Beginning in 2013, Ford Super Duty F-550 cab and chassis trucks will be available with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology from Azure Dynamics. The deal reached between the two companies will also make Azure’s technology available on F-350 and F-450 vehicles through conversions.
The hybrid powertrain will span all engine, frame length, and regular production options and configurations, Azure said.
“We are extremely pleased to expand our relationship with Ford and launch our PHEV technology on the F-Series Super Duty platform, which is the largest and most successful cab and chassis brand in North America,” said Scott Harrison, Azure’s CEO. “This is an ideal outcome for Azure and our customers.”
Azure already has a relationship with Ford, producing the technology for the Transit Connect Electric, launched this year.
According to Azure, the Super Duty maintains a 50% market share, making this announcement a key entry point into the market for the company.
“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. “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.”
Azure had also previously worked with Ford on the Balance Hybrid Electric, a truck or shuttle vehicle built on an E-450 cutaway and strip chassis.
“The F-Series program aligns perfectly with our product development strategy," said Harrison. "We're able to focus on development and integration of our powertrain solutions and at the same time benefit from Ford's expertise in building ground-up vehicle platforms keeping Azure's capital costs in check.”