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What Is the Philosophy Behind Building the Current F-150 Powerboost Hybrid?

don_wagner57

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In the current as-designed configuration for the hybrid powerboost vehicle in question, why were there no consideration for plug-in charging power versatility? After all, there are ports for plugging in and charging other hybrid vehicles built into the truck. Why not charge the F-150 battery that way at home?

Secondly, why is the battery capacity for the hybrid so small at a puny 1.5 KW. It stands to reason that stored electrical power produces less emissions and is easier, cheaper and safer to use than fossil fuel.

During configuration design I wonder how the tradeoff's were conducted between engine size (mass and torque), battery size (energy density), and electric motor size (tractive effort ouput, mass).

It appears to be obvious that the addition of a battery and electric motor operation appeared almost as an after thought to an ordinary eco-boost F-150.

I have yet to see any Powerboost run any signigicant distance (10 miles or further) purely on battery power only. All electric operation is when drivers see a real fuel mileage improvement. I would expect a consumer demand for increased distance on battery online operation next generation.

The places where RV's go, and what they haul and trailer, make most "all-electric" vehicles impractical. Hence the need for a hybrid will always exist when high fuel costs continue.
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Aron

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It’s exactly what they market it as: a boost to power. Not really anything else. It’s not marketed as a replacement to the gas engine, even though lots of people have mentally tried to shoehorn it into such role by virtue of being a hybrid.

Honestly, I suspect that Ford’s marketing team had an outsized role in some of the specs, under the assumption that most truck buyers wouldn’t touch anything labeled a “hybrid” for political or ego reasons. So they focused the design on how a smaller battery and motor would be able to increase power at the top end. The improved city driving and short electric-only driving distance was just a side benefit. The marketing folks don’t seem to want to focus on these aspects much.

That might change in a world of high gas prices and the success of the Lightning, but I could see how they probably felt that leaning too far into the hybrid idea might prove to be a marketing disaster, especially when these decisions were likely made several years ago. I would love a bigger EV motor and battery (maybe tied to the 2.7L EB) with the option of allowing a plug-in charger.
 

Jeff1024

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HSV_MIkeJ

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Like most larger trucks and SUVs hybrids, it is really meany to be a performance boosting option not a ecology thing.
 

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Ummmm, not everyone gets the Powerboost. And that's OK. But if you think it doesn't make any sense then how do you explain the loooong waiting list for them, as well as Ford building them as fast as they can?

It's a $2500 option. So it isn't a traditional hybrid because $2500 wouldn't buy the components of a traditional hybrid. Instead, Ford took their halo drivetrain that already was a beast and said:

Want more? Yea, MORE torque?
And get this,.... You want even better fuel economy around town, where the current Ecobeast kinda suffers?
And finally, hey, we got a really cool way of leveraging that little battery that some of you will not believe..... A 7.2KW onboard generator. Dead silent and has a 30 gallon fuel tank.

The whole concept is way outside of the box, in my opinion. And honestly I think it was a convenient exercise is some of the engineering byproduct of the electrification initiative at Ford.

I'm one year in on my impulse purchase of a Platinum Powerboost. I'm the bullseye target for this truck in many ways. When I knew it was a keeper, I immediately ordered one exactly how I would want it as a long-term keeper. I'll be trading this one in shortly after a 6 month wait.

Amazing truck in so many ways.
 

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amschind

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The small battery is a huge selling point for me, and as the first generation of EVs gets older, it will be even more important for the market at large. Go look at a 15 year old sport fisher like a Bertram. $2million worth of boat brand new, now suddenly a "bargain" at $750k. Why? Because the value is mostly tied up in the giant marine diesels, and when they go, the boat is an overpriced piece of fiberglass and teak. BEVs have the same issue as they age, except that not even a very expensive marine diesel mechanic can pluck the dendrites out of a LiFePO4 battery- it just has to be replaced. And when the cost of a new battery is 3x the residual value of the vehicle, it's going to the junk yard where it can sit next to the Bertram with the conked out engines.

So for folks like me, who want to keep their trucks beyond the length of the battery warranty, the tiny battery is a huge selling point. LiFePO4 batteries are wear items: they wear out with normal use. I will likely need to replace the battery at some point, and if a higher energy density battery is offered for the same price, I won't be sad. But a 10kWh+ battery pack is actually a death sentence for the vehicle in 10-12 years, and I plan to keep the truck longer than that.

As for the philosophy, the 3.5L hybrid in the F150 is a beginner's mistake (and I say that despite the fact that I love mine). The 2.3L I4 with the same motor and 10R80 would match the limits of the F150 chassis far better, while the 3.5L hybrid produces so much power that it's mostly wasted in a half ton. Going forward, I hope that the I4 takes over in the F150 and that the 3.5L gets a 1.5 larger motor and battery and an upgrade to the 10R140 and replaces the powerplants in the Superduty. Even with that mismatch, the mileage on the PB CAN BE exceptional, particularly with speeds in the 25-50 MPH range and highway driving between 60-65 MPH while following a big rig.
 

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Great post, but keep your hands off my 3.5 Ecoboost battery charger. 🤣

Maybe you think it's a waste to have 600ftlbs of torque in the Powerboost, but they did call it POWERboost.

I absolutely agree with you on that battery though. It's absolutely stunning how cleverly Ford leveraged that little thing. I live in an RV. Have for about 7 years. Everytime I can't get shore power and I DON'T have to fetch the Big Heavy Yamaha inverter, I just grin and marvel at whoever first brought up the idea "hey, what do Yaw think if we use the Hybrid to also be a 7.2KW rolling grid?"

That kid needs a raise!
 

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Payload capacity comes to mind first. Still has to be able to tow
So true.
And so on the other side of the argument there's NO reason for Ford to give us more than double the horsepower and even more torque than the infamous 7.3 Diesel F350 in our F150. The Powerboost is more tow-power than the Payload Capacity could ever match.

(Please Ford... HDPP Powerboost. Pretty please)
 

hamd1786

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In the current as-designed configuration for the hybrid powerboost vehicle in question, why were there no consideration for plug-in charging power versatility? After all, there are ports for plugging in and charging other hybrid vehicles built into the truck. Why not charge the F-150 battery that way at home?

Secondly, why is the battery capacity for the hybrid so small at a puny 1.5 KW. It stands to reason that stored electrical power produces less emissions and is easier, cheaper and safer to use than fossil fuel.

During configuration design I wonder how the tradeoff's were conducted between engine size (mass and torque), battery size (energy density), and electric motor size (tractive effort ouput, mass).

It appears to be obvious that the addition of a battery and electric motor operation appeared almost as an after thought to an ordinary eco-boost F-150.

I have yet to see any Powerboost run any signigicant distance (10 miles or further) purely on battery power only. All electric operation is when drivers see a real fuel mileage improvement. I would expect a consumer demand for increased distance on battery online operation next generation.

The places where RV's go, and what they haul and trailer, make most "all-electric" vehicles impractical. Hence the need for a hybrid will always exist when high fuel costs continue.
So many reasons; weight, fire risk with increased workloads on battery, just physics in general, if they could they would “power boost” 250/350 truck - fleets will Take anything to save a dollar
 

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OleCuss

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Maybe a slightly different perspective, but not all that different?

Going with a smallish battery means they didn't have to significantly alter the design of the F-150. That means that the PB system is essentially an accessory/upgrade rather than a different truck. Since it is not a re-design it was a lot cheaper to do the engineering, they don't necessarily have to have a different assembly line/plant, and you keep a lot of parts in common with the bulk of the F-150s which are made.

With that PowerBoost accessory package they give you a bunch more torque at the low-end without a huge cost increase, you get the generator, you don't have a marked decrease in payload capacity, and you get better gas mileage. Some of the batteries going into EV vehicles weigh 1,000 pounds - put that in a F-150 and your payload weight rating goes down a lot and your towing capacity suffers as well. For that matter, that extra weight for a bigger battery might actually decrease gas mileage in the city.

It is a truck that makes a lot of compromises and I think they did a pretty good job of balancing the interests.
 

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The Powerboost may not be perfect, but it’s early in the evolution of electric/hybrid trucks and it fits my lifestyle and use perfectly. If you tow a smallish TT and camp off grid, there is nothing even comparable to the Powerboost. I don’t pretend to know anything about how these kinds of vehicles are engineered or why, but for a first attempt at a hybrid, I’d say Ford did pretty good.​
 

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I've got one coming and I can't wait. Even though its a mild hybrid system, I'm looking forward to any potential fuel savings I can get.

In an ideal world, it'd be using the 2.7l engine, have a 10x capacity (or more) battery, allow you to plug in and charge the battery from the wall, and have a stronger electric motor so as to be a true hybrid vehicle, capable of driving entirely on electric power.

Now that would be an awesome truck.
 

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I've got one coming and I can't wait. Even though its a mild hybrid system, I'm looking forward to any potential fuel savings I can get.

In an ideal world, it'd be using the 2.7l engine, have a 10x capacity (or more) battery, allow you to plug in and charge the battery from the wall, and have a stronger electric motor so as to be a true hybrid vehicle, capable of driving entirely on electric power.

Now that would be an awesome truck.
At the same time, the alternative truck you describe would have a different use case than the power boost.

I agree though, for those of us that mainly use the trucks for daily drivers and trips to the home improvement stores or lumber yards for diy stuff, it would be amazing. I can think is a few trades that a truck like that could be of good use. Not everyone is ready for full electric yet.

To me plug in hybrid is where it's at for now. I like the full electric, but they will be hard to get for years to come. (I do realize the wait for a plug in hybrid truck is infinitely longer due to them not existing...lol)
 

DarkSkyForever

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At the same time, the alternative truck you describe would have a different use case than the power boost.
Yep, I agree. The 2.7 ecoboost is no slouch and is more than capable as an everyday work truck, hell even the 3.3L is a great motor, and that's just NA.

The use case for the truck I described would be no different than the 2.7L now, except for those using it as a daily driver or lightly loaded trips to the hardware store to grab some lumber, the entire trip could be done on electric only.

Give us that truck, and I bet it'd have a fleet a average in the 40s.

I'm sure Ford is treading lightly on calling any truck a hybrid due to the majority of the target audience's connotation with the word (look at the approval rates of the ACA vs Obamacare for instance). Perhaps they can call it "Ultraboost" or "Freedomboost". :LOL:

I'd gladly take any help freeing my wallet from the gas station's clutches!
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