If you haven’t dropped by your local hybrid dealer in a while, you might be surprised to see the variety of vehicles now available with hybrid powertrains. While hybrids were once synonymous with compact sedans, they now come in all shapes and sizes, including SUVs and, yes, full-size pickup trucks like the iconic Ford F-150. This truck has long been a go-to for workers who need a reliable model with great performance, and the hybrid version delivers all that, plus better fuel economy and more.
Ford has been offering a hybrid F-150 since the 2021 model year, but while it’s a relatively recent addition to the F-150 family, there are still plenty of choices that prospective buyers will have to make. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right one, from your budget to how much tech you need. But don’t worry; we’re here to walk you through all the different variations that Ford offers and what the hybrid powertrain brings to the table.
Exceptional Performance and Capability
Under the hood, the hybrid F-150 sports a 3.5L V6 engine paired with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. Together, these elements make up Ford’s Powerboost hybrid powertrain. Able to deliver up to 430 hp and 570 lb-ft. of torque (compared to the 400 hp and 500 lb-ft. of torque provided by its all-gas equivalent, the 3.5L Ecoboost V6), the system brings plenty of power to the table. When properly equipped, the hybrid truck can tow up to 12,700 lbs, which should be plenty for most drivers.
Since the hybrid has two sources of power, you can switch from electric mode to gas mode to a combination of both. Transitioning between the different modes is so smooth you probably won’t notice it. Regenerative braking diverts power from the engine that would otherwise be wasted while idling and uses it to charge the battery, which improves the truck’s range. Of course, the hybrid also offers better fuel economy, so each tank of gas helps get you further than it would in a traditional model.
Always Stay Powered With Pro Power Onboard
Aside from efficiency and performance, the hybrid’s biggest advantage over other powertrains is that it comes standard with Ford’s Pro Power Onboard. This feature turns the truck into a mobile generator, making it easy to get work done anytime, anyplace, even when power tools are required. While a 2.0kW version is available with optional gas engines, a more powerful 2.4kW version comes standard with the hybrid powertrain. With up to four outlets in the bed, you can power anything from a hammer drill to a microwave. If that’s not enough for you, an available 7.2kW option comes with up to six outlets so you can have more tools going at once.
A Look at the Hybrid F-150’s (Brief) History
The hybrid powertrain debuted in 2021, a model year that also saw the F-150’s interior get a redesign, adding premium materials and storage cubbies to make the cabin more comfortable and useful. Some new features focus on making the truck an exceptional mobile workspace: the shift lever can fold flush with the center console to form a large flat surface with room for a laptop, and available fold-flat front seats can give workers a place to rest during breaks on long shifts. The infotainment setup comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot, and the software can receive over-the-air updates.
Changes for the 2022 F-150 are relatively minor. A new exterior color option, Atlas Blue, has been added, and some trims can be ordered with a sleek Black Appearance package, complete with 20-inch gloss black painted wheels and black interior badging. While we don’t have all the details for the 2023 model year yet, the biggest additions will be a new off-road trim called the Rattler and the Heritage Edition, which blends modern technology with classic style.
Buying new always comes with a few key advantages: you don’t have to worry about vehicle history, you get the full coverage of the manufacturer’s warranty, and you can enjoy that new car smell. But if a new F-150 is out of your price range and you can find a good deal on a 2021 model, it’s certainly worth considering. As of now, there aren’t too many significant changes that you’ll be missing out on, and you can always trade it in down the line if a future model catches your eye. The Ford F-Series Pickup was named one of the Top 10 Vehicles for Kelley Blue Book’s 2021 Best Resale Value Awards, so you can expect it to retain its value well.
An Array of Trims for Every Type of Driver
The hybrid powertrain is available on most trims of the F-150, but there are a few exceptions. The off-road capable Raptor and Tremor trims can’t be paired with PowerBoost, as of the 2022 model year. We can’t say for sure whether the upcoming Rattler will follow suit; we’ll just have to wait for more news from Ford.
As long as you’re staying on paved roads, though, you have plenty of trims to choose from:
- XL – the most affordable choice, built for workers who value utility and durable construction and don’t need more than the basics.
- XLT – still a great value, but with a few extra features and style upgrades.
- Lariat – a good middle ground between affordability and a wide range of features.
- King Ranch – has unique styling options and substantial upgrades inside and out.
- Platinum – a premium trim with extra comfort features and a sleek look.
- Limited – the most luxurious trim, which pulls out all the stops from premium interior materials to the latest tech.
No matter which F-150 you choose, you’ll get a tough workhorse that’s built to last for the long haul. While some features are only available on higher trims, all of these trucks have high-strength frames and bodies designed with hard work in mind. And upgrading to the hybrid powertrain means you’ll get all that plus the perks that come with Powerboost.
Say Goodbye to the Pump With the Ford F-150 Lightning
If you want to eliminate trips to the gas station entirely, you can go beyond a hybrid and opt for the Ford F-150 Lighting. This all-electric truck comes standard with all-wheel drive, and since it doesn’t need to use the space under the hood for an engine, it has a sealed trunk up front that provides 14.1 cu.ft. of storage. The standard-range battery offers up to 230 miles of range per charge, and an extended-range version bumps that up to 320 miles. The Pro Power Onboard system is even more powerful than the hybrid, delivering a maximum of 9.6 kW through eleven outlets.
While this exciting new F-150, introduced for the 2022 model year, felt worth mentioning alongside its hybrid cousins, remember that the Lightning isn’t just another powertrain; it’s essentially a separate model. It doesn’t have a gas or diesel engine, running entirely on electricity. That’s great news if you want to go green and save money on fuel costs, but if you live in an area that doesn’t have a great charging infrastructure, sticking to a hybrid might be a better choice for now.
Our Overall Impression
The hybrid F-150 offers all the capability that has won Ford so many fans over the decades, along with some extra miles per gallon and a built-in mobile generator. Since it’s available on so many different trim levels, it’s within reach for a wide range of truck drivers. No matter what your budget is or what features you prioritize, there’s sure to be a hybrid F-150 that’s perfect for you.