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Ford is Turning the F-150 into a Hybrid

The average American drives over 100 hours a year, releasing 4.7 tons of CO2 per car, per year. Ford’s new move could reduce this footprint dramatically.

The future of the automotive industry is looking greener than ever.

Ford made some unexpected headlines regarding the future of their flagship truck — the F-150. In a recent announcement, Ford shocked the auto industry world by revealing that it would begin making a hybrid F-150 in 2020.

Projections of the future of the car industry are uncertain. With changing consumer expectations, and the introduction of autonomous vehicles, car manufacturers must take drastic action to remain competitive. Nevertheless, is this the right direction for the F-150?

Why Is Ford Going in This Direction?

To truck enthusiasts, the words “hybrid” and “F-150” go together about as well as peanut butter and pickles. The F-150 is the most iconic American truck, and has been for many decades. A hybrid F-150 may seem like sacrilege to diehard fans. However, like a peanut butter and pickle sandwich, the results could be better than you might think.

The environmental impact of our driving habits is becoming an increasingly important issue to consumers across the nation. This can be seen in the increased sales of hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as in services like uberPOOL, a carpooling service provided by Uber in some cities. Drivers today are generally more conscientious of their driving habits — and this awareness can heavily influence our decision-making when buying a new car.

Ford has taken notice. However, the industry giant has had some issues when it comes to meeting U.S. emissions standards with the F-150. Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that the latest models underwent major overhauls costing over a billion dollars to meet emissions standards. As emissions standards become more strict over time, Ford will struggle to continue to meet these standards.

That is, unless they opt to transform the F-150 into a hybrid. A hybrid F-150 is a logical solution to a burgeoning problem. Nevertheless, performance concerns will doubtlessly linger in some minds.

High Performance Vs Environmental Concerns

In an attempt to assuage concerned Ford fanatics, the auto manufacturer stated that the hybrids will not sacrifice performance to reduce emissions. Rather than choosing to use an already existing hybrid powertrain for these new models, the new models will be created from the ground-up with performance in mind. They will reportedly have low-end torque, making them still capable of towing heavy loads.

f150-1Currently, owners of F-150s have a few options when it comes to reducing emissions. Some mods are known to improve a truck’s MPG. For example, an aftermarket F-150 cat-back system or performance muffler can improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions by exerting less restriction in the exhaust. Other steps that owners can take are weight reduction mods and real-time engine monitoring.

For less auto-savvy truck owners, however, Ford’s plans for the future of the F-150 could be the best solution to improving emissions. Ford’s commitment to reducing emissions could have a massive impact on the automotive industry. The Ford F-150 is the best selling truck by a wide margin. As a result, a hybrid F-150 could become the best selling hybrid in America.

The Future of the Industry

Of course, the success of a hybrid F-150 is contingent on Ford’s ability to make a hybrid that can meet the performance expectations of consumers. There is a stigma against hybrids in the car enthusiast community due to the lack of performance benefits. If Ford’s design can dispel these worries, the distinction of choosing between “going green” and high-performance could be eliminated entirely.

This would have a serious impact on the industry. If Ford can successfully design and market a hybrid F-150, hybrids in general could become more common across the market. The average American drives over 100 hours a year; on average, this results in the release of 4.7 tons of carbon dioxide per car, per year. Ford’s new direction could reduce this footprint dramatically.

  Devin Morrissey is the author of this article.

 

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