Dollars & Pounds Slow Prospect of Hybrid Pickups

Alan_mulally II
Electric and hybrid cars have seen strong sales so far this year, but it will likely be a while before we see any big powertrain changes in pickup trucks — at least that's what Ford CEO Alan Mulally suggested recently. 

At a conference bringing together more than 300 corporate leaders, environmentalists, academics and investors, Mulally spoke about the real-world costs of electric and hybrid technology in each of the vehicles sold. Marc Gunther, one of the co-chairs of the Brainstorm Green conference, reported on his blog that Mulally said there is about 100 pounds and maybe $2,000 of extra cost in a typical hybrid car. For more sophisticated plug-in hybrid cars, the numbers move up to about 300 pounds of added weight and $7,000 to $8,000 of cost. For all-electric vehicles, the batteries can add as much as 600 or 700 pounds with an extra $12,000 to $15,000 on top of all the other production costs.

With those kinds of numbers, it makes sense why some are predicting that electric cars will never be (at least not for a long while) a strong-selling segment of any car sales chart. Even now, hybrid and electric cars make up less than 5 percent of total car sales.

Still, if there is any platform that can handle 600 or 700 pounds of extra weight with ease, it would be a pickup truck. And hiding a $10,000 premium powertrain in a high-tech option package on a truck that costs $50,000 doesn't seem to outlandish at this point. Unfortunately, we don't seem to have any premium truck makers anymore. Lincoln's previous attempts were a disaster, and Cadillac has made it quite clear about leaving the segment. 

The most significant problem in the short term is the additional production costs that pickups would have to endure to save more weight, which only adds more cost as exotic materials must be used. With the introduction of the 2013 Ram 1500 and all its new features, we've seen the lengths a manufacturer must go — a redesigned high-strength steel frame, aluminum hood, aluminum control arms — just to keep a truck's weight even with the previous model. We can only imagine the costs involved to lower a platform's weight by several hundred pounds or more. 

Alan_Mulally hybrid pickup II
This clearly won't be an easy challenge to solve, but with aggressive EPA fuel economy targets just around the corner, only the truck makers that heavily invest in the R&D now will be in a position to succeed if (or when) buying trends change, gas prices destabilize and undiscovered technologies hit the marketplace.

We know Toyota and Ford have pooled some significant resources. Ram Trucks has a wealth of technology to borrow from Europe, and GM seems to be having some success with its e-Assist hybrid systems. But there is still plenty of room for someone who wants to take a risk and put something bold and unique out there. That space, for now, is completely wide open.  


The Hydraulic Hybrid is where its at.

I agree with Donald.

I had read somewhere that Ford was testing an F-150 with the 4.6L3v V8 using a hydrualic hybrid set up, and they were reportedly achiving 40+mpg with it.

If that's to be beleived than that would be the way to go if could to done with reasonable practicality and cost to the customer.

"Unfortunately, we don't seem to have any premium truck makers anymore. Lincoln's previous attempts were a disaster, and Cadillac has made it quite clear about leaving the segment."

Uh, hello???

Ford F150 Lariat and Platinum??
Lincoln was a joke, just a re-badged F150....

@ woopud Ford is not a premium brand. Ford is a mainstream brand. Premium would be along the lines of BMW, Merc, Audi, Caddy. Lincoln is pretty close to premium status as well. Vehicles with base prices that most people can't afford and come better equipped as base models then most other full load vehicles. Fords Platnum and KR trims ( as nice as they are ) are just that. Premium trims on a main stream vehicle.

Diesel electic is the way to go...look at trains

Still some hurdles with hydraulic hybrids like noise, vibration, weight, seal life/maintenance, leaks.

Hopefully some of these fuel saving ideas start hitting the showrooms.

Thier is something that will force all makes to make drastic changes not too long from now...

It's called, no more cheap oil and soon no more oil period!

This will happen before 2030...where both the Pentagon and MIT have predicted will lead (one catalyst, scarce water being another) to a global economic crash (shock) and life as we know it today will be gone...

"Researchers at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say that, at this rate, the planet is likely to be plagued by a “global economic collapse” in fewer than two decades if humans continue to gobble up natural resources at the same rate they are today."

"Researchers at MIT predict that Earth will experience a whole other Armageddon-like scenario by 2030, when they expect a global economic collapse to occur."

Mr. leader at Ford is thinking short term again and not what is immenent...

i dont mean to sound like a jerk oxi but seriously that sounds alot like a doomsday prediction thats just not likely to happen. MIT? ever heard of over analyzing something? i've read that theres enough oil in the USA's soil to fuel us here for hundreds of years and where the hell do they think the water is gonna go? its recycled back into the soil which filters it........... i mean cmon scarce water?????? maybe in the desert but not where it rains, hell i can build something that catches water and process it to drink where i live it rained 70 inches last year.........

"And while the prospect of “water wars” has been touted for decades, it may start to become reality within a decade. The ODNI predicts that by 2040 water demand will outstrip current supply by 40 per cent."

What you fail to understand is the more babies that people have, the more demand and destruction that will lead to major wars soon. This is according to the Pentagon...

Put a leash on the EPA !

@Oxi - water shortages aren't going to be a North American problem unless there is going to be severe contamination. If anyone buys into global warming, we will see water levels rise and most of the populated areas of the world are close to water and at low elevation. Seems self correcting.
We do waste resourses and do need to conserve everything. Whether or not we run out of fuel in 20 years is debatable, but as it currently stands, the majority of the populace is not going to pay an extra 12,000 to 15,000 dollars for a 40 - 60 mile range with batteries. It is actually nice to see a major executive point out the negative costs of this new technology.
There are experts that say we will need to build thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of nuclear power plants just to meet electric demands.
Truth be told, the majority of the population on this planet does not need an automobile. China, India and other population dense countries should be focused on mass transit(trains etc.) not personal transit(cars etc.). To really save the planet we need to move away from personal use automobiles. This kind of approach will work well in developing countries, but will be a painful change in countries that are based on the automobile like North America.
As far as your "more babies is bad" mantra, poor and developing countries are the ones with that problem. China has tried to mandate 1 child per family and that isn't working well. Families are aborting females for males. In North America and most developed countries the birth rate is less than required for population growth. Immigration for many of these countries is the only way to keep populations stable.
You can look at the mortality rates of many of those developing counties. AIDS/HIV is endemic in Africa.
Your BOV Toyota or what ever you chose to call it is funny considering you just pointed out the fact that you woun't have fuel to run it or water to survive with.
Once again, consistency of argument and/or logic eludes you.

All this talk of a bold move in the direction of hybrid trucks is great, but Scion's new compact truck will be the boldest move in the truck industry since the redesigned Ram debuted in the early 90's. Much like that Ram changed consumer perceptions about pickups and birthed the era of the "family truck," the Scion pickup will encourage consumers to think of a truck in terms that aren't related to max HP, max payload, etc.

For too long, the industry has been encouraging consumers to go with bigger trucks. Yet the latest set of fuel economy rules make big and better way too expensive. Small unibody based pickups are efficient little workers around the world, and many US consumers would be just fine with one in the garage. The Scion truck will prove that.

What's more, a small unibody truck isn't nearly as expensive or complicated as a larger truck with a hybrid system...yet the small truck will likely offer the same or better mileage and only slightly less hauling capacity.

There will always be big trucks, but if you're looking for the next evolution, the answer is simpler than strapping a $10k hybrid system onto a $50k truck.

Take your taco, crawl into your bomb shelter and don't come out until we knock on the door! Some people are just educated idiots...besides, EVERYBODY knows the world will end on Dec. 21 2012...just ask any for the water thing, we do have machines that remove salt from sea water. I believe you've been hanging around too many Al Gore lectures!

@TundraHQ - you raise some very valid points. Bigger is better is a typical North American approach. Will people accept an economical "tiny truck" before an expensive hybrid truck? Maybe when fuel hits 10 dollars a gallon US there will no longer be a question to debate.

I agree with a diesel-electric powertrain. A small 4 cyl turbo diesel generator with a massively powerful electric motor to drive the wheels! 50-80 mpgs please!

The Ford CEO just approved a $760 million plant to be built in China...

Ford has the cash, they just do not care about the U.S. anymore...


And where is the energy going to come from to de-salinating the ocean's water?

Nuke plants? Dam's? Wind farms? Coal? Natural gas or oil?


I am eager to check out the new Scion pickup as my daily drive...

It would sit on a Subaru or RAV-4 chassis which would be perfect for daily duties because I already have my off-road Tacoma machine that can carry weight and is all-weather capable and specializes in severe off-road duties...


Bomb shelter?

You should be getting ready to live for extended periods of time without electric power and the chaos that will result on top of economic collapse...that is more likely to happen soon than the other crap...


Water shortages not going to affect NA?

Think again, what happens on the other side of the world will impact the U.S.

If a major war erupts because of water, we will most likely be involved courtesy of our over 700 military bases in over 120 nations around the world!

The more babies we have on this planet, the more demand on water and other resources and YES demand will out grow supply and then what?

Humans are the cancer to this planet! Especially developed or Western living humans that consume more than they need when compared to the rest of the world...


The Tacoma wil have enough fuel to get to multiple fail-safe locations out of the cities to much less populated areas where city folk would not dare get too, if they even knew how...ha they probably do not even know how to read a map or have been trained to survive away from their fast food restaurants and flipping the switch for electric power... when that goes they will be doomed...

The city folk will be killing themselves for the last Twinkies, so I plan to be away from these ignorant and unprepared folks when it all comes down...

Just remember a typical city has but only a 5 day supply of food and if the power is out or the fuel runs dry and even trucks cannot move, how long before a typical city falls into chaos? Note: not isolated to one area like New Orleans after Katrina but hundreds of Katrina type scenario's across just this nation...

How soon before the entire, efficient and just in time system collapses merely by shutting the power off or stopping the flow of oil/natural gas? How soon before Rome burns?

I see oxi is back on his usual rant. All us sheeple will perish during the economic/water/electricity/food/weather apocalypse while the all-knowing, all-prepared oxi drives off in his superior Tacoma to his safe, remote location with a smug grin on his face. Oh well, at least the Earth's cancer will be eradicated!

As for the article, yes, in their current form hybrids and electrics do not make economic sense. Does that mean the technology should not be researched? Nope; the only way these types of technologies will ever make the mainstream is with R&D.

@Luke in CO - agreed on all fronts ;) There does need to be more research into these systems especially when it comes to cost. If I had a choice between a 60,000 dollar hybrid pickup and a 25,000 dollar tiny Scion, I'd go with the Scion.

@Oxi - in the event of an aquapocalypse, it would make sense for all of those USA servicemen and woman to come home and let them fight over water. That will not happen with oil though. I wonder how many deaths per gallon has the last 2 Gulf wars cost the USA?
Your no children policy also makes no sense. If MIT is correct and the world comes to an apocalyptic end in 20 years, judging by all of the photo's you've posted on line, that would put you in the mid 60's when the time comes. How long do you think a senior citizen would survive foraging for berries in the great wilderness? If, for the sake of argument, one or several of your Trojans sprung a leak, or you experienced the complication of post procedural recanalization (vasectomy springs a leak) and had a few kids, they'd be 18 - 20 at the time. That would increase your chances of survival.

I wonder what Oxi would say if Toyota announced building a 10 billion dollar factory in China?

@ Luke in CO

I see oxi is back on his usual rant. All us sheeple will perish during the economic/water/electricity/food/weather apocalypse while the all-knowing, all-prepared oxi drives off in his superior Tacoma to his safe, remote location with a smug grin on his face. Oh well, at least the Earth's cancer will be eradicated!

Thats just to damn funny. I was bout rolling on the floor with that one. LMAO!

Doomsday senarios will make all of this irrelevant, but short of that or major disruptions in oil delivery, you just cannot come close to beating the cost effectiveness of straight gasoline powered cars and light trucks. No ifs, ands about it. Not even close.

Hybrids and EVs can only be niche products for do-gooders that want to feel like they're doing something to save the planet and don't care about actual dollars spent to save at the pump (or avoid it altogether).

Diesel over traction motors are great in trains, but if they had to stop at every other crossing, it'd be a different story.

Oxi if the problembs happen that fast that we cannot see them coming then chances are you are going to be in trafic with alot of othe rpeople leaving the city. people in lesser automobiles will try to pass on the shoulder or through the woods and get bogged down effectivly baricading in your mighty tacoma, and anything less than a Tank is not getting through. What if an EMP is detonated all of our trucks are usless without computers. According to to your ideas about the world it would make more sense for you to build a easy to secure home in a remote area (there are my cost effective solutions out there, away from the city with stock pile of supplies and acess to needed resources . This will keep the violent sheeple away from you. and not all of us are sheeple many of us have taken steps to prepare including stockpiling the necessities to get buy. I am frtunate enough to live in a state where the large religious organization (im not aboart of it) requires its members to stock up on the essentials and grow lots of food in their own gardens, so alot les hungery zombies roaming around. I have a feeling if the colapse was as bad as you think its going to be we will not have anarchy when truck companies refuse to transport goods, or water Co.s stop providing water the govenment will take over everything an we will be communist country but people will survive and if history is to be a guide of what has happended to all the former republics like Rome , Weimar Republic, Post revolutionary France, et al. They all fall and become empires/ totalitarian regimes that expand and conquor the world untill they once again fall, sometimes as in the case of Rome its over a thousand years, in france and Germany it was less than 10 years.

Ha oxi they won't be making twinkies anymore. Got you good. Lol, god I love rants.

Discussing Hybrids not Armageddon, they have been a dramatic failure here(cost big issue). Holden's Colorado will now not have a petrol engine.All engines will be diesel. As the company announced NINETY SEVEN PERCENT of all Sales for the previous model(only gets 10 % of the market) were for DIESELS.

Also the Ecoboost four will not replace engines here.


I do not live in a big city, I have farm fields in my neighborhood and know of all the backroads due to my weather spotting in my area...

I would not be caught dead living in a large, dense city...

The differance with comparing Rome to today is they knew how to live without electric power, grow crops and slaughter animals for food.

The thought of most people without electric power, warm showers, cell phones, American Idol, fast food, gas stations, heat in their homes, etc... no way today's modern electric power dependent society will last much. Only the strong will survive and if your not mentally or prepared to survive the shock phase and the power vacumme phase, you will not make it...

Estimates that 1 year without power, over 250 million will die in this nation alone!

EMP's are very dangerous or CME's from the sun...

You can pay attention to CME, that information is published daily by NOAA which gives you up to 2 days notice...

EMP's, just pay attention to global affairs so you will not be caught with your pants down. But that requires one to pay attention to something other than sports!

If war is immenant with a nuclear power, be ready but you have to pay attention globally for that to happen...

#1 rule is being AWAKE and paying attention that is on a continuous basis of gathering intelligence locally up to globally...

Don't be like most of society that is asleep at the wheel with a cell phone glued to their face that never questions authority and just bends over and takes it all...

Ford building a plant in China for $760 million is nothing because they still have a debt of over 300 billion dollars to the banks. GM has been in China for years and Ford did not move into China because of poor strategy. They have no chice but to build in China or be left behind even farther then they are now.

@Greg - At least Ford is paying back their debts. Despite the fact that Ford did not declare bankruptcy and is still honorably carrying their debt, they are more profitable than GMC.
Yes this a 2011 story since you like to point out dates.
Here is another story on Ford debt. Again 2011.

They aren't 300 billion in debt. The breakdown is roughly 14 billion for the automotive arm and 86 billion for the financial arm.
From 2010 - 2011 Ford paid off 12 billion of their automotive debt.

Didn't you say this on the 2014 Chevy thread:
Quote" Can't we just have a normal conversation about trucks?"

I will power my sea water to fresh water converter with the hot air coming from your mouth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH "Dollars & Pounds Slow Prospect of Hybrid Pickups"?

@oxi i am prepared and i have survial traing skills and know how to live without, i know how to make fires, (better than the guy in Jack Londons "To Build a Fire") I know how to build iglos if there is snow , and assorted other shelters, the only thing i need is water, and there are ways to turn the great salt lake into fresh water that doesnt require power. you can do this with buckets and plastic sheeting and create an evaportaion still there are ways to filter microbs out of fresh water using items in the wilderness. Cities where most people live will be death traps unless you are able to get out, i belive that NYC has a lower than average supply of food and people rely on just in time intead of just in case at the ditribution and personal use levals as space is at a premium. And if your predition that 250million will die is accurate then people should turn out the lights as they go allowing the remaining hydroelectric plants to produce enough power.

@Donald The Hydraulic Hybrid is where its at.

I am more interested in this since the article appeared last year on this site with diagrams of how it works. If this works this could solve a lot of problems with fuel economy on larger trucks. It is unrealistic to think that we will eliminate all larger trucks. True not everyone needs or wants larger trucks but farmers, construction crews, road crews, businesses, and anyone that hauls trailers or hauls heavier loads still needs larger trucks. I do think that most of truck drivers that can will probably trade down to a smaller truck size but this is not feasible for everyone. I would like further information of what Ford is doing with this technology and when we might see a prototype of this.

Before we get into doomsday predictions lets try different technologies. True not all will work but we need to at least try and be open. In the beginning it will be expensive but once something becomes more feasible and widespread then the costs go down and consumers will be more willing to try it. Let's have an open and intelligent discussion about this. Lou is right let's have a normal conversation about trucks.

@Robert Ryan
Thanks for the pictures. I like that Ford Falcon. Ford really has some nice products. Let's not give up on technology yet. Let's see some more from Ford on the Hydraulic Hybrid technology which looks promising for trucks. Lou is right lets discuss trucks and not worry about the end of the World or politicians.

What's with all this doomsday talk? I thought we were talkin' bout trucks here...

@lou - thanks! and likewise

@oxi - interesting idea that it would sit on a Subaru chassis, but I'm pretty certain it will be on the Rav4's platform instead.

this looks like it could work, the problem i have with Hybrids is they work great for back and forth to work (small cars) but what about construction, farmers, and so forth, what it the point of having hybrids (small cars) cannot take them on vacation to try and save gas you have no room so we are stuck taking our gas guzzlers, is there really no solution to our oil problem or is it they (the oil companies, politicians) just do not want to fix it (GREED)

One could argue the real reason why governments want 10 dollars a gallon civilian fuel and 60,000 dollar hybrid pickups is to save fuel for the "war machine". I'm definately not trying to sound like Oxi, but consider this;
USA consumes 142 billion gallons of fuel per year.
USA military consumes 1.6 billion gallons of fuel per year.
With the exception of some nuclear powered ships and rocket powered weapons, the rest consumes petroleum based fuels.

Back on topic - they need to put more research into making this stuff affordable. Economies of scale will help. The other huge problem is Range. I've also read that this stuff doesn't like extremes in temperature. A Goldilocks and 3 bears scenario. Too hot, too cold, and just right. A large percentage of us don't live in "just right". If it won't live in -25C to -45C weather or give me the range to go a few hundred miles into the wilderness and back again (no doomsday - just hunting,fishing, camping,hiking etc.), I'm not interested in it. If there is no break even point, I'm not interested in it either.

Good points Lou. If the technology is not practical then it will not succeed. Battery power is not feasible in colder climates such as winters in Canada or the Northern parts of the USA. I would like to know more about Ford's Hydraulic Hybrid. Hopefully this could be a viable alternative especially for the truck owner who wants to have a larger truck. Not all alternatives are feasible but lets at least try. I also agree with your analogy of the war machine and also I am not a doomsday fan. I think the US has concentrated too many resources into the war machine which makes a lot of money for certain industries. The politicians also like the power and influence. For the sake of our continent we would be better off to have a policy of complete energy independence which includes developing more alternative sources of energy, increased oil and gas production, more efficient vehicles and appliances, and more energy conservation. All these need to be done in synergy and not just separately.

scott... while trains are completely logical diesel electric the amount of space and not to mention the technology involved is just not feasable on a truck platform... I work in the oil field and just as a point of reference.. the VFD alone required to "effeciently" drive a 350hp electric motor is the size of a small kitchen... the motor weighs in at over 2k lbs and thats not counting the generator required to power the VFD... I use the 350hp motor as an example for camparison to the hp ratings of 3/4 pickups... oh and that Reliance 350hp motor costs about 50-70K... Again when you start talking the "amount" of electric motor you would need to compare to gas/diesel hp ratings of todays's trucks...and the power/generator and VFD required to power it.. its just not going to happen.

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