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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I saw an article yesterday on my phone which I won't bother to track down, because it really didn't have much information. But it did raise an interesting question. Which would be a better tow vehicle, a hybrid F-150 or one of the half tons with a 3.0 diesel? The hybrid should provide some significant additional torque for the standard gasser, at least for short term acceleration situations. Set up properly it could also provide regenerative braking for downhill (although I would question why a gas turbo engine couldn't also have exhaust brakes like a turbo diesel). I would question what would happen towing up a pass.

It will be interesting to see some actual comparison towing tests.

Oh, and the hybrid's battery could provide additional power for the trailer while camping without shore power!

Finally, you could probably have a similar discussion about off-road diesels, but that's a discussion I wouldn't have anything to add to.
 

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I saw an article yesterday on my phone which I won't bother to track down, because it really didn't have much information. But it did raise an interesting question. Which would be a better tow vehicle, a hybrid F-150 or one of the half tons with a 3.0 diesel? The hybrid should provide some significant additional torque for the standard gasser, at least for short term acceleration situations. Set up properly it could also provide regenerative braking for downhill (although I would question why a gas turbo engine couldn't also have exhaust brakes like a turbo diesel). I would question what would happen towing up a pass.
First off, you can apply hybridization to either a gas or diesel powertrain. But the diesel would be challenged to carry the higher engine cost, plus the cost of hybidization. This is always the challenge with a hybrid, you are carrying and paying for two systems. It's all additive.

Most hybrid systems are useful in city driving but would be of very limited help in towing on interstate highways. It's a question of battery capacity. Hybrids usually have small batteries (compared to full BEV). Just enough to get the car up to speed from a light, or recoup energy from a single stop or so. They help city driving mpg. But on long highway drives hybrids have almost no effect. The system is largely off line.

To have a useful impact on a long highway grade the battery would need to provide and then absorb a huge amount of energy. You could make the battery bigger (like a BEV) but then it is a heavy and expensive battery. Basically, flat land crusing has not boost or recovery options, and mountain cruising is too much energy. Hybrids are thus left to just help city / stop and go situations.
 

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Here is a good example: The new F150 hybrid has a 35 kW motor, and a 1.5 kW-hr battery. So on a long hill, the hybrid system can give the powertrain a 35 kW (47 hp) boost, but it can only do that for about 2.5 minutes. This might help on rolling hills but it will not provide a meaningful boost or recovery in mountains.

Also in terms of using the hybrid for braking, it cannot replace an alternative form of braking. What happens if you enter a long downgrade with a full state of charge on the battery? In this situation, you would have no engine brake.
 

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For the city dwellers the hybrid is fine I suppose, but I don't see any comparison to a diesel for towing, especially here B.C, where there really is no flat or straight roads no matter where you go.
If I lived in a city I would go full electric car and motorcycle.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here is a good example: The new F150 hybrid has a 35 kW motor, and a 1.5 kW-hr battery. So on a long hill, the hybrid system can give the powertrain a 35 kW (47 hp) boost, but it can only do that for about 2.5 minutes. This might help on rolling hills but it will not provide a meaningful boost or recovery in mountains.
Thanks for looking that up. I didn't, and didn't realized it was so tiny. That would though still help with freeway on-ramps, etc. It would though also significantly limit my thought of campground power. Of course a larger battery would me lower payload and towing capacity, but that's a tradeoff I would make.

But as to the exhaust brake comment, I was assuming most big downhills are after long uphill climbs. But if the system were really smart it would drain the battery/save gas by using GPS positioning before a long downhilll that doesn't have a prior uphill (e.g. I-90 eastbound by the Columbia River Gorge).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
For the city dwellers the hybrid is fine I suppose, but I don't see any comparison to a diesel for towing, especially here B.C, where there really is no flat or straight roads no matter where you go.
??? The point was to aid power in acceleration and hill climbs. Those sound like exactly the situations where it could help.

A hybrid system would do little good towing flat at steady speeds over 60.
 

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For the city dwellers the hybrid is fine I suppose, but I don't see any comparison to a diesel for towing, especially here B.C, where there really is no flat or straight roads no matter where you go.
If I lived in a city I would go full electric car and motorcycle.
For a multi-car family (like mine) an excellent approach right now is one conventional powertrain for long trips / towing etc. and one BEV for commuting. Something like a Colorado and a Bolt (using GM vehicles as examples).
 

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Thanks for looking that up. I didn't, and didn't realized it was so tiny. That would though still help with freeway on-ramps, etc. It would though also significantly limit my thought of campground power. Of course a larger battery would me lower payload and towing capacity, but that's a tradeoff I would make.
Hybrids are best at city driving. They offer some additional benefit in mixed rolling hill situations as well where the pull and descents are within the battery capacity. They offer no advantage at all on long, flat drives or in mountains. The former because there are no boost and recovery modes to use, and the latter because the boost and recovery phases are too long for the battery capacity.

But as to the exhaust brake comment, I was assuming most big downhills are after long uphill climbs. But if the system were really smart it would drain the battery/save gas by using GPS positioning before a long downhilll that doesn't have a prior uphill (e.g. I-90 eastbound by the Columbia River Gorge).
Is this brake nice to have, or a required safety feature? Because if I require it, then I need some way to ensure I always have room in the battery before I descend any grade. Maybe I'm biased because I work on HD commercial vehicles, but we can't have a message pop up on the dash "Sorry, battery full. Braking disengaged." halfway down the mountain.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hybrids are best at city driving. They offer some additional benefit in mixed rolling hill situations as well where the pull and descents are within the battery capacity. They offer no advantage at all on long, flat drives or in mountains. The former because there are no boost and recovery modes to use, and the latter because the boost and recovery phases are too long for the battery capacity.
But an F-150 isn't a typicaly hybrid, so it would be programmed differently. I wouldn't assume it would go full electric much, if at all. As I recall the first hybrid SUVs didn't improve MPG much at all, but were to serve some other purpose I don't remember.

Is this brake nice to have, or a required safety feature? Because if I require it, then I need some way to ensure I always have room in the battery before I descend any grade. Maybe I'm biased because I work on HD commercial vehicles, but we can't have a message pop up on the dash "Sorry, battery full. Braking disengaged." halfway down the mountain.
A little of both. Obviously you can go down a hill with a trailer behind in both a V6 and Duramax Colorado, but it's a bit nicer in a Duramax. Some EVs have regenerative braking--not sure how they transition when the battery fills up.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For a multi-car family (like mine) an excellent approach right now is one conventional powertrain for long trips / towing etc. and one BEV for commuting. Something like a Colorado and a Bolt (using GM vehicles as examples).
We almost bought a Bolt instead of the wife's Subaru. She wanted something with just a bit more cargo room, and didn't really like the Bolt styling much. If it were me making the decision alone we would have bought the Bolt. I wish Subaru would have at least offered a plug-in Hybrid back then.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This article confirms the 1.5KW battery size, but also mentions that there's 7,200 watts of power available at the bed. That would be a very inefficient way to charge trailer batteries, but in a pinch it could run the A/C (also very inefficiently). It would be a quieter way of running a microwave, but then you'd have the cold engine issues addressed in the other thread today.


I wonder if someone will start offering auxiliary batteries that lay in the bed for people willing to accept the weight tradeoff?
 

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But an F-150 isn't a typicaly hybrid, so it would be programmed differently. I wouldn't assume it would go full electric much, if at all. As I recall the first hybrid SUVs didn't improve MPG much at all, but were to serve some other purpose I don't remember.
The F150 only has a 35 kW motor, so I imagine it is always a parallel system, never series (meaning, the emotor is always just helping the gas engine, not driving the truck by itself. Or, it drives the truck 0-5 mph from every light etc. You get the idea.

A little of both. Obviously you can go down a hill with a trailer behind in both a V6 and Duramax Colorado, but it's a bit nicer in a Duramax. Some EVs have regenerative braking--not sure how they transition when the battery fills up.
Gas engines provide engine braking already via their throttle. Diesels usually get additional brake approaches because as-is, they provide almost no braking force. They just free wheel at will.

When BEV batteries are full, they brake with the regular foundation brakes. They basically revert to normal as they have a regular braking system.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I was just
The F150 only has a 35 kW motor, so I imagine it is always a parallel system, never series (meaning, the emotor is always just helping the gas engine, not driving the truck by itself. Or, it drives the truck 0-5 mph from every light etc. You get the idea.
Yes, that's why I was saying their design is different than a typical hybrid (e.g. Prius). It's closer to the system on the Ram trucks, but with I believe more power/battery. Need to check the stats on that.

Gas engines provide engine braking already via their throttle. Diesels usually get additional brake approaches because as-is, they provide almost no braking force. They just free wheel at will.
Diesels have throttle plates now for the EGR systems I believe. Even with the exhaust brake off my truck never just freewheels. But check out the IKE Gauntlet test of the Colorado/Canyon Gasser/Duramax downhill. The exhaust brake made a big difference. From memory about 8 brake applications.
 

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Diesels have throttle plates now for the EGR systems I believe. Even with the exhaust brake off my truck never just freewheels. But check out the IKE Gauntlet test of the Colorado/Canyon Gasser/Duramax downhill. The exhaust brake made a big difference. From memory about 8 brake applications.
Do they really close the throttle plate for anything other than a regen? Used to be diesel ring kits were different from gas, and pulling a vacuum like that over the long haul would make a diesel consume a ton of oil. But maybe they had to go to more gas-like rings for the amount they regen anyway, so why not?

I'm a HD diesel engineer, so I'm not 100% on the strategies that passcar guys are using. They have challenges in the emissions world because they have to put the SCR in front of the DPF, which is not ideal. So who knows what problems and solutions that has driven?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was just checking out the configuration on Ford's site. The hybrid requires the crew cab (adds about $9,000 to cost over regular cab), includes a 2,400 watt power source in the bed (the 7,200 is optional), but doesn't allow the 36 gallon fuel tank, and configured for towing has a list price of over $50,000 but still has steel wheels! :rolleyes:

And here's the bizzare stuff. The hybrid is about $500 less than the diesel option, but requires a $1,000 towing package which if you didn't want that puts it $500 over the diesel. But the diesel requires a 4x4 option, which if you didn't want that would make it over twice as expensive.

I really don't think this is going to be the version that gets me away from diesel, but I could see a configuration that would.
 

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You're back to my original point, which is that hybrid stuff is expensive, and diesels are expensive, and both together cost too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Do they really close the throttle plate for anything other than a regen? Used to be diesel ring kits were different from gas, and pulling a vacuum like that over the long haul would make a diesel consume a ton of oil. But maybe they had to go to more gas-like rings for the amount they regen anyway, so why not?
I'm not even sure they close it for regen, but when I've monitored the throttle plate the times it closes seems unpredictable, or at least I didn't notice a pattern. It's been a while, but either a slight throttle tap or brake press (I forget which) could close the throttle plate.
 

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I'm not even sure they close it for regen, but when I've monitored the throttle plate the times it closes seems unpredictable, or at least I didn't notice a pattern. It's been a while, but either a slight throttle tap or brake press (I forget which) could close the throttle plate.
Before the additions of SCR and DPF, diesel engines did not have throttles. Their use is generally to reduce the air:fuel ratio at light load in order to increase exhaust temperature. This is done to either get/sustiain the SCR function, or generate heat so the DPF can be regenerated (means, burn of the soot in a direct O2 oxidation reaction).

A throttle can also be used for a few other things:
1) Reduce intake manifold pressure to increase EGR transport in engine ranges where that is difficult.
2) Braking, provided the cylinder kits are designed for sustained operation below atmospheric pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm going to change something I said. With the 3.5 turbo I'm not sure you'd need much help just going steady speed up a hill unless maybe you're pulling more weight than what I'd want to pull with a half ton, so the issue would be more an aid in acceleration, including if you were slowed by a truck going up a hill. So maybe the battery would be sufficient for that.

Still though, I'd want the larger fuel tank. So no.
 

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Most of these trucks have plenty of power for towing, the hybrid supplements to reduce engine demand and reduce fuel consumption. Given the hybrid power will not always be available, and certainly not for long duration situations, I can't see it as increasing actual tow capacity.

In the real world with specifics, the cost and some other details like loss of the 36 gal tank on the F150 would kill the idea for me. I doubt the technology would ever really pay for itself, and it isn't going to make the truck more capable in the end because the battery state can dictate the performance.
 
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