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How Ford plans to market the gasoline-electric F-150
Key to selling truck no one asked for: keeping beer cold
Autonews
Keith Naughton

DETROIT -- People who buy F-150s don’t much care about fuel economy. It ranks No. 28 on their list of priorities, way below pickup essentials like durability and reliability, even the roominess of the cab.

And yet Ford Motor Co. is plowing ahead anyway with a gasoline-electric version of the crazy-popular truck, the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. since the Reagan administration.

To coax devotees into the greener future, the company won’t be stressing the benefits of cutting back on carbon-dioxide emissions or the costs of tanking up. Instead, the marketing will go something like this: The battery in the hybrid F-150 not only feeds the electric motor, it’s a mobile generator that can keep the beer cool at a tailgate party, charge your miter saw and run the coffee maker on a camping trip.

“It still may be a hard sell,” said Michelle Krebs, an analyst at Autotrader, “but they’ve got to have this in their lineup.”

That’s in part because of tough federal regulations. The hybrid F-150 was greenlighted in 2014, three years after the Obama administration set a target for automakers to achieve an average of 54.5 miles per gallon in their lines eight years from now. The expectation that President Donald Trump will ease regulations hasn’t reduced the industry’s interest in electrification.

But Ford’s playing catch up in the race to put electric vehicles and autonomous technology on the road. Investors have punished the company for lagging electric carmaker Tesla Inc., whose market value is higher, and crosstown rival General Motors, which introduced the Chevy Bolt electric for the 2017 model year. Ford is up less than 1 percent so far this year, while Tesla has risen 49 percent and GM has gained 29 percent.

So Ford is spending $4.5 billion to field 13 electric and hybrid models by 2020, including a gas-electric Mustang. The company has the most “pricing power” in its best sellers to cover electric propulsion costs, said Hau Thai-Tang, the product-development chief who has led the move to electrify the lineup.

There’s risk, of course, in Ford messing with its trucks. The F-series will bring in about $41 billion in revenue this year -- and the vast majority of the company’s profits. But there’s no way Ford can meet the federal mandate without boosting the trucks’ fuel efficiency.

The most recent data show that about 2,500 of the pickups are purchased in the U.S. every single day. Offering a hybrid version will be “kind of like trying to sell beer to a teetotaler,” said John Wolkonowicz, an auto analyst and former Ford product planner who once worked on the F-series.

This is where the battery-advantage marketing plan kicks in. The company came up with it after researchers spent a year on an anthropological mission, embedding for thousands of hours with hundreds of F-150 owners. “We immersed ourselves in their lives,” said Nadia Preston, the research team’s project leader. “That meant going camping with them, tailgating, going to rodeos, even spending the night.”

They were looking for what CEO Jim Hackett calls “bungee-cord solutions” -- workarounds for tasks the F-150 couldn’t perform. They found owners often in need of portable power.

Electric motivation

“We would see our customers just literally buying generators from Home Depot and strapping them down in their truck beds,” Thai-Tang said.

There was the welder in Texas who lugged his generator in and out of the bed whenever he needed it for work. Then there was the builder in Denver who didn’t own one, relying on a jumble of extension cords that he stretched to an outlet to operate his saw. “He told us, ‘Access to power in any shape or form would absolutely help me do my job,” ’ Preston said.

Ford won’t say how many hybrid F-150s it plans to make, nor how much more expensive they are to build, though analysts estimate adding electric power tacks on at least $5,000 to the cost of a vehicle. In any event, the company will still sell hundreds of thousands of traditional pickups, including the new Super Duty Limited 4X4, which when topped out with all the extras will cost around $100,000.

http://www.autonews.com/article/20171130/OEM05/171139990/how-ford-plans-to-market-the-gasoline-electric-f-150
 

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And then there is this...

Electric Pickup Truck for Fleets
http://workhorse.com/pickup/



The Workhorse W-15 is the first plug-in range extended electric pickup built from the ground up by an OEM. Lithium ion battery cells from Panasonic provide an 80 mile all‑electric range, while the onboard generator works to recharge while driving to get the job done.

Many fleet vehicles travel predictable routes for the most part. Duke Energy trucks, for example, travel an average of 40 miles per day. That means that Duke could convert its fleet of thousands of trucks to a PHEV like the W-15 and run them almost every day on fully electric power (that it also happens to provide), resulting in real cuts to emissions and real financial savings.

460 horsepower
0-60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds
 

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Ford Files "Powerboost" Trademark

http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2017/12/looks-like-ford-may-calling-hybrid-system-powerboost.html

It Looks Like Ford May be Calling its Hybrid System ‘Powerboost’

Ford has filed a trademark application to reserve the ‘Powerboost’ nomenclature for use on powertrain and propulsion systems.

The patent was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on November 30th, 2017. The filing indicates Ford has reserved the name for use on “powertrain systems for land vehicles; propulsion systems for land vehicles, comprised of engines, electric motors, batteries, and transmissions.” It seems as though Ford is interested in calling its future hybrid-equipped models ‘Powerboost’, which could be styled like ‘PowerBoost’ making it relative to the EcoBoost name its turbocharged models bare.

How Ford plans on marketing the hybrid F-150 was recently the subject of a Bloomberg report entitled “Ford’s Key to Selling Truck No One Asked For: Keeping Beer Cold.” It focused on how Ford plans to sell the hybrid truck to pickup owners who may not necessarily want to shell out more cash for an electrified powertrain, which included focusing on the extra energy it can bring both in the way of powertrain output and external power solutions. Either way, it seems Ford’s a bit interested in “power.”

The automaker is also spending $4.5 billion to launch 13 electric and hybrid models by 2020, so we may be hearing the term Powerboost in Ford marketing speak for year’s to come – at least if EcoBoost is any indication. And considering the Dearborn-based automaker’s massive investment in electrified tech, we wouldn’t be shocked if we see the first of these Powerboost-badged models by as early as next year.
 

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WorkHorse interior looks nice at least in pix



...researchers spent a year on an anthropological mission...
...They were looking for what CEO Jim Hackett calls “bungee-cord solutions” -- workarounds for tasks the F-150 couldn’t perform. They found owners often in need of portable power...
...“We would see our customers just literally buying generators from Home Depot and strapping them down in their truck beds,” Thai-Tang said....

...analysts estimate adding electric power tacks on at least $5,000 to the cost of a vehicle...
WAIT
were those HomeDepot generators $5,000 ? even WITH the bungee cords??
:nerd:
 

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WAIT
were those HomeDepot generators $5,000 ? even WITH the bungee cords??
:nerd:
Something is not adding up here. There won't be enough power available in the battery for a hybrid to use power to save on fuel economy, along with allowing tools to drain the battery as well. And having the engine run as a 'generator' charging the batteries makes no sense, as it's cheaper to buy a $400 generator and put in the bed.

I think there will be a mild hybrid F-150 for the everyday truck user that can be sold in massive numbers, offering more torque, electric idling, electric air conditioning, heating, etc, advanced break regeneration to keep the pack filled, with 'some' capacity to external power availability for tools.

But a PHEV version with a larger battery pack, that can run at least 31- 50 miles on electricity(to sell in China), enough power for days equipment use, a no-compromise PHEV for the F-150 commercial customer, enough hybrid power, enough electric range and enough electric power for tools.
 
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