On its way to becoming the nation's best-selling pickup for the 41st consecutive year, the Ford F-150 is going through some changes for 2020, including a gas-electric hybrid. The hybrid F-150 will be one of the 13 electric or hybrid models Ford plans to offer by 2020. The go-ahead for a hybrid F-150 was given in 2014 as part of Ford's aim to reach an industry-wide target of 54.5 mpg by 2025.
Of all the options weighed by company research, a hybrid pickup option made the most sense because the hybrid technology was already available. The bigger question was actually how to market a hybrid F-150 to a market that doesn't put fuel efficiency at top of its wants list. The answer lies in the battery the F-150 will have and its ability to address a very specific need. According to Bloomberg, "Ford was able to identify a very specific need that the F-150 has not yet addressed for truck owners: portable power."
For about a year, Ford was diligently working with hundreds of Ford F-150 owners to pin down tasks that the F-150 could not yet accomplish, but could have the ability to accomplish. From this research, one task kept resurfacing: the need for generators.
Ford's production development chief in charge of electrifying the lineup, Hau Thai-Tang, told Bloomberg, "We would see our customers just literally buying generators from Home Depot and strapping them down in their truck beds."
The F-150's battery will power much more than the electric motor; it will have the capability to deliver juice to everything from drink coolers to electric saws and more. So, the focal point will be more about utility with improved fuel economy as an added perk.
Since hybrids come with a higher price tag, the emphasis on utility is especially important, because pickup truck buyers are predictably the segment least likely to entertain the prospect of switching to a hybrid.
All this said, consumers will, certainly, still be able to purchase traditional combustion models of the F-150 if they choose. Ford is heartened at the possibility of wide adoption of the hybrid F-150, though. One reason is because there once were many critics who believed Ford's turbo V6 engines wouldn't have enough power for a half-ton truck. Today, Ecoboost V6 engines comprise nearly 2/3 of F-150 sales, because the horsepower and torque of Ecoboost engine rival that of many V8s on the market.
With changes of this magnitude, warranty protection always comes into play. According to Ford, the Ford Protect ESP PremiumCare Warranty will cover the 2020 Ford F-150 Hybrid in total, with the exception of the battery, which is standard among most factory service warranties for hybrid vehicles. Due to EPA regulations, hybrid batteries are usually covered under the Standard Warranty for a longer period of time than regular batteries. If you have any questions about warranty information for the F-150 Hybrid, give us a call today at 269.685.3557!