Trucks & SUVs

Is a Honda Ridgeline Hybrid Actually Going to Happen?

Honda’s Ridgeline pickup received several updates in 2019, enough to earn a place on Car and Driver’s 10Best Trucks of 2019. Riding on a platform shared with the Pilot SUV and Odyssey minivan, the Ridgeline stands out amongst other mid-size pickups. And, if a recent potential information leak is to be believed, there could be a more fuel-efficient hybrid Ridgeline on the way.

The News

Screenshot of Honda of Covington's "Coming Soon" webpage, taken on October 3rd, 2019
Screenshot of Honda of Covington’s “Coming Soon” webpage, taken on October 3rd, 2019 | Honda of Covington

Earlier today on the r/Cars subreddit, user Geltez posted a link to Honda of Covington’s website. There, in the “Coming Soon” section, the Louisiana dealer detailed several pieces of information about the upcoming 2020 Ridgeline. Standing out was the statement that the pickup would be available as a hybrid. Instead of using the existing 3.5-liter V6, the so-called Ridgeline Hybrid would link a 2.0-liter gas engine with dual electric motors.

What a Hybrid Powertrain Could Mean

2019 Honda Ridgeline
2019 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

If this is information is accurate, the 2020 Ridgeline Hybrid would be the only mid-size pickup truck available as a hybrid in the US. Of the Ridgeline’s competitors, most solely offer gasoline engines. Only the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, which can be had with diesel engines, offer any additional propulsion choices.

Additionally, such a hybrid system would make the 2020 Ridgeline unique in the full-size truck segment. No other automaker offers a hybrid pickup truck. The closest option currently on sale is the Ram 1500 eTorque. However, rather than separate electric motors, the eTorque system is a singular motor/generator attached to the Ram engine’s (either six- or eight-cylinder) crankshaft. General Motors did offer hybrid versions of several Chevrolet and Cadillac SUVs and trucks in the past, but not for the current or upcoming model year.

What Do Official Honda Sources Say?

2019 Honda Ridgeline
2019 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

At the moment, no other details about this supposed hybrid powertrain have been revealed. Honda of America’s official website does not list any information about the 2020 Ridgeline. In addition, the webpages of both the Pilot and Odyssey reveal no information about hybrid versions of either vehicle. No Ridgeline Hybrid option appears in the “Electrified” section, where Honda’s current hybrid lineup can be found, either. Furthermore, in the “Future Vehicle” section of their site, Honda of America only lists the upcoming CR-V crossover.

How Likely Is It?

We’re really not sure. Electrification is already far more popular than it was even a couple of years ago. And with fuel economy targets increasing worldwide, we get the feeling that it’s only a matter of time before every automaker offers a hybrid version of its pickup trucks. In that sense, there’s a good chance Honda has a hybrid Ridgeline in the works. If Honda were to make an official announcement soon, it wouldn’t be surprising.

But did this dealer leak official information? That seems much less likely. Yes, dealers do get early looks at future products, so it’s possible. But we get the feeling this dealer is either making an educated guess or mixed up the CR-V and Ridgeline hybrids. If we hear more, though, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Update: When asked for a comment, Honda said, “The dealer website is incorrect.” So at least for now, the Honda Ridgeline Hybrid rumor appears to be false.