With the world fast moving to electrified mobility, both of Australia’s top selling vehicles – the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger – still offer no form of electrification. That’s about to change.
Ford has just taken the wraps off the all-new 2022 Ford Ranger, which sits on the third generation of its T6 global midsize truck architecture. The same bones will be shared with the all-new 2022 Ford Everest when it’s revealed next year.
“One of the things we did look into early on is where this platform is going to take us in general,” Ford T6 chief platform engineer, Ian Foston, told CarExpert.
“Platform lifecycle is anything up to 10 to 12 years. We said, well, clearly electrification is going to be something which we have to consider going forward,” Mr Foston said.
“So we made sure the platform was capable of it. And we engineered electrification into it, to make sure that all the different propulsion technologies would be able to fit within the platform going forward.”
While Mr Foston didn’t go into more detail, his comments echo a statement by a Ford Europe spokesperson who confirmed earlier this year the Ranger will be offered with plug-in hybrid technology by 2024 – around the time the it’s due for a mid-life facelift or minor specification change.
Both business and private customers are driving demand for electrified commercial vehicle options, according to Mr Foston.
“You know, we’ve certainly had business owners coming to us talking about all sorts of things, especially the fleet customers around: ‘What are you doing in electrification? What are you doing in, you know, hydrogen? What are you doing in lots of different alternate propulsion technologies?’,” he said.
“But we have got a lot of customers coming to us as well now, saying: ‘Are you going to electrify the platform or Ranger?’, because I think people are a lot more conscious now of the impact vehicles are having.
“Certainly, I would say many people have perhaps driven or owned an electric vehicle of some kind, maybe a passenger vehicle. And they’re wondering, when are commercial vehicles or pickup trucks are going to follow suit?”
Our predictions for the Ranger and Everest from May 2020 appear to have been bang on, based on the launch range of engines. We expect the plug-in hybrid version of Ranger and Everest to feature a new engine and motor combination yet to be launched in the Ford world.
Power and torque outputs are likely to be 270kW and 680Nm respectively, with a combined fuel economy of under 5 litres of fuel per 100km.
We understand Ford is considering a plug-in hybrid option above a regular hybrid to capitalise on a vision of true zero local emissions motoring. This is likely to go above and beyond what Toyota will offer with HiLux, which is expected to be a closed-circuit hybrid.