2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid
by Ric Green

There was a time in the past that when you said Hybrid people thought of a small Japanese import.  I assure you no one on the street thought about a Ford pickup. Well things have changed since 2001 as Ford has rolled out the 2021 F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid.

The Hybrid F-150 is just one of the blue oval’s 2021 F-150s with six powertrains. Those engines are in addition to three cab configurations and come with both long and short bed lengths.  Feel the need for extra comfort?  The high-end models offer more than just a touch of luxury. Need to trailer that vessel to the boat ramp? Some of the half-ton trucks will boast a maximum towing capacity of up to 14,000 pounds. An off-road focused Tremor model is available as well and don’t forget the F-150 Raptor, Ford’s performance powerhouse pick-up.

The 2021 F-150 Hybrid pairs Ford’s PowerBoost twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 with a 47-hp electric motor.  This combination makes it the second highest-output powertrain in the current F-150 lineup, just below the Raptor.

Under the hood, the electric motor is sandwiched between the V-6 engine and the standard ten-speed automatic transmission.  A 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery is stashed under the bed.  Ford chose a smallish battery because its size makes it less cumbersome for the setup and less costly than larger battery packs, plus its weight does not impact the towing and payload capacities. The combined output for the Power package is an impressive 430 horses and 570 pound-feet of torque. Bottom line, the powertrain gains 30 hp and 70 lbs. of torque compared to the standard EcoBoost 3.5-liter.

For 2021, Ford has upgraded the F-150 in terms of interior execution and materials, particularly on lower-level trims. Of special note is the Interior Work Surface.  With the truck in park, the shift lever can be stowed flat in the center console. This trick allows room for a fold-out work table that transforms the front row into a mobile office. The optional 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster is crisply rendered and easy to navigate. The standard 8.0-inch center touchscreen can be upgraded to a slick 12.0-inch unit. Both run Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment software, which is capable of wireless connectivity and over-the-air updates.

The big question I get when I talk about the F-150 Hybrid with friends is always about the gas mileage. Well, that little Japanese import that hit the market over 17 years ago got 50 MPG. The EPA suggests the F-150 Hybrid will return 24 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The base Ford Fusion 2.5-liter earned 24 mpg combined. That is just 4 miles per gallon better than the standard engine.  That is the same as a low-spec F-150 Power Stroke diesel, but that engine costs $500 more than the PowerBoost option ($4,995 versus $4,495 on XL; $3,800 versus $3,500 on a Lariat), and diesel fuel is running about $0.31 per gallon more.

In regard to the price tag, the PowerBoost is available on SuperCrew versions of all F-150 trim grades. Prices for the hybrid and mobile generator tech range from $4,495 on XL and XLT, to $3,300 on Lariat, and $2,500 on King Ranch and up. That’s always $500 less than the Power Stroke diesel and $1,900 more than the gas-only 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6.  Get out your slide rule and calculator before you head to the dealer.

In my opinion, the Ford pickup trucks are the best looking in the business, but everybody is entitled to their opinion.  Inside the cabs, two doors or four doors, they are the roomiest and most efficiently laid out in the market. Good looks and built to work hard.

If you are in the mood for a new office for the road, stop by your Ford dealer and check out the new line of F-150s, especially the Hybrid.