60 MPG Pickup??

christopherhSeptember 1, 2006

I was on the Blue Oval Forum and came across this little ditty.


"...Ford is developing a new form of automotive propulsion, and the implications for the American Auto Industry are huge. The Hydraulic Hybrid could be the greatest innovation since the internal combustion engine itself, and Ford is on the inside track with its F-150 Hybrid. New Tech Spy Has learned details about the system that are simply amazing and could put Ford in a commanding position in the fiercely competitive full size pickup market.

---The Idea behind the current crop of Hybrid cars is well known; the cars main energy comes from gasoline which recharges batteries that move the car at low speeds. Hydraulic Hybrids work in the same manner, only instead of batteries, excess energy is stored in hydraulic cylinders.That in itself is not revolutionary, except for the fact that Nickel Metal Hydride batteries used today are not an efficient way to store energy, and hydraulic storage blows them away with 3X the efficiency. Even next generation Lithium Ion batteries do not come close to Hydraulic Energy Storage.

---The standard F-150 has a curb weight of about 4800 lbs., which is 65% greater than theToyota Prius, yet incredibly the Hydraulic F-150 with a continuously variable transmission matches the Prius with 60mpg city rating, thatÂs an amazing 400% increase over its gasoline version.

---The F-150 makes for a perfect host for Hydraulic Hybrid technology because of its height and body on frame construction, adding this system to smaller vehicles will be challenging, but with those kind of numbers small vehicles as we know them may become obsolete...The Hydraulic F-150 is currently scheduled for launch in August of 2008, can Ford work out all the bugs by then? The people are waiting for Ford to come through in the clutch..."

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- There's more to an engine than good mileage. There still are a few people buying F-150s because they need something that can haul a lot. There's no information here on towing capacity or payload. A "Hydraulic Hybrid" F-150 is a non-starter if it can't haul close to the 1800 pounds or tow the 6500 pounds the current model can.
-Given that this technology does its best in stop-and-go conditions, will this engine sell in the more rural areas in which pickups are bigger sellers but where stop-and-go is not the majority part of the program?
- It's pretty well-known that most hybrid drivers are not getting the high mileage on the EPA sticker. I would be highly suspicious that a heavy, relatively unaerodynamic vehicle like an F-150 would match even the Prius' real mileage, nevermind the fun number on the sticker.
- The F-150 is one of the few bright spots in the Ford lineup right now. To some degree, it makes sense for them to try to make their most attractive vehicle more attractive. OTOH, do they want to bet big on the one vehicle they can count on?
- August '08 is two years away. That's not a lot of time to complete extreme-weather testing, EPA certification, etc., and get vehicles to market. Especially for a company that cannot afford to screw this up and which has not had the reputation for quality they used to have.

It's a tall order. I certainly hope Ford is successful with it. But I think this article is extraordinarily optimistic about this engine being a savior for Ford.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 6:41PM
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If this was true, then someone(VW or Nissan or Honda or GM) would sell a normal sized vehicle to go 75 MPG....or more..
5 years ago my VW pickup averaged 45 mpg, just by trimming away excessive and wasted size and performance..and of course using the Diesel, an old design yet...
I do not know about the hydraulic technology, but wild claims about high MPG do abound...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 6:42PM
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i dont care how many miles per gal. it gets, i dont want to drive a full size pickup. now if ford can get their miata to get over 90 mpg, then i`am interested.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 11:57PM
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Hydraulic fluid is incompressible. It can not be used to store energy. To store energy you need a fluid that can be compressed, like air. There could be some sort of hydraulic drive component to the system, but the method for storing energy must be something else.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 10:18AM
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**Hydraulic fluid is incompressible. It can not be used to store energy.**

Not as far fetched as you think. Same kind of idea is used on some man lift equipment used by utilities...not to drive the truck down the road, but to raise the boom smoothly. Has been used sinse the 60's. The energy is stored in an accumulator. The accumulator has an area filled with some kind of inert gas. That gas is what can be compressed against the fluid, thus storing engergy. From what I've heard on the subject, on a vehicle it would only work in stop and go driving situations. If that's the case, your 60 mpg pickup would still only get 17 driving down the road. The increase in mileage would come from around town driving...like a UPS truck or mail delivery vehicle. jmo

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 2:14PM
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If comparable in price and capabilities and was a solid 60 MPG, not some inaccurate EPA estimate.... (The window sticker would have to read something like 75/100) then I would get one. If ford is reading this, now they know what they have to do to reclaim a loyal Toyota driver. IF only 60 in stop & go conditions, that isn't going to cut it.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 10:17AM
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I just read where UPS is going to use this technology in it's new trucks. Lot of weight there, so the hauling ability questions can soon be answered. I agree, I too need a vehicle that can haul a cargo trailer all over the northeast and a Prius just won't do.

Most of the gas usage in the larger vehicles is spent pulling away from stop. After they are up to speed, it's "rolling weight" so that figure HAS to increase also. So even if the truck gets, say, 30 MPG on the highway, that's 100% better than now since my Dakota only gets 15.

The engine type (gas or diesel) is immaterial since in place of an electric motor there will be a hydraulic motor. And yes, it will at this time be best suited for stop and go use, but the potential is there for OTR use also.

But can you imagine the effects of a taxi fleet using this technology? If taxi fleets in the major cities were to be able to convert, the fuel savings would be enormous! And since UPS is going this route, if more companies were to convert it's "six wheelers", again, more fuel savings and less dependence. And no need to replace expensive batteries!

Do a Google for Hydraulic hybrids and see what comes up. Even the EPA is backing this as a way to save fuel.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 8:03AM
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