60 mpg Ford F-150 Hydraulic Hybrid: Could It Be True?

Ford, the same company that has recently brought us the "It's not easy being green" Super Bowl ad and the "Midwest Ethanol Corridor," is reported to be waist-deep in developing a hydraulic hybrid system that would give their ubiquitous pickup F-150 400% increased gas efficiency. Wow. The hybrid system works similarly to the current gas-electric systems, replacing today's Nickel Metal Hydride battery storage by storing excess energy in hydraulic cylinders; this system claims almost triple the efficiency of the current battery setup. What does that mean for the F-150? Well, the standard F-150 has a curb weight of about 4800 lbs., which is 65% greater than theToyota Prius, yet the Hydraulic F-150 with a continuously variable transmission matches the Prius with 60mpg city rating, which works out to a 400% increase over its gasoline version. Again, according to this source, the Hydraulic F-150 is currently scheduled for launch in August of 2008. The hydraulic hybrid system was developed and patented by the EPA, and quietly made news late last year. The details are a little sketchy and the information isn't well coordinated; is all of this too good to be true? ::NewTechSpy via ::digg and ::Detroit News

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