Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gas-Electric Hybrid Truck and SUV Engine

Worldwide, thousands of hybrid cars and some light trucks with exceptional fuel economy are sold by several automobile manufacturers. Missing to date has been the similar mass production of heavier vehicles with a more powerful gas-electric hybrid truck and SUV engine that also provides exceptional fuel economy.

More Powerful Gas-Electric Hybrid Engine System
Ford and Toyota have announced a collaborative project to co-develop a more powerful gas-electric hybrid truck and SUV engine that both auto giants could use in their own individually designed rear-wheel-drive vehicles with enough power to haul and tow heavy loads.
(Excerpt) "Trucks and SUVs are indispensable for the U.S. society ..."

Ford-Toyota Agreement
(Excerpt) "Derrick Kuzak, Ford's product development chief, said that although the trucks could have the same engine and transmission, each will be different. 'What makes them uniquely a Ford truck will continue to be there with a hybrid powertrain that we co-develop with Toyota' ...

It will take a year for the companies to figure out who will do what research ... After that, they would sign a definitive agreement that would lay out timelines to develop the technology ... It will take at least two or three years after that to develop a system, and the companies hope to bring it to market this decade.

Ford and Toyota also said they will work together to develop standards for the way electronic devices such as smartphones link to cars and trucks. But they would each retain their own touch screens and would have unique systems on their dashboards ...

Ford said this is the first time it has worked jointly with Toyota on any project ... the companies have no plans to share any other components or technologies beyond the agreement ... Ford and Toyota would save money and time on the cost of developing the hybrids, bringing them to market at a much lower cost and faster than either company could do alone ...

Neither company was worried that anti-trust regulations that could halt the collaboration, saying that such cooperation is common in the auto industry."
Derrick Kuzak, Ford's product development chief

In the Same Airport Lobby at the Same Time
Apparently the idea for this collaboration came up between Ford's CEO, Alan Mulally, and Toyota's President, Akio Toyoda, as they waited in the same airport lobby at the same time.

Question for Blog Readers:
Would you enjoy the reduced noise and increased fuel efficiency of large city busses that were powered by a similarly powerful
gas-electric hybrid truck and SUV engine? Or an even quieter all-electric drivetrain designed for heavy and powerful vehicles? (Think: railroad train engine on rubber tires -- without the train whistle.)

On Topic (past post links):