Where are all the hybrid pickup trucks? Better fuel efficiency, more power, lower emissions – it makes too much sense!
With the world moving towards electrification, mild hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully electric models seem to be appearing across all sectors of the motoring market. Electric cars, vans and even lorries are being designed and produced making the great EV race very apparent.
Engines are being hybridised in cars such as the Ford Puma, Porsche Cayenne and even sports cars such as the Honda NSX and Ferrari SF90 have begun to use the power of electricity to bolster their performance. The world is changing and hybrids are no longer ‘uncool’. Just look to the AMG GT 4-door Coupe for proof.
So, with everything from lorries to motorcycles being electrified or, at least, hybridised, where are the hybrid pickup trucks? Tesla has even conceptualized the idea of an all-electric pickup truck with the bare-metal Cybertruck, but with many being sceptical as to whether it will ever be produced, it could end up being nothing more than a pipe dream.
Although the Cybertruck may potentially make production one day and other all-electric pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 may make their way to the UK market in some form or another, why is there no talk of hybrid options? With range anxiety being an issue, a hybrid model could make even more sense than an all-electric solution.
A pickup truck with a hybrid powertrain would return superior fuel economy, making them more viable for everyday use and town driving. One could argue that an all-electric pickup truck would be even more efficient but what about when you need to make that long trip to another part of the country? With a mild-hybrid powertrain, motorists can experience improved fuel efficiency without the hassle of needing to plug their vehicle in. Moreover, a plug-in hybrid powertrain may require a bit of extra work but would still charge much faster than a full-electric vehicle such as the Cybertruck.
Not only would efficiency be improved but power would be bolstered too. With a petrol engine working in tandem with electric motors, horsepower figures should theoretically be higher than standard combustion powertrains while polluting less and consuming less fuel. There’s just one problem, though. Horsepower and torque are not the same things.
Torque curves for a petrol engine and an electric motor are very different and the good ‘ol diesel powertrain is still king when it comes to towing capacity, which would be the main concern with a hybrid pickup. A PHEV pickup truck may not be as capable as a diesel model when it comes to sheer towing force that can be sustained at different speeds, which will actually make them much less efficient machines.
With electrified options already available for the car, SUV, van and motorcycle market, it is quite hard to believe that the pickup sector is lagging behind and we’re certainly interested to see how future hybrid pickups perform whilst towing. Ford is due to produce a PHEV pickup truck in the next few years and so is Toyota so we may not be waiting much longer!
Let us know if you’re interested to see a hybrid pickup, in the comments.
If you enjoyed this, you may also like: ‘The Cost of Driving the British Coastline In An Electric Van’
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