Ford has confirmed a 25-mpg combined EPA fuel economy rating for the most fuel-efficient version of the F-150 hybrid lineup, which carries the PowerBoost badge. 

Ford says that 4x2 versions of the F-150 hybrid come in at 25 mpg city, 26 highway, and 25 combined—with a range of 750 miles on a tank of gasoline. That gives them the highest gas mileage rating not just of the F-150 lineup. 

As of Friday the numbers aren’t yet confirmed by the EPA’s site. However Ford also notes that the 4x4 version, at 24 mpg combined (already confirmed by the EPA) is the most efficient of any 4x4 gasoline full-size trucks. 

At that the hybrid goes about 20% farther on a gallon of gas than the equivalent non-hybrid F-150 models—with even better efficiency gains versus the V-8 versions that are still on the menu. Meanwhile at 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque, the hybrid has the highest torque rating of any model in the lineup and can tow up to 12,700 pounds in 4x2 versions. 

Making sense of gas and diesel, before the wave of electric trucks

Although there’s a lot of buzz about electric pickups, none of those trucks have arrived yet, and due to the heavy hauling-and-towing needs of many truck buyers—and the potential for range to plummet accordingly—the reality check is that until rural fast-charging gets more robust, a hybrid (or plug-in hybrid) truck is probably the best bet. 

2021 Ford F-150

2021 Ford F-150

If you don’t want to pat Ford on the back for the F-150 hybrid, diesels are the other option right now. They still rank as the more fuel-efficient choice for those who plan to do a lot of highway driving—or, especially, towing at highway speeds. And while their emissions has improved vastly over the past decade, it’s worth keeping in mind that illegal tampering and “tuning” are rampant among second owners, even with light-duty truck diesels.

The F-150, in 2WD Power Stroke diesel form has previously achieved 24 mpg combined—pulled upward by a 29-mpg highway rating and a 624-mile total range. We’re unclear why the diesel is rated significantly lower for 2021—20 city, 27 highway, 23 combined—and have reached out to Ford for clarification why. 

The Chevrolet Silverado 2WD diesel achieves 23 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 27 combined. And the Ram 1500 diesel gets 22 mpg city, 32 highway, 26 combined. 

The F-150 hybrid is powered by a gasoline turbo V-6, combined with a 10-speed automatic transmission, adding a modular 47-hp electric motor and disconnect clutch at its hub, allowing the F-150 to go solely with the electric motor in very low-load conditions. A liquid-cooled 1.5-keh battery pack is mounted beneath the floor and between the frame rails. 

Hitting an efficiency spot for those who work with their trucks?

It also offers a unique option for builders, contractors, and outdoorsy people, enabled by the stouter hybrid electrical components. Beyond the 2.4-kw power output and dual 120-volt outlets, it offers as an option a 7.2-kw generator system that will effectively repurpose the hybrid’s motor as a generator, adding four 120-volt AC outlets and one 240-volt, 30-amp outlet all good for 32 hours of continuous use. It’s likely much, much cleaner than running a diesel or standalone generator for such a task. 

2021 Ford F-150

2021 Ford F-150

Likewise, Ford CEO Jim Farley has emphasized that the upcoming F-150 Electric will have a similar work-oriented focus, saying in September that the fully electric truck will be a "a workhorse, not a showhorse."

Although both Ford and GM have full-size electric pickups on the way, FCA has hinted that a different level of electrification might be on the way. That company plans to extend its plug-in hybrid technologies to a wider range of SUVs and trucks over the next couple of years—including, quite likely, the Ram 1500.