Auto Tech

Hybrid pickups are on the way back, thanks to Ford

Ford's new rear-wheel-drive hybrid power train should reach production some time this decade, giving the automaker's largest vehicles a much-welcomed bump in efficiency.

2009 Chevy Silverado Hybrid

The Silverado Hybrid got the axe because its fuel-economy benefits didn't offset the additional cost and complexity of such a vehicle. Let's hope it's different this time around.

GM

America hasn't had a hybrid pickup truck since Chevrolet nixed the Silverado Hybrid back in 2011. That should change by 2020, though, as a Ford spokesman just confirmed the automaker's plan to introduce a rear-wheel-drive hybrid system destined for both trucks and SUVs.

The mention of a hybridized F-150 (or something similar) came by way of an interview between National Public Radio's Ari Shapiro and Ford CEO Mark Fields. Today, Ford spokesman Mike Levine confirmed that fact to CNET.

"Ford is moving forward with the development of a rear-wheel-drive hybrid system," Levine said in an email. "We are on track to have the hybrid system ready later this decade on rear-wheel-drive Ford pickups and SUVs." There are only vehicles that fit the bill in Ford's lineup right now, the F-150 and the Expedition. Of course, automakers don't tread too far into conversation regarding future product, so there are no additional details beyond the confirmation of the system's existence.

It bears mentioning that the Mustang is also rear-wheel drive, but there's a snowball's chance in hell of the hybrid heading to the automaker's venerable pony car. The packaging would be wildly different, and Mustang purists would likely set fire to the whole of Dearborn.