When two industry leaders shake hands, you know the outcome of the agreement is going to be pretty spectacular. So, when Azure Dynamics – which develops and produces hybrid electric and electric components and powertrain systems for commercial vehicles – and Ford shook on it, the result was that Azure would integrate its proprietary plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology in the market-leading F-Series Super Duty® lineup.
This will start with the F-550 Super Duty cab and chassis, and is expected to be available in early 2013, although Azure will also perform hybrid powertrain conversions on other Super Duty platforms, including the F-350 and F-450, spanning all engine, frame length and regular production options and configurations. As you might imagine, the Super Duty has loads of loyal customers, many of whom are already pretty stoked about the performance benefits associated with the new PHEV option.
“As interest in alternative energy products continues to grow, consumers are looking for more powertrain options that are both environmentally friendly and fit their driving needs,” said Rob Stevens, Commercial Vehicle Chief Engineer for Ford Motor Company. “The flexibility of our vehicle platforms and chassis allows Ford to develop our own alternative fuel products or work with partners, like Azure Dynamics, to deliver consumers with the power of choice when purchasing a greener, more fuel efficient vehicle.”
With more than a 50 percent market share, the Ford F-Series Super Duty is the most established cab and chassis brand in the North American market. The commercial cab and chassis industry supports approximately 100,000 vehicles per year and is the preferred active work-truck for thousands of commercial fleets managing a broad range of logistical needs. The Super Duty offers several diesel and gasoline engine options and a variety of cab, bed and accessories options. Interest in fuel-efficient cab and chassis alternatives has never been greater due to rising and unpredictable fuel costs.