Hybrid Trucks: The History and Future of the Hybrid Pickup Truck

Where Are All the Hybrid Trucks?

Hybrid cars and SUVs have become increasingly popular in the past few years and their popularity is likely to increase in the years to come. Hybrid cars have an electric motor and a gasoline motor, along with a battery, used to move a vehicle from one place to another. This saves on fuel costs because hybrid cars and SUVs have increased fuel efficiency because of the dual system. Some hybrid models get above 50 mpg which can save a lot of money for people with a long commute. This increased fuel efficiency also results in decreased emissions which is a win for the environment.

With hybrid cars and SUVs on the rise, why has there not been an increase in hybrid trucks? Pickup trucks are a very popular vehicle for many families because not only can they comfortably fit several people, they also offer a lot of towing capacity and the ability to fit a lot of stuff in the beds of the pickup. It would seem like a no brainer to increase the fuel efficiency of a vehicle that traditionally has not gotten great gas mileage. Why, then, are there not more showroom floors filled with trucks that utilize this hybrid technology?

History of the Hybrid Pickup Truck

In 2005 Chevrolet introduced their first full size hybrid pickup truck, the Silverado 1500 Hybrid Crew Cab.  GMC also started selling it’s twin vehicle, the GMC Sierra Hybrid. The crew cab version makes for a great family vehicle because it’s a pickup truck with 4 doors and a full second row of seats that can comfortably seat 3 children or adults.

The Silverado 1500 Hybrid was produced from 2005 until 2013 when it was discontinued. It’s got a 6.0 liter V8 engine and gets 20 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. This is a big improvement over the non-hybrid Silverado of the same year which gets only 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway.

Although the hybrid version gets much better gas mileage, it also retails at a much higher price. The MSRP of the hybrid was $42,130 while the non-hybrid model is $32,710 according to Edmunds.com. That’s nearly $10,000 more for the hybrid version.

The truck was discontinued in 2013, presumably because of a lack of demand.

In addition to the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid, Dodge also had plans to introduce to the public a hybrid version of its popular Ram truck, but the company kept delaying its production until Dodge ultimately gave up on the idea altogether.

What Does the Future Hold For Hybrids?

Volkswagen JettaNeither Dodge nor Chevrolet currently has any plans to release another hybrid pickup truck.  It seems that people who buy large trucks aren’t as interested in fuel efficiency or willing to pay the extra money for a hybrid vehicle given the big difference in price.  It’s also not a demographic known for being overly concerned about global warming or saving the environment, so unless a strong financial incentive exists – like really high gas prices so the increased price for the hybrid is justified, it’s unlikely these companies will try selling more of the hybrid vehicles.

There have, however, been recent reports that Ford is currently developing a hybrid version of its popular F-150 model. According to the company, a hybrid F-150 could be on the market by 2020. Ford has not released many details aside from the hopeful release date of 2020, but given that the company’s overall hybrid program is much stronger than Chevrolet or Dodge, Ford might be able to successfully introduce a hybrid truck that can succeed.

It’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing any new trucks that have hybrid technology on the market anytime soon since the only car company that seems to be working on it at this point is Ford and both Chevrolet and Dodge have tried and more or less failed.

Options For Getting a Pickup Truck that is a Hybrid

Although it could be a few years, the first option you have is to wait and hope that more full size pickup trucks start being offered in a hybrid option. The second option you have is to purchase a used Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid or GMC Sierra Hybrid.

The Silverado 1500 Hybrid was produced between 2005 and 2013 which is 8 years in total. Considering that the truck didn’t sell that well (and the reason it was discontinued) it might be difficult to find a used one, but by doing some research and searching the internet you should be able to locate one if you’re really determined.

Click here for a good website to search for used vehicles. If you don’t want to locate one yourself, most dealers can probably locate a used one for you.

I hope you have found this article helpful in learning more about hybrid trucks. None of the big car companies have been able to produce successful models of pickup trucks that also happen to be a hybrid to date, but it’s possible that Ford or one of the other companies will be able to in the not so distant future. I don’t think we’ve seen the end of hybrid technologies being utilized in pickup trucks.

Click here for my review of 8 passenger SUV’s. I covered the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid in it!