1 hybrid truck gets great mileage | Rare Techy
Only two full-hybrid full-size pickups will be available in 2023: the Ford F-150 PowerBoost and the Toyota Tundra i-FORCE MAX. Although these trucks are actually very similar powertrains and power outputs, the Ford PowerBoost has much better fuel economy. It also has a better record for reliability.
Ford F-150 PowerBoost vs. Toyota Tundra i-FORCE MAX: Similar on paper
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What’s interesting about comparing the Ford PowerBoost and Toyota i-FORCE MAX hybrids is just how similar the statistics of the two powertrains are. Ford debuted its PowerBoost powertrain for the 14th generation F-150. That powerplant used the tried and true 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6. But it sandwiched a 221-pound electric motor/generator between the gasoline engine and the ten-speed automatic transmission. The resulting hybrid truck can produce 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque.
Toyota introduced its i-FORCE MAX hybrid for the third generation of the full-size Tundra pickup. Every second-generation Tundra has the same 3.4-liter turbocharged V6 and ten-speed Aisin automatic transmission. The top-of-the-line i-FORCE MAX adds an electric motor/generator rated at 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque.
Ford F-150 PowerBoost and Toyota Tundra i-FORCE MAX offer very different fuel economy
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If you dig a little deeper, you’ll discover that the Toyota Tundra i-FORCE MAX has a nickel metal hydride battery under the rear seat. However, the Ford F-150 i-FORCE MAX has a lithium-ion battery mounted under the bed. A lithium-ion battery can be charged and discharged faster.
Additionally, the i-FORCE MAX electric motor/generator makes just 184 lb-ft of torque, but is tuned to lift the truck at its peak. The PowerBoost electric motor/generator has 221 lb-ft of torque, but is tuned for smoother shifting and maximum regenerative braking.
Thanks to the EPA’s FuelEconomy.com, the F-150 Hybrid gets much better fuel economy. The four-wheel drive Toyota Tundra i-FORCE MAX gets 19 city/22 highway MPG (20 combined). Opting for the 2WD truck improves it to 20 city/24 highway (22 mpg). The all-wheel drive 2023 Ford F-150 PowerBoost earned 23 city/23 highway MPG (23 total). Ordering the 2WD version pushes those numbers up to 25 overall.
Toyota Tundra i-FORCE MAX has not had a chance to prove its reliability
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Toyota began building the i-FORCE MAX Tundra powertrain in the second half of 2022. The oldest hybrid Toyota pickups have only been on the road for a few months. It uses the internal combustion engine found in Lexus sports cars, but the rest of the hybrid powertrain has yet to be tested. That’s one of the reasons JD Power gave the 2023 Toyota Tundra a 70/100 in predicted reliability — across all powertrains. This is one of the worst results in the truck’s history.
A small portion of the very first 2022 Toyota Tundra suffered from malfunctions when the turbocharger’s exhaust failed to overpressurize as needed. Toyota immediately recalled and scrapped these trucks to find and implement a solution.
The 2023 Ford F-150, on the other hand, earned an incredible 86/100 for predicted reliability. This includes combined scores for each powertrain option, but is much more reflective of its flagship PowerBoost drivetrain.
Although hybrid vehicles have many more moving parts than traditional combustion engine-only vehicles, they have proven to be among the most reliable. For example, the hybrid Toyota Prius and Toyota Camry both earned a place in the ranking of the most reliable used sedans 10 years old.
How can a hybrid be reliable? In addition to assisting with braking – through its regenerative braking process – the electric motor/generator actually maintains the vehicle’s traditional brake components. In addition, it helps in acceleration and saves the petrol engine from wear and tear during stop/move. Although hybrids will eventually need to replace the battery, Toyota has proven that it can design batteries that typically last as long as the other major components of the powertrain.
Next, read about whether the hybrid Ford F-150 is a smart buy or watch the PowerBoost vs. i-FORCE MAX drag race in the video below:
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