We have long speculated that a plug-in hybrid electric truck would make a lot of sense to bridge the gap between gasoline vehicles and the all-electric ones. But automakers have boldly tried to jump the river, making the leap from gas to electric without an in-between step. Until now. Ford Motor Co. just revealed the Ranger PHEV, and it looks really good on paper.
But there’s a caveat: It’s not slated to come to the United States.
Essentially, the Ford Ranger PHEV is the same as the next-gen Ranger we will get here in the U.S. It just happens to have 28 miles of all electric range as well. It will be equipped with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, which is the base engine for the global truck, mated to an electric motor.
Though Ford hasn’t released a lot of spec info yet, the one thing it did say is the Ranger PHEV is targeting a max towing capacity of 3,500 kilograms (7,716 pounds), which the global press release says is the same as the rest of the Ranger lineup. Looking at the U.S. specs, the max towing capacity is 7,500 pounds.
One of the best things about this Ranger PHEV: It will get Pro Power Onboard. Though Ford didn’t say which level of inverter it would get, we have to assume since it’s a plug-in hybrid, it will at least get 7.2 kW of output power. The U.S. gas-only model will have some power in the bed, but it doesn’t get the full-on Pro Power Onboard.
In addition to all the hybridy goodness, the Ranger PHEV will also get off-road capability, selectable drive modes and advanced driver safety features.
It’s slated to hit the European market in early 2025.
Short answer? I dunno.
Ford has the Escape PHEV in the U.S., but that vehicle is slated to be discontinued after the 2025 model year – to be replaced by an all-electric SUV. So, the question remains, will Ford stay bullish pushing its trucks completely into the EV space, or will it try to start easing people across the river with a PHEV?
While SUV and car buyers seem a little more amenable to make the leap directly to electric, truck owners are not. They tow and haul heavy things, and range in the nascent EV world isn’t enough for truck owners to do truck things easily.
So, it would make a lot of sense for Ford – and every other truck manufacturer – to consider the plug-in hybrid option in the U.S. We know the Ram Rev is coming with a range extending option, but we’re not sure what that means yet.
We’ll be following the Ford Ranger PHEV, so stay tuned. In the meantime, answer this: Would you be interested in a plug-in truck if it would give you the same payload and towing capabilities as a regular gas truck?