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Toyota, Ford Call It Quits on Joint Truck Hybrid System

Automakers going separate ways after completing two-year study.

by on Jul.24, 2013

Ford and Toyota decided not to pursue a joint hybrid system for trucks.

For Ford and Toyota it’s splitsville.

The two automakers have completed their feasibility study for collaboration on the development of a new hybrid system for light trucks and SUVs. The study was launched in August 2011.

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“As a result, Ford and Toyota have agreed to develop hybrid systems individually,” Toyota said in a statement.


Ford, Toyota Teaming up on Hybrid, Telematics Technology

Unusual collaboration aimed at high-efficiency trucks and SUVs.

by on Aug.22, 2011

Ford's Derrick Kuzak and Toyota's Takeshi Uchiyamada.

Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. are joining forces in a 50-50 partnership aimed at developing the next generation of hybrid technologies specifically to bolster the fuel efficiency of pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

The new partnership, a clear response to recent federal mandates requiring automakers to boost fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 was triggered by a chance meeting in an airport lobby.  As part of their new alliance, Toyota and Honda also plan to work together on advanced telematics systems that will pick up where today’s Ford Sync and Toyota Entune leave off.

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Toyota and Ford are already the world’s two leading manufacturers of hybrid vehicles, the Japanese maker’s Prius sedan accounting for roughly half the gas-electric vehicles sold worldwide.  But the challenge is to expand the technology to ensure that even the largest vehicles – like the Ford F-150 pickups and Toyota’s comparable Tunda truck – can deliver significantly better mileage.

“This agreement brings together the capability of two global leaders in hybrid vehicles and hybrid technology to develop a better solution more quickly and affordably for our customers,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development.


Azure Dynamics Lands Record Hybrid Truck Order

Purolator looks to alternative power for delivery fleet.

by on Jan.17, 2011

A Transit Connect Electric van under construction at Azure's suburban Detroit facility.

Azure Dynamics has landed a record order for hybrid delivery trucks from global shipping company Purolator, the start-up firm will announce later today.

While miniscule compared to the sales numbers of passenger car hybrids, like the Toyota Prius or Ford Escape Hybrid, the 600-unit order underscores the shift from conventional to alternative power beginning to sweep through the commercial vehicle market.

A senior official with Canadian-based Azure Dynamics estimate that, “on the conservative side,” hybrids could soon account for anywhere from 5% to 10% of the medium-duty truck market, or as much as 30,000 units in a healthy U.S. market.  And demand could grow substantially, forecasts CEO Scott Harrison, if fuel prices keep climbing.

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The Purolator order, which will be delivered over the next three years, represents “a significant turning point” for Azure Dynamics, one of the two major players in the commercial hybrid truck market.  The firm has been steadily narrowing the losses Harrison says are to be expected of a player in such an emerging market, one where start-up costs are substantial.

“We could come pretty close to cash flow breakeven this year,” Harrison said during an interview with


Heavy-Hauling Hybrids

ArvinMeritor diesel-electric hybrid Class 8 truck could yield huge fuel savings.

by on Aug.04, 2009

ArvinMeritor's diesel-hybrid truck could reduce fuel consumption by 15% - saving the typical trucker over 3,000 gallons of diesel annually.

ArvinMeritor's diesel-hybrid truck could reduce fuel consumption by 15% - saving the typical trucker over 3,000 gallons of diesel annually.

The popular Cash-for-Clunkers program has helped spotlight efforts to improve automotive fuel economy.  But that ignores what are quite literally the biggest gas guzzlers on the road: the nation’s fleet of heavy-duty trucks.

Typically in use 24/7, it’s common for a Class 8 truck to log more than 100,000 miles a year, and 6 miles per gallon is considered good fuel economy.  That could change, if the Detroit-based supplier ArvinMeritor can move from concept to production with a heavy-duty hybrid-electric truck cab it is developing.  The lithium ion-based system should reduce the typical trucks fuel consumption by 15 to 20%, company officials told U.S. Energy Secretary Carol Browner during a late Monday meeting.

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“Our estimate is that this configuration could save 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year,” the project’s director, Chad Mitts, later explained to

While Mitts declined to discuss the projected price of the Class 8 hybrid, he agreed that “a fair estimate” would be $25,000 to $40,000 above the typical $100,000 cost of a well-equipped truck cab with sleeper quarters.  At that price, he said a trucker or fleet owner could potential achieve “payback” within three years – in other words, the fuel savings would more than cover the added cost of the hybrid system.