Ford has a bit of a problem with the F-150, namely that it guzzles too much gas. This is after the company employed all kinds of lightweighting techniques for the new generation of the truck. It even used the magical EcoBoost engines! But that’s apparently not good enough for the United States government.
Is Ford being picked on? No, everyone has to follow the same standards under CAFE, with those targets ratcheting up again in 2025. Regulators aren’t super mad at Ford yet, but they’ve made it clear the F-150 needs to start sipping gas like it’s drinking wine at a nice party.
Not all versions of the F-150 aren’t compliant, just some. Apparently Ford’s strategy is to start using hybrid powertrains, which will also cut down on emissions. The big question is why not just skip straight to a fully-electric setup? They could even throw in a gasoline-powered range extender to help with practicality.
Of course, I’m oversimplifying the issue. Ford, GM and FCA have a big challenge to face. All three make a lot of money off vehicles like pickups and full-size SUVs which are at odds with increasing government efficiency standards. Consumers want these vehicles, but they don’t exactly go light on the gas.
What’s going to be the breaking point? In the short term, offering hybrid powertrains will just be a band aid. This could be why Tesla’s rumored to be working on a pickup, which is likely the future.