Ford F-150 hydraulic hybrid ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Ford F-150 hydraulic hybrid

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ford F-150 hydraulic hybrid

Ford has been working on a hydraulic hybrid for years now, ever since Ford and the EPA promised to develop a high efficiency automotive powertrain back in 2001. They've even demonstrated the concept in the E550 commercial vans in 2002. But newtechspy has reported the F-150 could be the big winner.

If newtechspy's claims are true, then the new F-150 due out in August, 2008 would get 300% more efficiency over the current model, allowing the F-150 to get 60 mpg. That efficiency is due to the hydraulic energy storage being so much more efficient than current batteries.

But why put a hybrid system into an oversized truck? Well, the hydraulic system needs the room and carries a lot of extra weight. Putting it into a smaller car would be difficult at best. Also, according to a story in detroit news, the hydraulic hybrids work best in stop and go traffic in large vehicles. UPS, for example, expects to use a hydraulic hybrid truck in the spring. Because of the added weight of the tanks used to store pressurized fluid in the system, engineers expect the best application for hydraulic hybrids will be in heavy-duty trucks that start and stop a lot in city driving.

According to the same story, Ford's Mighty Tonka 350 concept truck, unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in 2002, had a "hydraulic launch assist" to boost acceleration. But because of the added weight, the hydraulic hybrid doesn't do very well on the highways, and so "Ford is in a wait-and-see mode, officials said".

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