The F150 is undisputably the most successful vehicle in the history of automobiles. At its peak, Ford was selling an F150 every 34 seconds, which is nearly 930,000 trucks sold in one year. Unfortunately for Ford, escalating gas prices have nearly killed truck sales this year, leaving them with tens of thousands of unsold vehicles. Ford knows they have a goose that lays golden eggs, they just need to figure out how to capitalize on it given the current market conditions.
Enter PML Fightlink, a UK based electric-motor and drive technology firm. Ford teamed up with PML to produce this one-off concept Ford F150 for the 2008 SEMA show. They started with a base crew cab F150 and striped out the engine, fuel system, transmission, gearbox, drivetrain, differentials and fuel tank to make room for a 40 kilowatt battery.
That 40kw battery powers four electric Hi-Pa drive motors that are installed at each wheel, and each motor produces 150 horsepower and 150 ft-lbs of torque at any RPM. The stock 5.4-liter V8 motor produced a healthy 320 horsepower, but with the Hi-Pa drive system, this F150 is now has 600 horses and 600 ft-lbs of torque on tap. A built-in generator recaptures kinetic energy that would have been lost during braking. This system is reported to be even more efficient than similar systems installed on today’s hybrid vehicles.
There is no word yet on any compromises this vehicle may make, like estimated range before a recharge is needed or even how long a recharge takes, but one thing is for sure, this is a giant leap forward for EV technology in trucks. It may be several more years before we see Hi-Pa drive technology in road going vehicles, but I’m confident that this technology will be a paramount factor for trucks and SUV’s returning to the roads.