Ford and Toyota Partnering Up to Produce Hybrid Trucks

Ford and Toyota Partnering Up to Produce Hybrid Trucks
By Dave Thomas

If there was any doubt that new fuel regulations would make an immediate and widespread impact on the automotive industry, it evaporated this morning. Today, Ford and Toyota announced an agreement to jointly develop — as equal partners — a new hybrid drivetrain specifically for light trucks and SUVs. This new technology would go on sale by the end of the decade.

The types of rear-wheel-drive vehicles this will be applied to include some of the most popular vehicles in the country, big pickups like Ford’s F-150 and the Toyota Tundra, along with large body-on-frame SUVs like the Toyota Sequoia and Ford Expedition. Ford and Toyota currently have just a handful of these types of vehicles in their portfolios, but the F-150 accounts for such a huge portion of sales that it alone would warrant this type of development.

New fuel regulations agreed to earlier this year targeted trucks and SUVs as well as passenger cars, hence the need for automakers to make them more efficient. The struggle for the manufacturer is to make them get better mileage while still being able to carry and tow at least as capably as they do today. Current hybrid systems on the market can deliver results in terms of capability; they just haven’t been efficient enough to meet future demands from the government on fuel economy.

Ford and Toyota have worked on hybrid technology before, but most of the development on the hybrid systems was left to Toyota. This time, both parties stress it will be a joint affair with only the integration of the system into each other’s products left to the individual automakers.

While the hybrid agreement is the most notable news, the two companies also agreed to work together to advance their in-car technologies, like Ford’s Sync, so that not only are they more sophisticated but that some sort of standards and practices result so customers moving between brands will get similar experiences.


I wonder what is so hard? GM has no problem. with trucks an SUV's. the only car thou is either mild or a 40,000 Volt

Ford needs to do this in house! Dont think they realize how this will hurt their image in trucks!

Ford should have stayed as far from Toyota as possible, this will surely have a negative impact!

I just read about this. I think the only surprise is the partnering with Toyota, I think we all knew that hybrid technology was inevitable for trucks so they can meet fuel economy expectations for 2025.

Before all the bashing starts let me point out that electric motors develop 100% of torque at 0 RPM and have a very wide power band that should make a lot of sense to be used in towing applications. Our train system has been using this tech for 40+ years and it works awfully well for them.

Toyota has the most on-road experience with hybrids. Ford lucked out with this relationship. There probably isn't another significant (deep pockets) hybrid manufacturer for either GM or Chysler to align with.

Blah , hypebrids are crap they need small diesel engines and actual small trucks to install them in , instead of gigantic porker mobiles like they have now .

No doubt something has to be done for improved pickup fuel economy. But unless there's new earth-shattering battery technologies with far more storage capacity and lighter weights, these pickups will be neutered pickups with less capacities for towing and hauling.

Otherwise it will be a win for owners using their pickups for commuting, grocery getting, etc

Ford needs Toyota's hybrid know-how and patents, especially when you take all of the big truck technology developed by Hino into account. However, Toyota needed a partner to justify this investment, as the Tundra doesn't sell well enough to make hybrid truck development profitable.

While Ford probably will get the better end of this deal, it certainly won't hurt Toyota's truck image when the F150 uses a lot of technology created by Toyota.

If there's a loser in this agreement, it's Chrysler-Fiat. They simply don't have the cash to develop a hybrid powertrain of their will they meet fuel economy rules without it?

Good luck to Ford & Toyota!

Go Ford , and while your hooked up with Toyota don't forget to check out their " Ground Clearance" on the Tacoma!

Being that both companies own a ton of hybrid patents it might make sense to develop the system together so you don't get into huge IP issues. It is mutual beneficial for both - Toyota gets to work with the company that builds the best trucks in the industry and Ford gets to work with the company that is regarded as the most advanced in hybrid powertrains.

GM's two mode was developed with Daimler/-Chrysler/BMW.

I dislike Toyota as a company and think their products are pretty boring, but they don't seem to be bad from a technological standpoint, so as long as the agreement is worked out in a way that is mutually beneficial, I'm okay with it for now.

The Devil went up to Dearborn, he was looking for a soul to steal...

Don't think this is the best of partners. Hybrids are a coming no doubt.

Better not moving all the guages and wipers/headlights and stuff the the stock or they won't sell

So basically the government made the fuel economy demands for trucks so ridiculously high that the 2 best hybrid developers have to join together in order to achieve it?

I wonder how Nissan, Ram and GM is gonna pull their super high MPG trucks off.

Well that should give ford and Toyota a competitve advantage. Two companies I don't like so we will have to wage war against these evil empires. Maybe GM can partner up with BMW or Mercedez Benz just to compete. Either way I want to destroy the evil empires called ford and toyota.

That's right I said it. Evil empires.

Is it just me or are the biggest fights here are between Toyota guy and Ford guy and now were on the same side I guess this would really be strange bedfellows.


GM's hybrids are whats considered "2-mode" hybrids. although more efficient than the typical gas engine by itself its not much better. Those systems either work using electric OR gas engine. also referred to as a parallel hybrid.

Toyota created the first and only series parallel hybrid (now have licensed the use of its gen.1 technology). this means the electric motor AND gas/diesel engine can simultaneously apply power to the wheels or just one or the other apply power. the systems are a world away more efficient. the new 2012 camry hybrid boasts 200hp while keeping fuel economy in the city to a massive 43mpg and 39hwy for a combined 41mpg!!!! Toyota ALSO has a diesel electric hybrid that boast a 50% fuel usage drop in the HINO division which is Toyota's Heavy Duty truck arm.

Lets see what comes of this.

What Ford should have done it go alone, team to this inhouse and create new jobs here in USA!

I have seen to much Toyotalized product already! They can comeup with all the excuse about cost all the want to, they dont mind charging $8,000 for a 6.7 Diesel PowerStroke engine do they?

Don't worry Bob, there will always be the super efficient, incredibly gutless 5.3!!! So I wrote it! On a side note, Bob take you post about others coming to threads unrelated to their own brands and foolishly bashing, and put it to use. Why some people wanna be such ass clowns is beyond me.

My brother has a hybrid Camry and the technology is amazing as well as the fuel eonomy...

Toyota is far ahead of the other companies like working on their 4th generation of hybrids while everyone else is only on their 1st!

And Toyota has proven this technology by winning endurance 24-hour races with a Supra hybrid!

Toyota is years ahead of the competition...

Lets make something clear, GM, Chrysler, Daimler-Benz, have aready teamed up, the results thus far are the GM Full size twins, in 4X2 and 4X4, they make 365hp and get 20-23 mpg, right now, just wait for improvements, and Chrys. is almost ready to release a full size Ram Hybrid, they had a Darango Hybrid, (very very Rare, discontinued, and only made a few short months in the last gen. I thought that the GM trucks only run one way or the other in rev., there was a page here that says they can use both elec. and gas for passing when needed, and available. Mike?

This is a win-win for both companies.

1. Toyota and Ford are the industry leaders in hybrid technology, combined they could develop something truly game changing.
2. Working together spreads development costs over a greater amount of vehicles.
3. Hybrids should officially be considered proven tech these days. They are reliable and they improve fuel economy in the real world.

While a lot of car guys cringe at the thought of them, they aren't so bad. I'd buy one.

I wanted the hydraulic hybrid truck Ford had been developing to become a consumer product. Seems to be simpler and less draw backs than electric hybrids.

LOL !!!

There are going to be the "Buy USA" types that are going to crap themselves over this pairing, but in reality this is a great combination.
Unbiased quality and long term reliability statistics (go see JD Power) put Ford and Toyota at the top end of the industry. The F150 and Tundra also have the best ratings in the industry.
Toyota has been working on hybrids for years and Hino already has an industrial hybrid truck. Ford will benefit due to Toyota's experience and Toyota will gain much needed credibility in the pickup market.

I don't think this will hurt Fiat/Chrysler too much as they(Fiat) had to meet MPG goals to gain access to Chrysler stock. Fiat has met all of the criteria to gain 53% of Chrysler. We tend not to look beyond our borders - Fiat has a huge industrial truck base, and multiple car companies to access for expertise.Fiat has a huge range of compact diesel engines as well.
I think GM is going to get hit the most out of this.
They have a 4 mode hybrid coming but when?
All of their next gen trucks are coming late to the party.
Who will provide them with the cash to develope advanced technology?
The USA government is already hurting when it comes to borrowed money.
China and India have deep pockets - GM makes more vehicles in China than the USA. GMC has the most to loose.

@Bitchagain Bob -

It's not just numbers.
It's real world performance ;)
Let it be written.Let it be done.

It would be great if we could combine the technology of both companies and develop a direct injected twin turbo v6 gasoline hybrid as the toyota hybrid system paired with the 4.7L v8 was supposed to deliver close to 20/25 mpg city/hwy and around 400hp with limitless torque as said by motor trend sombody has to find a way to make that happen. An ecoboost hybrid cant be done now but some in the future needs too.

Based on the dealer announcement, this is being compared to the Ford/GM 6 speed joint venture. They split development cost, reduce production cost because many components are shared to both Ford and GM's 6 speeds, yet both make their own transmission and most buyers don't know they are even related. (They also mention they have a simmilar deal with Peugot for Diesels in Europe).

Based on what I was told about the GM joint venture the big savings was in patent royalties as they cross shared without paying anything. I suspect Ford and Toyota control the largest amount of Hybrid patents and this savings will hold true even more for this joint venture.

That said, I'm not sure I'm for or against this deal. It makes business sense, as I suspect CAFE will force Hybrid trucks, and from what I've heard Hybrids don't make a good profit for anyone, so lowering production costs will be a must. Yet it still makes my skin crawl to think about having anything joint with Toyota. (hopefully its better than our Joint with Nissan on the Mercury Villager that was such a blessing I still cuss every time one pulls in).

Ever since hybrid cars became the "in thing" to own, I was wondering who would come up with a worthwhile solution. I'm not talking about this joint venture. GM should have gotten on the ball with this idea years ago. What Mhowarth said is a better solution. The electricity is made with a generator (if you'd prefer to call it an electromagnet, ok), not the engine itself. The only thing you would need is an engine big enough (gas, diesel, biofuel) to turn the appropriate sized generator to make enough power to provide electricity to the drive motors. Smaller engines don't need to be large, so they use less fuel. It's still MPG, but the numbers would be way higher. I feel like we have too many people in white lab coats that are trying to develop new, revolutionary technology without utilizing the technology we already have (& is proven).

@5.3L LOL - you make a very good point. It has never made sense to me as to why GM went with a hybrid 6.0. They should of went with the more fuel efficient 5.3.
A hybrid Ecoboost would be a killer combination as the V6 is light weight, has tons of power, and gets decent MPG for the power/torque it produces. The hybrid system could keep the V6 acting like a V6 for longer periods of time.

Move to japan i will help you pack!

Should be effective for stop/go type driving. Not so useful for driving flat land, steady speed, or towing up hills. Eventually you can recharge on the downhills but how will the smallish engine tow once the battery needs recharging?

It's gonna make an interesting SAE J2807 trailer tow rating system.

@ everyone

its much more complicated than slappin hybrid tech with a current engine. the engines we enjoy today run on a combustion cycle known as "otto" cycle named after the guy who patented it.

A hybrid engine (at least ALL of toyotas are anyway) what is considered "adkinson's cycle." the efficiency of the engine is hightened but at a loss of pumping power. to dumb it down slightly the compression stroke of an adkinson cycle engine leaves the intake valve open for a little longer as the compression stroke starts up. I'M NOT CERTAIN (just for the record) but i dont see how ANY turbo/forcefed engine could even operate on an adkinson cycle engine.

I think it will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Hurry up and build it , I want my Super Duty to be able to get 40 mpg.
Fuel and power costs must remain the same for it to do any good though

@ ken

Toyota's hybrid systems (as of now) do not need plugged in to recharge, although a version is coming.

Toyota's hybrid systems utilize off throttle recharging as a result of the generator spinning due to movement. they also use a regenerative braking system, basically when you hit the brakes it turns on a generator capturing the energy to recharge the battery instead of friction heat loss from just standard brakes (it works EXTREMLY well) this actually increases braking power as well and cuts down on the heat generated by a standard braking system.

Ford going in with a turd. I think a bad day for America. In my eyes it hurts Ford image. I think of Ford and GM as the soul of America. Yes they have had good times and some very, very rough times. But I have always been proud to drive one or the other down our highways.

Yes I have a narrow mind, but damm if we try and keep industry designing and building in America it can only help. Screw those dumb mpg rating from the goverment. If you have work to do you need to expand energy to get it done, right?

@ peter

its sure interesting you point out you want to enjoy driving a truck built here. you said quote;

"Yes I have a narrow mind, but damm if we try and keep industry designing and building in America it can only help."

the Tundra was designed in the USA, the Tundra was engineered in the USA, and the Tundra is built in the USA. 80% US/North American content. Ford is at 60%, GM at 61%. if you REALLY feel narrow minded about supporting America your money is better spent on the Tundra. Dont give me the BS of the money leaves here, More of your money stays in the USA to pay for R&D, design, engineering, and manufacturing here in the USA. TMS "Toyota Motor Sales USA" operates By the American market, for the American market.

What i stand for is the common goal of the USA getting stronger to support USA workers. I have ZERO brand loyalty for ANY manufacturer who will send work outside the US based on just saving a dollar. i dont care who you are WE as Americans have to see through that CRAP. we have to make companies keep building products here, and by blindly buying something based on what they used to do doesnt bring those jobs back.

very well put Hemi Lol: I was going to tell Lou that is the reason GM used the 6.0 intead of the 5.3, Lou: everything he said is what was in PUT.C in the wtite-up about the GM twins. It all has to do with the diff. cycles (Otto vs. Adkinson)

Dogs and cats sleeping together!

Know what I thing? GM and Toyota have all the good hybrid patents locked up between them. You want to build a decent hybrid you have to partner with one of them.

@ Lou @ Hemi Lol, @ Oxi
Fiat has its IVECO Industrial Truck Division and they have the following plus a Bus Hybrid. I stated in a prior post on another topic, that diesel/hybrids would be needed to meet the very stringent new CAFE standards.
IVECO Eurocargo Hybrid

Fed Ex IVECO Daily Hybrid

@Lou agree with you at the moment GM does not have a partner to dance with.

This stream of conversations has actually been more civil than I thought it would be.

Ford and Toyota already partner on hybrid tech so this is in essence an extension of that existing relationship (Ford paid Toyota for use of their existing patents for the Escape and Fusion platforms and Hino builds the hybrid parts per Ford spec and ships them to be assembled on Ford's production line)

Keep in mind that the hybrid tech is mainly going to address city MPG. the only thing that is going to bring about a change greater than 1 or 2 MPG on the highway is for radical new designs of the trucks so they are aerodynamic. It has little to do with weight. Which is why the GM 2-,odes offer great city MPG and effectively no change on the highway (yes Bob I know it is improved but only very, very marginally. The big change is in the city MPG)

I think that the aerodynamic issues will be addressed in the next gen trucks that will magically come around 2016-2017 to meet the first round of CAFE figures. (most are already about at those numbers anyway so the design changes will be more modest in this first round of changes)

Just to clarify someone quoted me as “being for” the train style of hybrid where you have a generator that powers the electric motors and nothing else. This makes a lot of sense for a train but not so much for consumer sized passenger vehicles as GM has been finding out with their Volt. It is extremely expense to have a really good gas motor (generator) and the drive train it needs and also have the full drive train of a battery/electric vehicle in something that you expect "Joe Average" to pay for. It would make sense in semi's that would cost over $100k to start with but for cars and trucks the cost and complexity is too great. The Volt isn't selling well past the first month or two IMHO because the price is way too high for the average consumer based on what you actually get out of the car. Only 30 something miles on electricity and piss poor MPG when trying to run on gas as a generator. They tried to incorporate everything into one vehicle and lost any specific strength of any one of its systems. It would be like a 6 door truck that can carry 8 passengers but then only have a 3 foot bed so as not to make the overall truck any larger.

I really like the technological achievement that GM has the with Volt but I think time is going to show that they should have dedicated it in one direction or another (ie all electric like the Leaf or hybrid like the Prius)

I have not been able to figure out the turbocharged hybrid thing but I just know I want to see it and maybe this will make it happen as Toyota has already experimented with it

@5.3 LOL. The IVECO Diesel/Hybrids are turbocharged.

The obvious reason for this partnership is the new CAFE regulations on light trucks.

As this partnership is suppose to bear fruits by the end of the decade, both Toyota and Ford are concerned about the new regulations that require a CAFE EPA mileage for light trucks to get a combined 39 mpg for trucks that are 41 sq ft or smaller, and 25 mpg for trucks that are 75 sq ft or bigger (such as the F-150).

For Ford, getting a combined 25 mpg on an F150 is going to be absolutely crucial, as its Ford (and America's) top selling vehicle. For Toyota, who's truck sales volume is small and is only relevant in North America, putting a lot of R&D for trucks has poor economies of scale.

@sandman4X4 - the 6.0 is an "Otto" style engine, just like the 5.3. That is why I thought it was an odd paring by GMC. Unless I am mistaken and GM's 6.0 hybrid engine has little in common with the regular 6.0.
One could theoretically make an "otto" engine behave more like an Adkinson engine with VVT and DI.
I think that a small diesel in a hybrid style system would be the most efficient as diesel fuel has more "power" than gasoline. Some of that advantage has been lost due to changing over to low sulphur diesel.
If I'm not mistaken - GM's hybrid is basically batteries assisting the engine whereas Toyota's system is engine assisting the batteries.
That is my take on it.
That is why I thought something like the Ford EB in a GM style hybrid would work better. In some respects - the EB in mild V6 mode could function like the Adkinson engine but still have V8 power when needed.
Thanks for the input guys. It's great chatting with guys with various bits of knowledge.

@ 5.3L LOL

interesting article..... i wonder if that engine used an adkinson cycle engine???

@ robert ryan

the diesel hybrid will be much different based on the combustion cycle. i'm certain its possible with the diesel because its combustion cycle doesnt differ on the hybrid like the gasoline versions due.

@ lou and everyone

the 6.0 on the GM likely is an otto cycle. remember this system is a 2 mode hybrid and works very different than the series parallel hybrid that the Toyota gas engines use. obviously i agree with you Lou about diesels. the energy you get from diesel fuel is greater than what you get from gasoline and therefore IF they work in harmony together at a potential affordable cost then they will probably lean that way. HOWEVER, also interesting to not that while you get more energy from diesel our emissions standards for diesels make the price point almost un-achievable.

wow i shouldve spelled checked myself on that one lol. i spelled DUE it shouldve been DO.

and the other shouldve read; its interesting to NOTE........... i forgot the E

@ hemi lol- That may be true, but its more entertaining to pretend that Ford/GM are 100% American and Toyota is 100% Japanese. Design, parts, build, everything and then sit back and laugh as the Yota doesnt sell well. Dont stomp on me and Peters fantasy world, for I reject your reality.

@jessman- If you, I, and everyone else woke up tomorrow to vehicles getting 40 mpg, we still wouldnt save anything. If everyones mpgs magically doubled, it wouldnt take long for the price of gas to do the same.

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