Toyota And Ford To Go It Alone On Hybrid Trucks After Study

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2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

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Sometimes the most significant divorces are handled in the most minimalist way.

So it was with a brief press statement from Toyota today, noting that after completing a "feasibility study" that took almost two years, the two companies have chosen not to pursue a collaboration on hybrid powertrains for large pickup trucks.

The two companies, each with a decade or more of experience in building hybrid vehicles, said that they had agreed to "develop hybrid systems individually."

It's an amicable split; the two will continue to work together on "next-generation standards for telematics," as well as promising to "consider other areas for future collaboration as well."

Announced in August 2011, the Toyota-Ford hybrid collaboration was just one of several among automakers on different and increasingly expensive powertrain components to boost fuel efficiency.

Toyota said that December it planned a Tundra Hybrid full-size pickup truck, though little more has been heard about that project.

Ford: going it alone

Ford, meanwhile, said in its own release that it would move forward with a rear-wheel-drive hybrid system for its pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles on its own.

The hybrid system for trucks will consist of an "all-new architecture" that can provide "the capability truck and SUV customers demand" while boosting gas mileage.

“We know what it takes to build world-class hybrids," said Raj Nair, Ford's group VP of global product development, "and we now will build and leverage that expertise in-house.”

Such a system will be available "by the end of this decade," which gives the company considerable leeway during a period in which fuel-efficiency requirements will steadily tighten.

Toyota leads, Ford third

While Toyota is by far the global industry's hybrid leader, having sold more than 5 million hybrids since 1997, Ford is third (after Honda) in total hybrid sales over the same period.

When the collaboration was announced, General Motors still offered a hybrid pickup truck for sale as the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid and the GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid.

With the advent of a new generation of large GM pickup trucks, those models are now gone--and the related hybrid sport-utility vehicles are likely to vanish as well when those vehicles are renewed next year.

Meanwhile, Ford has had unexpected success selling its 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6 EcoBoost engine in its F-150 series of pickups, while Chrysler launched a 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickup truck with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6.

These two approaches to boosting the fuel efficiency of large pickups may reduce the immediate need to develop hybrid pickups in the near term.


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Comments (18)
  1. It sounds like they disagree on the approach or what to trade off/give up in the pickup truck segament...

    A plugin diesel electric is the way to go with pickup trucks...

  2. An off road 4WD Toyota Tacoma plugin diesel is at the top of my wish list, to replace my 2006 Tacoma. I love my Tesla Model S, but my Tacoma goes places where EV charging just won't reach.

  3. I believe that is diesel electric plugin is where the pickup/suv is headed based on the near future technology AND projected infrastructure.

    Of course the hardcore BEV extremist would disagree...

  4. Perhaps GM made a hybrid system that was hugely expensive to manufacture, making the pricing too steep for most, and the fuel economy benefit wasn't nearly enough to make it desirable to the target audience. Since they couldn't fish, they cut bait and perhaps chose to start from scratch before they try again.

  5. Nope...GM just half assessed it w/ a mild hybrid truck that didn't get much better mpg n they charged a crap load of dough too.

    Pickup trucks and some large SUVs need to haul and/or tow heavy stuff. Electric drivetrains are not great at those two tasks right now. A full diesel hybrid truck/suv drivetrain would great if the vehicle can switch to diesel only when stressed with heavy loads.

    Current trucks still have a lot of room for mpg improvements w/ regards to vehicle weight and aerodynamics. The latest truck redesigns are even more butch then before with bigger, more vertical n chromed out front ends then ever before.

  6. @Erik: That's not quite correct. The first Silverado Parallel Hybrid (2004-2007) was a mild hybrid.

    But the 2009-2013 Silverado and Sierra Hybrids just now being discontinued are full hybrids using the expensive but very capable GM Two-Mode Hybrid system. They can and do run under electric power alone, just as the hybrid SUVs do.

  7. Turbo charge ALL engines in ALL hybrids. The up front extra cost will pay for its self in just a couple of years.

  8. I think more people would be interested in an all electric truck over a hybrid. GM should do an electric version of the Chevy Tornado in the U.S.

  9. Trucks should be for say a 300hp drive, be 200hp e drive motor clutched to the 50hp ICE preferable NG with a 50hp Emotor/generator as it's flywheel.

    With 10+ miles of battery this would double or more a trucks mileage.

    Next make them in composites with real aero would double mileage again not to mention get 2x's the battery range on the same size pack.

    This drive works well for semi's, Garbage trucks, etc too giving the best of both worlds.

    The Volt is a series/parallel hybrid as it can run on either both connected mechanically and electrically. They rarely mention at speed the engine clutches to the drivetrain, driving the rear wheels.

    That is parallel hybrid, both at the same time. It's series when the engine just generates.

  10. I'll continue dreaming of the day they make an affordable 35mpg (avg) full-size truck. Hell I'd be happy with a Tacoma-sized truck. :)

  11. Is that 35mpg for a regular cab/short bed 2WD version? or for a full size cab with long beds and 4WD and 10,000lb towing capacity? :)

    I think the only way we are getting there is if China is starting to flood the world with their proven Titanium reserve like they are doing with solar panels and all the Pickup trucks are made of Ti alloy and weigh less than 2,000 lbs and all of them are equipped with direction inject turbo diesel and plugin electric motor as part of 4WD powertrain.

  12. I'd be happy with a, short bed, 2wd. 4wd would be ideal for my line of work though. :)

  13. I don't care who comes out with a Hybrid or Electric Pick up truck. As long as one of them gets there head out of Big Oils Ass and make a legitimate effort at producing one and do something for the customer/consumer/America/the Planet/Mankind for once instead of those Corporate Greedy Thugs. Automakers need to stop consorting with organized crime syndicates like Big Oil.

  14. The hybrid system for trucks will consist of an "all-new architecture" that can provide "the capability truck and SUV customers demand" while boosting gas mileage.

    Sounds expensive $$$$

  15. I bought a new truck 3 months ago. I've already spent almost $1500 on fuel in that short period. Sound expensive??? BRING ON THE PLUG-IN HYBRID TRUCKS!

  16. I could be wrong, but my guess is that "hybrid" is the last thing your average driver of a pickup wants to hear.
    I'm sure there are some pick up drivers who read this site, but I would put money on the idea that most people who drive pick ups see green cars are just for weird tree huger pinko commies.

  17. Truck buyers tend to be very price-sensitive with clear cost-benefit analysis as the heart of the purchase decision. Perhaps some variety of hybrid truck doesn't yet pass the cost-benefit analysis test.

  18. I planned on buying a pickup when the 2015's came out. I was hoping that by then, SOMEONE would have brought back a truly "small truck", like we could get in the seventies, eighties and nineties. Better yet, a hybrid small truck! Alas, it seems like automakers only want to make huge monster trucks and want to keep making them bigger.

    I fold. My next vehicle will be a car because of this. With todays gas prices, I need better than 20mpg.

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