• The 2021 Ford F-150 Will Feature the Explorer’s Hybrid System

Not with the same engine, but there will be a 90-percent part-sharing between the two systems

Our hopes of a strong hybridized F-150 were dampened a few days back when we got to know that the truck will deliver just 10 miles of range while running in pure electric mode.

Now, TFLTruck reports that the 2021 F-150 will be largely similar to the Ford Explorer Hybrid. The information comes to light through a tweet by Ford’s communications manager, Mike Levine. He said that there will a 90-percent part-sharing between both the hybrid systems. Does that mean there will be an increase in the electric mode range? Nope, not really.

Will The Hybrid System Make A Difference?

The 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid Features a Weird Drivetrain Layout
- image 815556

In the Explorer, the hybrid system is mated to the 3.3-liter, naturally-aspirated V-6 mill that makes 318 horses and 322 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission and a 35-kilowatt electric motor fed by a 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Ford Explorer Hybrid Powertrain
Powertrain 3.3-liter V-6 + 35-kilowatt electric motor
Bore and stroke 90.41 mm x 86.7 mm
Displacement 204 cu. in. (3.340 liters
Compression ratio 12.0:1
Horsepower 318 combined
Torque 322 lb.-ft
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Battery Pack 1.5-kWh lithium-ion

As of now, we know that the F-150’s 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine will serve as the base for the hybrid mill, although this isn’t officially announced. Here’s how Mike Levine’s tweet reads:

The 2021 Ford F-150 Will Feature the Explorer's Hybrid System Exterior Spyshots
- image 847420

“Ford has said is that the F-150 and Explorer rear-wheel-drive hybrids both share a crazy smart 10-speed modular hybrid transmission sharing 90% of its parts with the non-hybrid 10-speed. And F-150 hybrid can double as a mobile generator.”

The 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack from the Explorer is not sufficient for the F-150. Add to that, it may double up as a mobile generator, too! The former weighs 4,969 pounds in the hybrid avatar, whereas the F-150 weighs between 4,069 and 5,697 pounds depending upon cab size, engine size, and bed size. The 10-mile EV range claimed for the hybrid F-150 is in city conditions and an unladen state. So, if you’re towing anything, it is essentially non-existent. In fact, it just adds weight to the truck.

The 2021 Ford F-150 Will Feature the Explorer's Hybrid System Exterior Spyshots
- image 847421

The figure could be even worse if the hybrid version comes with the heavier independent rear suspension system. Also, is this range for the two-wheel-drive configuration or all-wheel-drive? If it’s for the latter, it won’t even make a difference in the fuel economy.

If this news is true, why is Ford even bothering to roll out a hybrid variant? This was Ford’s time to shine because none of its immediate rivals feature a strong hybrid powertrain. Ram introduced a mild hybrid system on the 1500, called eTorque, that adds more torque and cranks the engine in a start/stop event. GM gave the hybrid a shot long time back in the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra that didn’t run on electric mode alone, but helped increase the fuel efficiency instead.

Final Thoughts

The 2021 Ford F-150 Will Feature the Explorer's Hybrid System Exterior Spyshots
- image 847424

If the 10-mile range is confirmed, it won’t be wrong to say that Ford has shit the bed with this laughable range. I’m saying this because you expect the market leader to come up with things like this first. The rivals are closing in on the gap and Ford may lose its throne to GM if things go this way. Not to mention, the Ram 1500 is a stunning truck with a lot of niceties like the Ram MultiFunction tailgate, best safety ratings, and the powerful new EcoDiesel mill amongst other things.

So, this was a perfect opportunity for Ford to come up with a new technology that was unheard of in the segment. In the worst scenario, I hope the hybrid system at least adds extra torque at the initial stages so that the truck rolls off smoothly when towing or hauling a heavy load.

What are your thoughts on the F-150’s hybrid system? Share them with us in the comments section below.

Source: TFLTruck

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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