February 25, 2024

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Ford doubles production of the F-150 hybrid pickup as electric vehicle sales growth slows

Ford doubles production of the F-150 hybrid pickup as electric vehicle sales growth slows

  • Ford plans to double production of the hybrid version of its F-150 pickup truck amid slower-than-expected sales of the automaker’s all-electric vehicles.
  • Ford expects 2024 sales of the V-6 hybrid model to increase to approximately 20% in the United States.
  • Production of the F-150 Hybrid was announced in conjunction with Ford unveiling updated versions of the truck for the 2024 model year.

2024 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Platinum Hybrid

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DETROIT – Ford Motor Co. plans to double production of the hybrid version of its F-150 pickup truck as the company faces slower-than-expected sales of its all-electric vehicles.

Ford expects sales of the V-6 hybrid model to increase through the 2024 model year to approximately 20% in the United States. The automaker declined to reveal specific production numbers, but it is likely equivalent to tens of thousands of other hybrid vehicles.

Achieving that production target may be more difficult than usual, as Ford and its crosstown rivals face a potential strike by the United Auto Workers later this week that could shut down some or all of their U.S. plants. Ford, General Motors and Stellantis must reach separate deals with the UAW for 146,000 auto industry workers by 11:59pm Thursday to avoid a potential work stoppage.

The hybrid plans follow Ford CEO Jim Farley’s statement in late July that the Detroit automaker would quadruple the company’s production of gas-electric hybrids as it continues to ramp up electric vehicle production but at a slower pace than previously announced.

2024 Ford F-150 Powerboost Platinum Hybrid

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“We balance growth, profitability and returns,” Farley said during an earnings call. “At the same time, we believe demand for internal combustion fuels and our hybrid portfolio will be sustainable with a window for growth… likely longer and richer than most people expected.”

Kumar Galhotra, head of Ford’s traditional “blue” business unit, said Tuesday that he believes the F-150 could become the best-selling hybrid vehicle in North America, a crown historically held by Toyota Motor Co.’s RAV4 or Prius.

Ford’s renewed focus on hybrids, including delaying the target to 2 million by 2026, could be good for the union, as it retains many engine manufacturing jobs for the foreseeable future.

Hybrid vehicles typically have internal combustion engines with small batteries that can improve performance and fuel economy. They differ from hybrid electric cars, which have larger batteries and need to be plugged in like fully electric cars to take advantage of the benefits of electricity.

2024 Ford F-150 Raptor

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Ford declined to disclose specific pricing for the 2024 F-150 with the 3.5-liter “PowerBoost” V-6 hybrid model, which is a at least $2,500 option on current models and standard on the roughly $83,000 Limited F-150 model.

John Emmert, general manager of Ford Trucks, said that the decision to increase production came in the wake of demand for hybrid models that exceeded the production capacity of the F-150 and Ford Maverick pickup trucks. For Maverick, hybrids make up more than 60% of its sales.

“I definitely think this hybrid, the PowerBoost hybrid, helps people transition to full electric power,” Emmert told CNBC. “Hybrid is a step towards electrification, and for some people right now electric is not the best solution for them.”

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This is not the first time that Ford has announced a radical change in its engine lineup to enhance fuel economy and performance. The automaker is best known for its twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engines, which many wondered about when it was announced for the 2011 pickup but now power the majority of F-150s sold.

“We build the F-150 for every use case and meet every customer’s needs,” Emmert said, noting that some customers still need V-8 engines for towing and range, while the all-electric F-150 Lightning may not be ideal for some. In rural areas.

Ford said the hybrid engine will be available at the same price as the company’s 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine.

The 2024 Ford F-150 includes a new tailgate design that allows customers to access the vehicle bed like a traditional door in addition to the traditional drop-down tailgate.

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The announcement that production of the F-150 hybrid would be doubled coincided with Ford unveiling an updated version of the truck for the 2024 model year. Ford said the entire lineup will start at $35,570, but declined to reveal other details. The 2023 F-150 starts at $34,585.

The F-150 Hybrid will be available with 430 hp and 570 lb.-ft. of torque. Ford said the hybrid will provide the most utility of any F-Series pickup outside of the Raptor and Raptor R V-8 performance models, but it has not released the full set of specifications.

Aside from the exterior and interior updates, the 2024 F-150 includes a new tailgate design that allows customers to access the vehicle bed like a traditional door, as well as a traditional drop-down tailgate and a host of new safety and convenience features.

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