Only 1 Detroit Automaker Builds a True Hybrid Pickup Truck
Hybrid technology could lead to pickup trucks that make more power, sip gasoline, and require less maintenance. But if you want a true hybrid pickup truck built by an American automaker, you’ll have to choose between the Ford Maverick or the F-150 PowerBoost.
Does Ram or General Motors build a fully hybrid pickup truck?
GM’s 2009 hybrid Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra was the first American hybrid pickup truck of its kind–but has since been discontinued. Ram offers an eTorque version of its 1500, but this is only classified as a mild hybrid.
General Motors’ hybrid pickup trucks were the result of a joint project to develop a hybrid transmission that automakers could pair with the large V8s or V6s in multiple full-size SUVs and trucks. The same project led to a hybrid Mercedes, a BMW, a Dodge Durango, and even the short-lived Chrysler Aspen hybrid.
The Silverado/Sierra hybrid had a 6.0-liter V8, kept at its most efficient RPM by a transmission with four mechanical gears and two electric engines. It was originally targeted at fleet owners. When the joint project folded, any chance of a second-generation of this hybrid GM truck folded with it.
Ram’s hybrid strategy is to combine the starter/alternator of its traditional internal combustion engines. This new motor/generator unit is capable of light regenerative braking, but is limited because it is only connected to the front of the engine by a serpentine belt. Therefore, Ram’s eTorque is only classified as a mild hybrid.
The Ram eTorque system adds a couple of MPG during stop/go driving and comes on every V6 Ram. It is also optional on the Ram 1500’s 5.7-liter HEMI V8.
Does Ford make a hybrid pickup truck?
Ford is currently leading the hybrid pickup truck charge. The American automaker is offering not one, but two separate hybrid pickup trucks: the 40 MPG compact Maverick and the torquey F-150 PowerBoost.
Ford’s hybrid Maverick and F-150 are very different tools for very different jobs. The unibody Ford Maverick is only offered as a four-door. Buyers can choose between a hybrid FWD truck or a non-hybrid AWD.
The hybrid Maverick’s gasoline engine is a 2.5-liter, naturally-aspirated I4 which works in tandem with a 191 horsepower electric motor integrated into its transmission to get 42 city/33 highway MPG. This incredible mileage, combined with the truck’s $20k MSRP, has made it so popular that Ford has had to close orders several times just to catch up with demand.
The PowerBoost hybrid, on the other hand, is one of the Ford F-150’s premium powertrains. It sandwiches a powerful electric motor between the 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 and 10-speed automatic to get to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds–according to MotorTrend. The 4WD version of this full-size truck gets 23 city/23 highway MPG. Opting for a 2WD bumps it to 25 MPG across the board.
One major differentiator for the F-150 PowerBoost is its onboard power. The truck offers 120-volt and 240-volt outlets in its bed. Its inverter is capable of producing 7.2 kW. That’s enough juice to operate plug-in power tools and much more than offered by full EVs such as the Rivian R1T.
Is the hybrid Toyota Tundra made in America?
The closest competitor to the Ford F-150 PowerBoost available in 2023 is the Toyota Tundra i-FORCE MAX hybrid. Toyota actually builds its full-size truck in its San Antonio, Texas factory. This makes the Tundra one of the most “American made” pickup trucks, even though this automaker is not headquarted in Detroit.
Next, see the used Hybrid pickup trucks you can buy today, or watch a 14-month review of the Ford F-150 PowerBoost in the video below: