By Stephen Markley on July 22, 2008
Don't dance on the grave of big trucks and SUVs just yet.
Raser Technologies announced that it's partnering with Pacific Gas & Electric to build a plug-in hybrid pickup truck. The vehicle will run for 40 miles on a single charge, then its gas engine will take it another 300 miles. The press release bandies about the words "100 mpg" but we fail to see how the math adds up on that claim (unless the tank holds less than three gallons of gas).
Still, a pickup that can run on electricity alone might at least shine a light in the darkness of the future of large vehicles.
The companies would prefer to use the technology in already-established brands like Ford's F-150, but in the short term the cost of the drivetrain will be expensive enough that it will look to corporate and government fleets for initial customers. The companies also gave no details about hauling or towing capabilities, which are obviously important to truck buyers.
The real question is how long it will take for the technology to become affordable enough to draw in consumers — or when gas will become expensive enough to justify the higher price tag.
100 MPG Plug-In Hybrid Pickup in the Works (PickupTrucks.com)