Ford has high hopes for F-150 PowerBoost hybrid

First electrified F-150 has power to spare

It’ll be a couple of more years before Ford launches the all-electric F-150, but an electrified F-150 will be in dealers soon.

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The 2021 F-150 PowerBoost is Ford’s first hybrid truck and the only full hybrid currently available in the full-size pickup class.

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General Motors offered a “2-Mode” full-hybrid system in the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra a decade ago, but it was an early effort at the tech that never really caught on with customers. The Ram 1500's eTorque engines sold today are mild hybrids with a small electric motor that helps improve the internal combustion engine's power and efficiency but doesn't drive the truck on its own.

The PowerBoost can do that over short distances and has an EPA combined fuel economy rating of 24 mpg in 4x4 trucks that’s best among the F-150’s five gasoline drivetrains, but it’s also the most powerful one at launch.

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Ford Truck Marketing Manager Todd Eckert calls this an “and solution” for customers, which is an oft-used term at the automaker to describe products that deliver the best of both worlds.

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“We think the power boost will be about 10% of the mix. Somewhere in that range is kind of what we're expecting and planning for in terms of how it would be within the overall lineup in the event that's going to increase over the years,” Eckert told FOX Business.

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The PowerBoost also debuts a new feature that will be coming to more Fords in the future: a built-in generator. The Pro Power Onboard uses an inverter to turn the drivetrain into a 2.4-kilowatt generator that can be used for power tools, lights, electric stoves and other equipment in place of a cumbersome portable unit.

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“That's really where the genesis of the idea came from, watching our customers, both in commercial applications and retail applications struggle with portable generators that take up space. They’re noisy, they're loud and messy, heavy and they're targets for thieves as well,” Eckert said.

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There’s also an optional 7.2-kilowatt version for more robust applications and a 2.0-kilowatt version that’s available on some non-hybrid models. Ford has already announced that next year’s all-electric Transit commercial van will offer the feature, so you can pretty much guarantee the electric F-150 will have it, too.

“As more and more things move to electric and hybrid, we think the PowerBoost is absolutely the right addition to our lineup,” Eckert said.