In September, the Washington Department of Transportation (DOT) became the first state agency in Washington to purchase a plug-in hybrid-electric work truck.
The new Ford XL F-150 light-duty truck will be used in all areas around the state including maintenance, construction, and project engineering. The Washington DOT expects to achieve 21 mpg with the new truck – a 50% increase in mpg compared to a traditional work truck – with no additional maintenance requirements.
Also, because it's a hybrid, the truck can be dispatched anywhere in the state with no range concerns and plugged in to charge at its work location. The battery pack assists acceleration for the first 90 miles of travel and then switches to battery regeneration for the rest of the route.
The plug-in hybrid system from XL includes a 15-kWh liquid-cooled lithium ion battery pack housed in the truck bed as well as two cooling radiators and electric traction motor added to the rear driveshaft. The F-150 has a 3.3L V-6 and 6-speed transmission with auto stop-start and regenerative braking. It can be charged using a standard J1772 charging port for Level 1 or Level 2 charging.
With a standard light-duty truck cost of $29,912 plus the additional cost for the hybrid features of $23,000, the agency estimates based on the 50% improvement in fuel efficiency a payback period for the hybrid option of eight years. The typical agency lifespan for this type of truck is 12 years.
In addition to the hybrid-electric truck the agency operates:
- 45 Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (Chevrolet Volts) (PHEVs).
- 20 all-electric vehicles (Chevrolet Bolts) (EVs).
- 100 hybrids.