Ford and Toyota are teaming up to make a gas-electric hybrid engine to power pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. The signed deal has both companies sharing development costs to make a hybrid engine that is more affordable to bring it to the market faster. Hybrid automobiles have been the talk of the auto industry since gas spiked in 2007 but because of how expensive the options are, American consumers have yet to buy in. And whose to blame them in the middle of the biggest recession since the Great Depression?
Another reason that hybrids have not grown popular in the US is because Americans find trucks and SUVs necessary- more so than other countries. And hybrid options up to this point for trucks and SUVs have been underwhelming. That is the main reason that this deal between automobile giants has been struck. Toyota’s Executive Vice President for R&D, Takeshi Uchiyamada, said about hybrid technology for trucks and SUVs “Those kind of models are indispensable to American customers. And providing them with our hybrid technology will help conserve energy and reduce output for greenhouse gas here in the US”.
Hybrid trucks will help automakers meet stricter government regulations into the future. In the US, the fleet of new cars and trucks will be required to average 56.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
It will take a year for Ford and Toyota to figure out who will do what research and about 2-3 years before a system can be developed. No speculation yet as to how gas mileage their engine will get.