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Discover the Latest Hybrid Trucks: Half-Electric Haulers
By: James Diaz | July 28, 2023
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Hybrid tech may initially have been rolled out to spruce up the economy of family cars, but it’s become a great way to amp up fuel efficiency and overall power across pickup trucks too. In fact pickup trucks could rake in sizable benefits from electric. Between their hefty weight and less-than-streamlined aerodynamics, most trucks aren’t poster kids for fuel economy. So efficiency hikes are more than welcome. Plus, what truck owner would say no to extra power? Electric offers more power, often much more!
Until not too long ago, hybrid-powered trucks were a rare breed. Among the few that did exist, the added horsepower was their main selling point, with the fuel efficiency uplift often downplayed, particularly amongst typical full-size truck owners. But the tides are shifting, and it’s getting better.
So join us as MotoPickers delves into this fresh batch of revolutionary hybrid trucks. We’ll rank them from the least to most fuel-efficient based on their overall mpg EPA ratings.
2023 Toyota Tundra Hybrid: 22 MPG Combined
MotoPickers Rating 7/10
With the 2023 Toyota Tundra Hybrid, blending into the pack is its way of standing out. Mirroring its full-size hybrid truck counterparts, the Tundra Hybrid’s novel i-Force system focuses mainly on enhancing horsepower, leaving mileage improvement as a pleasant side effect.
All spanking-new Tundra models come standard with a 3.4-liter twin-turbo V-6, but the hybrid tech throws in nearly 50 extra horsepower and a whopping 100+ lb-ft of torque.
The rear-drive i-Force Tundra tops the chart for being the most fuel-efficient model in the series. The hybrid pickup shares the revamped suspension and interior of the new Tundra, making it an excellent pick for those seeking a full-size hybrid truck that leans more towards comfortable cruising than heavy-duty hauling.
Weighing Up the 2023 Toyota Tundra Hybrid: Advantages and Drawbacks
- Choice of a hybrid engine
- Incorporation of up-to-date technology
- Enhanced on-road behavior
- Lacks a V-8 option
- Oversized front grille
- Lags behind rivals in towing and payload capacity
Starting price: $62,105
Horsepower: 437 hp
Gas Mileage: 20/24 city/hwy mpg
2023 Ram 1500 eTorque V-6: 23 MPG Combined
MotoPickers Rating 7/10
Just skimming the line of being a hybrid, the 2023 Ram 1500 with eTorque is distinctly different. The present eTorque V-8 and V-6 variants boast an enhanced alternator that can feed power into a compact battery. This eTorque system provides extra power during takeoff, more sophisticated stop-start features, and other capabilities, though it doesn’t offer continuous power drive.
Placed against the conventional hybrid systems of the F-150 and Tundra, this mild hybrid setup may not be the talk of the town. However, it brings about modest enhancements for city driving, and when paired with the V-6 option, it just edges out the Tundra hybrid in fuel efficiency. That said, it outperforms its gas-fed Ram counterpart by a mere 1 mpg combined.
Unpacking the 2023 Ram 1500 with eTorque V-6: Advantages and Disadvantages
- Loaded with luxury features and advanced tech
- Exceptional ride comfort and handling
- Value for money with a low starting price
- Only minor improvements in fuel efficiency due to mild hybrid system
- Lags behind rivals in towing and payload capacity
- Cost ramps up with optional extras
Starting price: $37,410
Horsepower: 305 hp
Gas Mileage: 20/26 city/hwy mpg
2023 Ford F-150 Hybrid: 25 MPG Combined
MotoPickers Rating 8.5/10
The 2023 Ford F-150 Hybrid might be the least unexpected entrant into the full-size hybrid truck arena. Echoing its pioneering steps with aluminum body panels and electric drivetrains, Ford was also one of the trailblazers offering a hybrid full-size truck.
This came through the fierce F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid, which we’ve championed as potentially the best F-150 on offer today.
Establishing a benchmark for other full-size hybrid trucks, the F-150 hybrid harmonizes an amped-up twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 with a 35-kW electric motor linked to the transmission. It churns out a whopping 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque, almost 50 horsepower more than its gas-only V-6 counterpart, while also boasting superior fuel efficiency to any other combustion engine truck in the F-150 roster.
Assessing the 2023 Ford F-150 Hybrid: Advantages and Disadvantages
- Fuel-savings courtesy of the hybrid engine
- Well-designed, practical interior features
- Amazing hybrid power
- Great value
- Unchanged, run-of-the-mill exterior styling
- Falls short in the luxury department
- Unusually touchy brake pedal
Starting price: $57,480
Horsepower: 430 hp
Gas Mileage: 25/25 city/hwy mpg
2023 Ford Maverick Hybrid: 37 MPG Combined
MotoPickers Rating 8.5/10
Living up to its maverick spirit, the 2023 Ford Maverick truly breaks the mold as a compact, unibody truck. It offers a standard hybrid system at a price tag that’s remarkably about $10,000 less than any mainstream full-size truck.
Of course, some might question whether a front-wheel-drive hybrid truck, jutting from the same roots as the Ford Escape, qualifies as a “genuine truck.” But for those who aren’t in the 14,000-pound towing category yet need a cargo bed, the neat 42 mpg city fuel efficiency is all they’ll focus on.
Embracing its uniqueness, it does come with certain trade-offs, specifically a towing capacity capped at “merely” 5,080 pounds and just a single cab and bed option available. But given its affordability and capabilities, this small hybrid truck has definitely struck a chord amongst truck enthusiasts.
Scrutinizing the 2023 Ford Maverick Hybrid: Advantages and Disadvantages
- Remarkable fuel economy
- Prudently tailored to appeal to pickup purchasers
- Outstanding price-to-value ratio
- Can’t match Santa Cruz’s towing and payload
- Only offers a single cab/bed selection
- Front seats could use more support
Starting price: $22,195
Horsepower: 191 hp
Gas Mileage: 42/33 city/hwy mpg
2024 Toyota Tacoma
MotoPickers Rating: tbc
Toyota is placing huge bets on its next-gen 2024 Toyota Tacoma that’s in the pipeline. This upcoming truck is set to make a substantial leap from the current Tacoma model, which frankly feels a tad outdated from a design and engineering standpoint. Rumor has it that several powertrain options will be available, including a twin-turbo V-6 akin to what you’d find in the Tundra, paired with a similar hybrid setup.
The supposed all-electric option for the upcoming Tacoma will no doubt be the most fuel-efficient, but for those not quite ready to jump on the EV bandwagon, there’s good news. Toyota’s regular gas and emerging hybrid truck powertrains are almost certainly set to feature in the new Tacoma’s lineup.
Exploring Your Hybrid Powertrain Options in Trucks
Whether a hybrid truck is worth it depends how you use your truck. The Maverick doesn’t tow or haul as much as larger trucks for obvious reasons, given its overall size, smaller bed, and powertrain, but it is substantially less expensive and far more efficient, while still being very capable for many users. That, and hybrid-powered Mavericks are the cheapest in the Maverick lineup.
The Tundra and F-150 hybrid pickups are little more than normal trucks with a more powerful and efficient powertrain, but you will pay more for them than their gas-powered counterparts. The mild hybrid system of the Ram 1500 isn’t as capable as the full hybrid systems of the other trucks, but it’s the least expensive engine option in the Ram lineup, so it’s clearly worth it from a financial perspective at least.
As with many choices we make with our vehicles, it’s about what you need or want for your circumstances.
Which Hybrid Truck Won’t Break the Bank?
The crown for the least expensive hybrid truck goes to the Ford Maverick. Priced way below half the cost of a hybrid F-150, the Maverick boasts a hybrid system as standard in its entry-level model. It’s lovingly tagged under $25,000, which is one of the reasons we’re fans of this compact truck at MotoPickers.
Being economical to buy and super-efficient to run makes this hybrid pickup’s popularity absolutely justified.
Do Hybrid Trucks Offer Superior Fuel Efficiency?
Absolutely, but only the Ford Maverick’s hybrid variant is exclusively fine-tuned for peak efficiency. This results in an astounding 42 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The power-centric hybrid versions of the F-150 and Tundra do provide a little extra mileage, but their hybrid advantage mostly boosts the power output.
The Ram 1500’s mild hybrid gives only a minimal improvement in mileage. On the whole, hybrid pickup trucks do feature better mileage, but the Maverick truly takes full advantage of what a hybrid system can deliver.
Does a 4×4 Hybrid Truck Exist?
It certainly does! Both the Toyota Tundra and Ford F-150 provide 4-WD models combined with complete hybrid systems. Ram 1500 also equips its mild hybrid arrangement with a four-wheel-drive, but this mild hybrid setup falls short compared to the full-fledged hybrid systems of its counterparts.
Although the Ford Maverick standard flaunts a hybrid system, it doesn’t come with all-wheel-drive. For the time being, the Maverick Hybrid lacks an AWD option.
Understanding the Lifespan of Hybrid Truck Batteries
Both the Ford Maverick and F-150 hybrids come along with an 8-year, 100,000-mile warranty for their battery packs. Meanwhile, the Tundra’s hybrid battery pack gets a 10-year, 150,000-mile warranty — a feature anticipated to pop up in the 2024 Tacoma hybrid as well.
The Ram 1500’s mild hybrid system battery sees an 8-year, 80,000-mile warranty. In general, it’s worth noting that the warranty periods for battery packs usually surpass those for regular engine powertrains, with hybrids offering the best of both worlds.
Does Ford Offer a Plug-In Hybrid Truck Option?
No, not yet. Both the Maverick and the hybrid variant of the F-150 are traditional hybrids sans plug-in capabilities. The only Ford truck that can be juiced up via a plug is the all-electric F-150 Lightning. Despite being a real champ in terms of emissions compared to engine-powered trucks, its price tag is as formidable as its capabilities.
But don’t lose hope! Given the rapid pace of progress in the efficiency sector, at MotoPickers we expect to see a plug-in hybrid Ford pickup in 2024.
Reaping the Benefits: Why Consider a Hybrid Truck?
Hybrid trucks stride the line between fully electric vehicles and fuel-driven models. They strike a great balance between efficiency, cost, and towing capacity. Though electric trucks score higher on efficiency, they’re pricier and tend to have a shorter range when towing compared to diesel or petrol-powered beasts.
Hybrids, levering both electric and gas strength, typically meet halfway. They might be costlier to operate than EVs, but they’re more affordable to purchase and feel more familiar overall.
Are There Trucks that Reach the 30 MPG + Mark?
There’s one standout hybrid truck that pulls off 33 mpg on the highway and 42 mpg in city cruising—the Ford Maverick. While other hybrid pickups like the F-150 and Tundra mainly amplify power and torque, the Maverick’s standard battery system and hybrid arsenal prioritize fuel efficiency.
The only other pickups that tiptoe around the 30 mpg highway mark are the diesel siblings of the Silverado/Sierra duo and the outgoing diesel version of the Ram 1500.
Is There a Compact Hybrid Truck Out There?
Indeed, the solitary Ford Maverick is a unique gem in the compact hybrid truck market right now. Only two compact trucks hold court in the U.S. at the moment, the other being the Hyundai Santa Cruz.
Although the Santa Cruz shares the same sizing category as the Maverick, unlike the Maverick it hasn’t branched into hybrid models yet. In comparison, the Maverick’s standard variant comes with a 42 mpg city-efficient hybrid powertrain.
Current Hybrid Trucks Making Waves in the Market
- 2023 Ford Maverick with Hybrid glory
- 2023 Toyota Tundra sporting a Hybrid system
- 2023 Ford F-150, now in Hybrid style
- 2023 Ram 1500, complete with eTorque charm