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Ford Teams up with Azure for F-Series Hybrids
by Jason Giacchino (Info from Ford Truck Enthusiasts)

Let’s face it, when we think of plug-in hybrids, the first image that typically springs to mind is an egg-shaped subcompact car destined for a life spent in the paved driveway of a suburban home. A pickup truck loaded with a bed full of concrete, kicking up clouds of dust on the way to the work site has been traditionally the domain associated with internal combustion, but all that’s about to change.

Azure Dynamics – developer and producer of hybrid electric and electric components and powertrain systems for commercial vehicles – have partnered with Ford to integrate its proprietary plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology in the market-leading F-Series Super Duty series.

This collaboration will begin with the F-550 Super Duty cab and chassis, and is expected to be available in early 2013. But the collaboration doesn’t end with the F-550. Azure will also perform hybrid powertrain conversions on other Super Duty platforms, including the F-350 and F-450, spanning all engine, frame length and regular production options and configurations. The Super Duty line has established hordes of loyal customers throughout the years, many of whom are already pretty stoked about the performance benefits associated with the new PHEV option.



“As interest in alternative energy products continues to grow, consumers are looking for more powertrain options that are both environmentally friendly and fit their driving needs,” said Rob Stevens, Commercial Vehicle Chief Engineer for Ford Motor Company. “The flexibility of our vehicle platforms and chassis allows Ford to develop our own alternative fuel products or work with partners, like Azure Dynamics, to deliver consumers with the power of choice when purchasing a greener, more fuel efficient vehicle.”

With more than a 50 percent market share, the Ford F-Series Super Duty is the most established cab and chassis brand in the North American market. The commercial cab and chassis industry supports approximately 100,000 vehicles per year and is the preferred active work-truck for thousands of commercial fleets managing a broad range of logistical needs. The Super Duty offers several diesel and gasoline engine options and a variety of cab, bed and accessories options. Interest in fuel-efficient cab and chassis alternatives has never been greater due to rising and unpredictable fuel costs.



It is expected that the cab and chassis market could grow by as much as 50% over the next five years as fleet operators, who have delayed purchase decisions, return to market to replace aging inventory.

And in the reasoning that history tends to repeat itself, keep in mind that Azure and Ford teamed up in 2009 to bring the innovative Transit Connect Electric to market in just a hair over a year after the program was first announced. The new PHEV F-Series program further expands the Azure/Ford business relationship.

Obviously Ford thinks there's a market for big electric haulers.


Just FYI
randy
 

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This angers me. Don't get me wrong, I understand the wave of the future, but all I can think about is the hate and discontent I get everytime when passing a Prius.

Ps. I work in the Oil & Gas Industry. lol
 

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Build one in an F250 in 5 years (at a price I can afford) and I am in! Would be perfect for my driving style...6 miles round trip to take the kids to school/day care, but allow for towing. I could go weeks without buying diesel fuel!

Eazydeezy, I don't think this will put you out of work! :)
 

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Bad idea.

Take all the emmissions junk off and you will get a bigger gain. Hybrids are for people who dont reproduce and supporters of a certain not qualified president...Im sure you know what I mean.
 
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I don't mean to flame but the narrow mindedness of many people here is ridiculous. If I could plug company trucks in everynight and have them run for their first 50 miles on electricity it would save me a lot of money throughout the year. Whats wrong with also using electricity to power your truck and get better fuel mileage?
 
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I don't mean to flame but the narrow mindedness of many people here is ridiculous. If I could plug company trucks in everynight and have them run for their first 50 miles on electricity it would save me a lot of money throughout the year. Whats wrong with also using electricity to power your truck and get better fuel mileage?
I agree 100%!

A plug-in hybrid would suit our needs perfectly! With my truck, taking the kids to school/daycare and picking them up (I work from home), I wouldn't burn a drop of diesel at all during the week, but would still have the diesel for towing our fifth wheel. If my wife could get 50 miles per charge before the gas engine kicked in with her Flex, she would burn less than a tank of gas a month for her commute to work and back (60 miles round trip).

If they were available and priced decently, we would have 2 PIH vehicles in our garage.

Bad idea.

Take all the emmissions junk off and you will get a bigger gain. Hybrids are for people who dont reproduce and supporters of a certain not qualified president...Im sure you know what I mean.
Hybrids are great in certain cases, and Ford's hybrids do an excellent job. The payback time on a hybrid is a lot less than it is on a diesel engine for pure fuel economy savings along. I'm a supporter (of diesels AND hybrids...each have their place), but I do reproduce (hey, my wife and I have 3 kids) and I don't support the certain someone you are talking about. I guess your statement is a myth!
 

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I don't mean to flame but the narrow mindedness of many people here is ridiculous. If I could plug company trucks in everynight and have them run for their first 50 miles on electricity it would save me a lot of money throughout the year. Whats wrong with also using electricity to power your truck and get better fuel mileage?
i wouldn't say norrow minded. I'd say educated. Have you considered the fact that you'll need to replace batteries every 5 years at nearly $5,000 a pop or the fact your electricity bill will explode over 50%? Charging a Super Duty will be much different than charging a Nissan leaf as it will require more batteries. That's a lot of diesel. That puts it at a wash at best in my opinion.
 

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i wouldn't say norrow minded. I'd say educated. Have you considered the fact that you'll need to replace batteries every 5 years at nearly $5,000 a pop or the fact your electricity bill will explode over 50%? Charging a Super Duty will be much different than charging a Nissan leaf as it will require more batteries. That's a lot of diesel. That puts it at a wash at best in my opinion.
If you believe the bolded text as fact, you are obviously NOT educated...it is completely false! These aren't typical automotive batteries, they are MUCH more sophisticated, with electronic monitoring of the batteries to ensure a certain charge level to prolong the life of the batteries. The expected lifetime of the current batteries in hybrids is 8-10 years, and the cost is not near $5k ($2k is an upper range). Hybrid technology has come a LOOOOONG way in the last 5-10 years, so expect that lifespan to increase with the next iteration of hybrid technology.

Increasing my electric bill by 50% would raise my bill from ~$120 to ~$180 per month. I would gladly pay an extra $60 / month to save $200-$300 in diesel fuel! That would more than cover the extra cost of a hybrid drivetrain, even if you factor in replacing the batteries after 8-10 years.

To me, looking at it in that aspect, shows that I am edumacated.

PS, hybrids are NOT for everyone. If you do mostly highway driving at constant speeds, it probably isn't worth it. If you spend a lot of time in town, or have short trips (like I do), a plug-in hybrid vehicle would be a HUGE asset.
 

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If you believe the bolded text as fact, you are obviously NOT educated...it is completely false! These aren't typical automotive batteries, they are MUCH more sophisticated, with electronic monitoring of the batteries to ensure a certain charge level to prolong the life of the batteries. The expected lifetime of the current batteries in hybrids is 8-10 years, and the cost is not near $5k ($2k is an upper range). Hybrid technology has come a LOOOOONG way in the last 5-10 years, so expect that lifespan to increase with the next iteration of hybrid technology.

Increasing my electric bill by 50% would raise my bill from ~$120 to ~$180 per month. I would gladly pay an extra $60 / month to save $200-$300 in diesel fuel! That would more than cover the extra cost of a hybrid drivetrain, even if you factor in replacing the batteries after 8-10 years.

To me, looking at it in that aspect, shows that I am edumacated.

PS, hybrids are NOT for everyone. If you do mostly highway driving at constant speeds, it probably isn't worth it. If you spend a lot of time in town, or have short trips (like I do), a plug-in hybrid vehicle would be a HUGE asset.
The batteries for my neighbors Prius were $3,900 which included a $500 disposal fee. His car is a 2007. So his batteries lasted just over 4 years. That's what I based my figures on. But you are correct. If you're a city slicker and do a lot of in town driving, it may make sense. I don't and I have a 125 mile round trip drive to work, all highway for me.
 

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Just curious, how many miles were on the Prius? Again, though, that technology is 10 years old, even though the car was only 4.

I'm not a city slicker either, I just live in a rural area close to town, and work from home, so my daily commute involves a 6 mile round trip to drop the kids off at daycare/school, and then the same trip again to pick them up in the afternoon. With a PIH, I would suspect I wouldn't use a drop of diesel except when I'm towing our fifth wheel, or making extended trips. A hybrid would not work well for you, but a PIH would probably cut your fuel use by 1/3 or more with a 40 mile range.

Again, it all has to be at a reasonble price, though. I think a lot of folks just fear change, and losing our trucks. This will be one way to keep our trucks around. How many were scared of the EcoBoost V6 F150 losing it's V8 characteristics? 40+% of F150 sales are the EcoBoost engine and it is proving to be a great truck!
 

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The neighbor says he had 61,000 on it when it needed new batteries. He said it would have been FAR more cost effective to have kept the Honda Civic.
 

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The neighbor says he had 61,000 on it when it needed new batteries. He said it would have been FAR more cost effective to have kept the Honda Civic.
Hmmm, sounds like a defect in the battery pack. I thought Ford's were warranteed for 5 years/100k? I could be wrong, but I thought that's what it was.
 

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That could be right with Ford. But his batteries were 3/36,000. So no warranty for him. His service advisor told him to expect a change every 3-5 years.
 

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Why are we comparing a Prius with a PIH superduty? I know of lots of people that have Prius's and they haven't had to replace the batteries after 3-4 years.

I also live where electricity is cheap so that helps. If it costs 100/month for each of my trucks and that got each one of them 50 miles each day and then increased the FE for the remaining miles that would greatly reduce diesel costs. Anyways even if it was a draw I would MUCH rather give money to local power companies/power producers than ship it overseas.
 
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Well wise guy, what would you like us to compare a hybrid super duty to? There isn't much to compare it to. If you would have taken the time to interpret the prior posts you would have identified that this was simply a matter of cost analysis.
 

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Well wise guy, what would you like us to compare a hybrid super duty to? There isn't much to compare it to.
I have studied quite a bit of thr hybrid subject in some of my environmental classes at Oklahoma State University. Unfortunately, hybrid vehicles are not all they are cracked up to be. When I was doing my research, I did find a little bit of information on the hybrid GM full size pickups (gas engine). From what I read, they actually only got 1-2 mpg better than the non hybrid models. Most hybrid cars also only get about 80% of the MPG that the manufacture claims.

I don't know how the diesel hybrid will work out. Maybe it will be better than the conventional gasoline hybrid. So far, I am not sold on the whole hybrid craze.
 

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I have studied quite a bit of thr hybrid subject in some of my environmental classes at Oklahoma State University. Unfortunately, hybrid vehicles are not all they are cracked up to be. When I was doing my research, I did find a little bit of information on the hybrid GM full size pickups (gas engine). From what I read, they actually only got 1-2 mpg better than the non hybrid models. Most hybrid cars also only get about 80% of the MPG that the manufacture claims.

I don't know how the diesel hybrid will work out. Maybe it will be better than the conventional gasoline hybrid. So far, I am not sold on the whole hybrid craze.
I have done a lot of number crunching when buying normal hybrid cars for gas mileage, etc and for the most part they do not work out to be of any money savings unless pushed out to something like 150-175k miles and even then you're looking at replacing batteries, etc. Now this is not just simply a hybrid superduty but a Plug-in hybrid where you will be able to use only electricity for a certain number of miles, thus not using any fuel then when you go over that amount of miles the main engine kicks on and you still have a truck that will get better mileage than a non-hybrid one.
 
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