 CITY miles yes the engine will go 350,000 but not the transmission. if the transmission is all highway then yes it will last 300,000 easily

ford escape hybrid from the test fleet that ford sent out had no major failures of anything on the hybrid systems lasting over 300,000 CITY miles

My concern is the high pressure and leakage/blowouts. I spent a lot of time around hydraulic construction.
High pressure itself isn't the problem. It is the constant spiking of pressure that puts strain on piping and hoses. This is true of all hydraulic type systems. Including PG and E natural gas lines.
The fluid loses can cause huge environmental problems. Maybe they can come up with a biodegradable fluid.
My big question. And the item that seems to separate this from older hydraulic systems is the accumulator.
What method are they using to accumulate these high pressures. Do they have a gas reservoir type system.
What happens when this reservoir of up to 30 thousand lbs pressure fails. If there is any pressurized gas involved there will be fluids everywhere..

Most hydraulic fluids in use to day are flammable. Unlike a hydrogen system exploding. There will be flammable fluids running down the streets in to sewer systems and everywhere.

Hydrogen gas will always rise and disperse. Creating a much smaller problem than a liquid explosive on the ground.
We need a cost effective, solution to hold us over until hydrogen fuel cells are perfected.
We can start out converting to Natural gas.
Go with a hydrogen powered internal combustion engine.
It is cheap to convert any vehicle on the road today into a hydrogen powered care. And will provide the incentive to build the hydrogen infrastructure.

Our engineers are wasting time on trying to perfect what are only existing systems that hold very little potential.
The environmental problems associated with this hydraulic system are clear to see. It is not feezable to convert exist vehicles to this hydraulic system. And any petrol fueled system is only a stop gap measure.

We need to make a decision on our future transportation system And focus our time and money in putting it into effect.
Ford has built a hydrogen powered F 350 V-10. It will tow.

We need to create a nation with a transportation system of the future.
We don't need to create, 'make-work', for engineers.

@Buddy, the problem with that is that hydrogen takes up so much space. Even when you compress it at 20,000 psi, 1kg takes up a large volume. So you really have to be efficient when using it to get good range. That's why fuel cell is a better alternative to hydrogen ICEs. I'm not saying fuel cell is THE answer (but it is certainly one of many), I'm just saying I don't think HICE is the answer.

Can you delete my previous post. My 2 year old grand daughter started raising a fit before I had a chance to proof read and I accidentally posted it.

@ Alex,
New systems have 400 mile range. (new storage designs) They are in lease/testing phase by a number of manufacturers. .Hyundai or Kia is the latest I believe. Just read it in
All manufacturers have some sort of experimentation with hydrogen in the works.
BMW has had a hydrogen IC engine- 7 series- in lease/testing for over 3 years I believe. It had a 300 mile range. Not bad for a vehicle with that luxury, power and size.

The Hydrogen storage is solved when you reach a 400 mile range for sub compact vehicles.

Storage is not a problem in Pickups and larger vehicles. They have the space and volume necessary for even a further range.

The hydrogen infrastructure is the only remaining expensive item, prior to putting hydrogen powered vehicles in wide use.

The storage tank maybe a bit more expensive for hydrogen than the LPG tanks. But the rest of the system is almost identical to LPG. Multiples of times less costly than for diesels.

Supercharging can also be used to increase power. Just like with any internal combustion engine.
Ford in fact did that with a F-350 V-10.
Then the bottom fell out of the price for fuel.
And the testing was put aside because of that and the failing economy.

Don't forget. With hydraulic systems you are talking about pressures that may reach over 30,000 pounds per sq inch. That's a huge problem with a environmentally harmful fluid.

We need the LPG and hydrogen infrastructure improvements today. And the nice thing is that the two gas system designs are compatible.

We could go with improving and expanding LPG systems that met hydrogen requirements today. Then, when ready, those transportation systems could be changed over to hydrogen.

Except for the fact that today’s petro companies have also got a strangle hold on the LPG sources. I would consider LPG as viable a make work system until Fuel cells are developed.

Even though we have 100's of years of LPG here in America. You and I both know what will happen to the price of LPG the moment some one decides on a LPG transportation system. It would sky rocket. Just like nothing more than a newspaper headline is an excuse to raise the price of petrol today. No matter how much is in storage. No matter that consumption is going done. Increased gasoline usage has no effect on the price of gasoline in America. The industry just makes up stories. So that those who received tax cuts for the wealth can invest in the commodity and establish redistribution of wealth from the poor to the hyper wealthy through necessary day to day commodity price inflation.

Our refineries can not make more money shipping refined gasoline to China. Yet they use the excuse that China's consumption is raising our prices even while America's consumption is going down. Petrol levels in America are at record levels yet those that control the industry. Invent excuses for higher prices.

Anybody can make hydrogen.
Any renewable electrical source and water will make hydrogen.

North Dakota University is experimenting with Hydrogen powered equipment to farm and produce ethanol. They are producing hydrogen though windmills and water.

Ethanol that does not need petroleum for it's manufacture, resolves complaints that ethanol requires to much petrol to produce.

All forms of transportation that requiring petrol must soon come to an end.
Why are we wasting time?
Because those that control Americas best interests. Have their wealth invested in petrol.

Yeah I was aware of that 7 series, but I think a 300 mile range sucks to be quite honest. Though it is better than what I thought it was. It is also better than what they are achieving with batteries right now, and although it's a V12, wasn't it still quite gutless? I haven't read anything on it for quite some time. But the hydrogen does have the advantage of being 100% clean, and fast refills.

TO add to that, I think BMW knew marketing electric motors was a lot harder than marketing internal combustion engines. They can talk about a V12 engine that is smooth and refined, as well as being totally clean to the environment. That sounds a lot more impressive than trying to say your electric motor is better than someone elses, when they are all going to be pretty much the same. I would still prefer electric though.


I think its quite funny...As time goes by you are running out of ways to defend your wonderful GM. Ford keeps bringing out all this news about more powerful engines...Better MPG...Higher Quality...And GM's got...Well...They got a Global Colorado comming out soon that probably wont be sold in the USA! Haha...Face it Bob, GM's doing nothing now and these new's sites prove it more than ever.

With that said I DARE you to find one post of mine that is even referancing your name. Sorry Bob, I don't think you have any fans on this site, Myself included. I also work for a living so I paid for my computer.

I know it really does no good to give you facts as I have seen Lou prove you wrong time and time again, yet you still make your little comparisons, you still do your little ''let it be written'' let it be done'' speech. And in th end...The ONLY thing you have left is 1mpg on a 4WD truck with some pansy 3.08 rear end.

You notice how many people jumped in my defence when you commented back to me? Its because everyone on this site knows that you are nothing more than a close minded GM troll, and if I were Mike Levine I would have perma ban you from this site by now...But alas Mike Levine is a more tolorant man than myself.

But don't worry, We all know that in the end GM's really doing nothing right now...Even Dodge is making more news than GM. But it does appear that I really pushed one of your buttons.

I'm slated to drive the Honda FCX Clarity in April - hydrogen fuel cell car.

Based on your comments, it looks we are screwed anyhow. So why bother. Give me a 5L diesel and when we run out of fuel, we will deal with that most efficient way and save all those taxpayer billions, wasted by government for now.

@Mike Levine. Holden here has released a LPI system for their performance cars, same power as the petrol(gas) engines. Liquid Popane Injection is a much more efficient method of using LPG. It injects a liquid rather than a gas straight into the engine. so you do not have a loss of power like current LPG systems. Ford is going to introduce something similar on its new 2 Litre Ecoboost engine in Australia.
As you know LPG used in a diesel engine is like a form of chemical supercharging. Both Australia and the US have enormous reserves of LPG and Natural gas that is fairly .easily attainable.
LPG is common here, so much so that a lack of a LPG model has contributed to the poor Ford Falcon sales
“January is generally a slow month for leasing companies, and what we found was it was an even quieter month for rental car companies,” Ms McAlary said.

“But the biggest single factor was the lack of LPG.”

Have them ship one of those babies my way. I could be a good spoksperson for them.
Tell them.
I promise. :>)

In 2010, the Hyundai Tucson ix35 hydrogen fuel cell vehicle was introduced. With a 400 mile plus range and 99 mph top speed, this has been a sorely needed upgrade since the older model was introduced in 2004. The Hyundai Tucson ix35 FCV will most likely rollout in the 1,000's in 2012 along the South Korean Hydrogen Highway system.

Buddy continues:
Cool practicle efficient car.
Article from:

@ Mike Levine - Lucky man. Do you write for ?
I first heard of the Honda Clarity on Top Gear, even Jay Leno had positive comments about it. I do believe hydrogen will be the fuel of the future.

@ Nate M. - fight the good fight ! All you can do is try to use truth to illuminate the darkness.
The State Fair of Texas had a story about Ram CEO Fred Diaz's Ram belt buckle.
Funny how that was more newsworthy than anything from GMC.

Nate is right...most of the news on here these days seems to come from that troll bobby has to get on here and read about what FORD is doing because there is nothing on here about gm and he just cant resist reading the FORD articles and making some kind of idiotic comment...I drove a new 5.0 F150 the other day and man what an awesome has nothing even comparable..the Fords are so much better in looks, build quality, longevity, comfort , safety etc. that it isnt even close ....Generic Motors has a long way to go troll somewhere else bobby and stay off the FORD posts..

@Lou: Yes, it's a story for

I first heard about this technology in the mid 90's and the video I saw saw a couple years old at that time. It's good to see it has finally been advanced enough to be useful in vehicle applications.

My Torro Zero Turn uses total hydraulics to propel it to 10 miles per hour. The motor only turns the hydralic pump and the blade. I have heard that there are also companies that are developing this method for vehicles as well.

Big difference in applling this to cars. Is that up to now old hydraulics have been mainly applied to low speed off road vehicles
city driving is going to provide huge fluctuations in pressure to the system and stress failures.
Im all for new ideas but this just is gas powered hydraulics. Nothing new about that.
Like you said. You and millions of others have one in their mowers.

We need to get off all liquid petroleum products

@ mike
Guess I'll have to book mark to get a chance at one of those Hondas. Lol

International declared hydraulics to be the new technology of the future. In the 50's.
This is not a new product. Only a refinement of an old product.

It's a good product for what is is being used for today. Hydraulics is a good system.
Problem I have with it is that this application doesn't eliminate petroleum usages.
It just gives false hope for a new world.
It's not new world technology. It is just old technology packaged in a new box and being sold for investment dollars.

Lets invest in non liquid petroleum products. Heck I would support this product if it at least used LPG- IC engine. But to continue to use gas or diesel and claim it is new research. Is false. Heck if they used Direct injection engines I might give it a bit of support. Why not use the Bobcat engine in this type of application.
Give us something new. Don't just rehash the past.

It's sort of the battery story all over again. Batteries have been around for hundreds of years. And they still are not fully practical. Most likely will never be practical unless they can be developed into use in cheap throw away products..
Or, a whole new form of battery is developed.

Now, Think of hydrogen as a battery. Take every bit of off peak time extra electricity. And convert it into hydrogen.
What this means is that our vehicles will be fueled by electricity generation by-products. Their leftovers. It will be storing energy that would otherwise be wasted and then could be used in our cars.(For example,Water released from a dam during off peak hours and not converted into electricity is wasted energy. It could provide free electricity do produce hydrogen from the water being released from the dam.).

In other-words with the correct planning the cost of hydrogen could be zero. And the only expense would be transportation.
And even the transportation costs can be almost nothing. The hydrogen can be produced right at the fueling station.
All you need is wind or sun or waves. And water. And you are now a energy baron. :>)

The biggest cost for hydrogen. Is the willingness to invest in the future.
Your not going to get that from Oil Barrons and those who have all their wealth invested in petroleum.

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