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Ford teams with Azure for hybrid F-Series Super Duty trucks

Thu, 28 Jul 2011

Ford Motor Co., moving to expand its hybrid truck lineup, has signed a deal with Azure Dynamics Corp. to put plug-in hybrid powertrains in F-Series Super Duty trucks.

Azure will retrofit the F-350, F-450 and F-550 trucks with its hybrid-electric drive trains. The F-550 will be the first to feature the technology, early in 2013, Azure said.

The electrified trucks will be aimed at fleet and commercial customers.

The F-Series Super Duty accounts for about half of the 100,000 commercial cab and chassis produced and sold annually in the United States.

Azure and Ford have not determined how much fuel economy will be enhanced with the hybrid powertrain. The mild-hybrid technology will be offered first on gasoline-powered trucks and later on diesel-powered vehicles.

"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," Rob Stevens, Ford's commercial vehicle chief engineer, said in a statement.

The Super Duty deal is the third agreement between Ford and Azure, which is based in a Detroit suburb. The two companies previously teamed up to manufacture the Transit Connect Electric and the 450 Balance Hybrid Electric Step Van and Shuttle Bus.

By Joseph Lichterman- Automotive News