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For those looking to save money at the pump and decrease their carbon footprint, all while maintaining powerful hauling capabilities, hybrid pickup trucks are the way to go. You might well be wondering what your options are when it comes to hybrid pickup trucks. This is what we've found:
Only a few hybrid and mild-hybrid trucks are currently being manufactured and sold in U.S. markets. These include:
- Ford Maverick
- Ford F150
- Ram 1500
If you're in the market for older models of hybrid pickups, more options are available, including:
- Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid: 2009-2013
- GMC Sierra Hybrid: 2009-2013
We have the scoop on each of these trucks and what to expect for fuel economy and towing power when opting for a hybrid pickup. Keep reading to find out all about it!
Hybrid Pickup Trucks
The 2022 Maverick by Ford is the only pickup truck that comes with a full hybrid engine standard. This compact pickup is a great choice for drivers who spend a lot of time in the city but enjoy their weekend getaways.
It is the most fuel-efficient truck on our list, with the 2.5-liter hybrid powertrain delivering an impressive 40 mpg for city driving. The engine is also remarkably powerful for a hybrid engine in a compact pickup. The standard engine has a towing capacity of 2,000 lbs, plenty for many lightweight campers and boats.
For those who need more power, check out the available 2.o-liter EcoBoost gas engine. The EcoBoost engine isn't a full hybrid like the standard engine, but the mild-hybrid technology helps improve power and efficiency.
The EcoBoost engine can increase the towing capacity up to 4,000 lbs when combined with the trailer tow package, so you can afford a little more luxury on your outdoor excursions.
While smaller than the full-size pickups on this list, it still boasts impressive space and creative engineering to make the most of it. Up to five people can comfortably sit in the cab.
The 4.5-foot bed extends to 6 feet with the tail-gate down. The bed also features Ford's trademarked FLEXBED design. The multi-position tailgate, 12 anchor points, and two 12-volt 20-amp prewired sources are just some features of this design that allow a lot of customization and multi-functionality of the bed.
You can learn more about the design and get some ideas for how you could use it in the video below:
The 2021 F150 comes with several engine options, including the 3.5-liter PowerBoost full-hybrid V6 engine. While not quite as fuel-friendly as the Maverick, it still reaches an impressive combined 24 mpg. It also delivers a lot more power, at 430 horsepower and 57o lb-ft of torque.
This power will be a big boon to those looking to load or pull more weight. The hybrid engine's maximum payload goes up to 2,210 lbs and has a maximum towing capacity of 12,700 lbs.
This full-size pickup also offers more space than the compact Maverick. There are different cab and bed configurations to choose from for the F150.
The regular cab sits up to 3 people, while the SuperCap and SuperCrew models can seat a maximum of 6. You can also choose between 5.5-foot, 6.5-foot, and 8-foot lengths for the bed, so you will be able to design a truck that meets your needs.
Although Ram doesn't offer any fully hybrid engines, since 2019, the Ram 1500 has come with eTorque engines. The eTorque technology replaces the alternator typical of most combustion engines.
This keeps the 12-volt battery charged, quickly restarts the motor with the automatic start/stop system, and electric power assists at low speeds. The V6 engine gets a 90 lb-ft torque boost, and the V-8 HEMI gets a 130 lb-ft torque boost.
The Ram 1500 just ekes out ahead of the F150 in terms of towing power, with a maximum towing capacity of 12,750 lbs.
GMC Sierra Hybrid and Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid
While they aren't using hybrid motors in their current models, General Motors was the first to develop a fully hybrid motor for a pickup truck. The patented two-mode hybrid system and 6.0-liter V-8 engines were available for the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado between 2009 and 2013.
While they might not be available at most dealerships, you can still find these pickups for sale used. Compared to the newer full-size hybrids, they are a bit less powerful and fuel-efficient, though still quite reasonable.
They both have a towing capacity of 6,100 lbs with a fuel economy of 20 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. If you're looking for a used hybrid pickup truck, you'll likely have more luck looking for one of these than the others on our list.
Check Out the F150 Lightning: An All-electric Option
For those really looking to save on gas and emissions, Ford is developing an all-electric option set to hit the roads by May 2022: the F150 Lightning. While details will become clearer as we approach the release date, Ford is targeting a maximum payload of 2,000 lbs and a maximum towing capacity of 10,000 lbs, meaning the Lightning should be nearly as powerful as other full-size trucks on the market today.
Keep an eye out as more information comes to light on the Lightning and other advances in hybrid and electric pickups.
What makes a truck hybrid?
In essence, a hybrid vehicle combines electric energy and traditional fuel engines for power. That being said, hybrids come in a variety of forms.
Full hybrids have electric motors that are capable of powering the vehicle independently. On the other hand, mild hybrids are those that use electric energy to increase the power and efficiency of the gas engine.
While they can't accelerate the vehicle independently, many mild hybrids can keep the car running without the gas engine when stopped, saving a lot of fuel for city driving.
Are hybrid trucks good for towing?
The hybrid truck with the greatest towing capacity is the Ford 150 with PowerBoost, with a towing capacity of 12,700 lbs. Is that good for towing? Well, that depends on your needs.
For most people who need to tow for some DIY projects or to take their travel trailer on a trip, this should be plenty. A typical 30' travel trailer will weigh between 6,500 and 10,000 lbs when fully loaded. This weight falls below the towing capacity of either the F150 or the Ram 1500.
You can learn more about these trailers in our article "How Much Does a 30' Travel Trailer Weigh?"
This towing capacity is also plenty for many 5th-wheel trailers. However, many models of 5th-wheel trailers, especially those promising extra luxury, exceed this limit. Some can even weigh as much as 15,000 lbs, and that's before being loaded!
To get some ideas for lighter 5th wheels, check out our article, "What are the Smallest 5th-Wheel RVs?"
If you prefer the fuel economy of the Maverick, its 2,000 lb standard or 4,000 lb upgraded tow capacity will limit your options. However, there are still great choices available. You can read about some of them in our article "Which Travel Trailers Are The Lightest? (13 Models Reviewed)."
Do hybrid trucks get better gas mileage?
Many drivers look to hybrids for their fuel economy, whether it's because of a desire to go green or save more green at the pump. As we've seen, the Ford Maverick gets up to 40 mpg in the city; it is the most fuel-efficient truck currently on the market.
The full-size hybrid pickups also get better gas mileage than other full-size pickups, with the exception of turbo diesel models. While hybrids still do better in the city than these turbo diesel engines, the Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500 turbo diesel engines can both get an impressive 33 mpg highway.
If you plan to do a lot of highway driving with your pickup and are concerned about fuel efficiency, it may be worth looking at these and other turbo diesel options.
Are hybrid trucks worth it?
Hybrid technology has advanced a lot in the past couple of decades. Hybrid pickups of the early 2000s came with a lot of trade-offs in terms of power and cost, but this just isn't the case with the newest generations.
These days, fully hybrid and mild-hybrid engines do an impressive job keeping up with their all-fuel counterparts in power, all without costing an arm and a leg. If your perception is that hybrid technology is just for compact cars and city driving, we encourage you to check out more of the pickups we described here.
While there still aren't a lot of hybrid pickups on the market these days, the ones there are can meet the needs of most pickup drivers. At the end of the day, you'll be the one to decide whether a pickup with a hybrid drivetrain is worth it to you.
We've seen that there are some great options for hybrid pickups that are well-suited for almost every driver. If you want to feel better about your environmental impact and save money at the pump, all without sacrificing power, these hybrid pickup trucks are great options for you.