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What we know about the PowerBoost F-150


It was an open secret that Ford was marketing an electric F-150 hybrid pickup, as well as a fully electric variant in the not-too-distant future. Well, now it’s here. As part of the 2021 model year overhaul of the best-selling pickup, Ford finally took over from its first full-size hybrid pickup, which the company dubbed the F-150 Hybrid “PowerBoost”. Surely you have questions, so luckily we have some answers.

While only a few specifications were given during the unveiling presentation, here are the basics: Ford’s hybrid pickup combines the company’s 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 EcoBoost engine with an automatic transmission at 10 speeds with an electric motor built into it. The PowerBoost hybrid transmission will be available with two or four-wheel drive, and it will be available at all trim levels of the F-150, from the modest XL to the glitzy Limited. We still don’t know which cabin styles will be involved, but don’t be surprised if the PowerBoost is limited to the body style of the F-150’s four-door Crew Cab.

How does the PowerBoost hybrid system work?

In the PowerBoost F-150 2021 hybrid, the V6 twin turbo engine is assisted by a 35 kW electric motor (equivalent to 47 horsepower by Ford) which lives inside a special version of the automatic gearbox 10-speed transmission manufacturer’s reports. The electric motor is powered by a 1.5 kWh liquid-cooled battery mounted under the truck, in a place that does not sacrifice any interior or loading space.

And make no mistake, the PowerBoost system represents a “fully hybrid” configuration, unlike the lightweight eTorque hybrid technology offered in today’s Ram 1500 and the same lightweight configuration in the short-lived Silverado hybrid models. Chevrolet. What is the difference? The F-150’s electric motor can contribute more directly to the forward movement of the truck. Ram’s eTorque system, instead of using an electric motor directly linked to the transmission (like, for example, the motor mounted on the PowerBoost transmission), has a motor / generator on the accessory belt of its motor instead a conventional alternator which is linked to a 48-volt electrical system (with a 0.4 kWh battery). The engine can gently assist the engine (again, via the accessory belt drive, which detaches from the crankshaft pulley) when removing a stop and captures the energy wasted during braking to provide the ability to extended engine shutdown while retaining the power of accessories to save fuel in traffic. Both are hybrids, but Ram’s configuration is softer than that of Ford.

What power will it produce?

Ford has kept the power and torque figures for the time being. Instead, they only stated that they were targeting the most horsepower and torque of all pickups in the category. If we don’t rule out the high-output 3.5L EcoBoost V6 found in the Raptor and Limited F-150 models (the current champions of full-size light truck power), then we can expect over 450 horsepower and 500 lb. F-150 PowerBoost hybrid torque ft.

How far will the F-150 Hybrid go with a single fuel tank?

Ford claims a maximum range of 700 miles for the hybrid with its 30.6 gallon fuel tank. So, although no official figures have been released, we can guess that a highway fuel economy rating of around 23-24 mpg would not be out of the question. While our estimate of fuel economy is broadly comparable to that of current 2.7 and 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 engines, we also expect a more substantial increase in city and EPA ratings. , because these are the areas in which hybrid vehicles generally shine the best. .

And how much will the F-150 hybrid trailer cost?

Ford also said it was targeting more than 12,000 pounds of towing capacity from hybrid-equipped trucks. This should come as no surprise to anyone, as Ford’s current benchmark for traction, which is estimated to pull 13,200 pounds, is a 3.5-liter EcoBoost two-wheel drive Super Crew. Nothing has been said about the payload of the platform, but if we guess based on the available specifications, it should be around 2,500 pounds.

Did they say something about a 7.2 kW Pro Power on-board generator?

Among the most interesting features of the Ford F-150 2021 is the on-board Pro Power generator. A 2.4 kW generator is standard on PowerBoost hybrid models and the large barrel, a 7.2 kW generator, is optional on PowerBoost hybrid trucks. Trucks equipped with 2.4 kW have two 120-volt and 20-amp sockets in the bed, while trucks equipped with 7.2 kW receive more than 240 volts.

What does this mean exactly? Well, with a 2.4 kW generator, you can operate an electric jackhammer and a compact concrete mixer at the same time for 85 hours on a single fuel tank. And the 7.2 kW monster generator is capable of operating a 120 volt plasma cutter, a 120 volt TIG welder, a chopping saw, a 1.5 hp air compressor, an angle grinder and a work lamp – simultaneously – for 32 hours. Gone are the days of overloading the only 120 volt outlet on your truck just by trying to charge a laptop.

But wait, the PowerBoost F-150 2021 is not the first ½ ton hybrid?

As we discussed earlier, the 2021 Ford F-150 is not the first full-size hybrid pickup in America. General Motors first offered some sort of hybrid in the Silverado and Sierra vans in 2004. These trucks, GM’s first passenger hybrids, operated similarly to Ram’s current eTorque configuration. This first hybrid used a small electric motor in the transmission housing to perform an early and rudimentary engine stop / start function which saved fuel by switching off the engine at the brake lights.

GM’s second generation hybrid pickups operated from 2009 to 2013 and were more modern two-mode hybrids. These trucks used a 6.0-liter V8 engine for main power and were supported by a pair of 60 kW electric motors housed in the transmission. These trucks could be available in two or four wheel drive, and the same transmission was offered in the Chevy Silverado, Avalanche and Tahoe; GMC Sierra and Yukon; with the Cadillac Escalade and the Escalade EXT. GM said the configuration was good for a combined power of 379 horsepower.

Ok, I’m sold, when can I buy a PowerBoost F-150?

Fortunately, you won’t have to wait too long to have your own Ford F-150 hybrid. Ford says production of the 2021 F-150 will take place in the fall of 2020, and we suspect that the PowerBoost hybrid models will be available on dealership lots before the end of the calendar year.

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