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3 Crucial Reasons to Avoid Hybrid Trucks

3 Crucial Reasons to Avoid Hybrid Trucks

Rising fuel costs are causing many to consider hybrid trucks while shopping for their next vehicle. These clean energy trucks are gaining popularity as many vehicle owners strive to minimize their impact on the environment.

However, you should consider a few things before signing on the dotted line for one of these shiny and expensive trucks. 

Today, we’re making our case against hybrid trucks and why they might not be worth it. Let’s get started.

What Is a Hybrid Truck?

A hybrid truck, much like any hybrid vehicle, uses an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. The internal combustion engine runs off gasoline, while the electric motor runs off energy stored in the vehicle’s battery bank. The vehicle can smoothly switch between gas and electric modes as needed.

Don’t confuse hybrid trucks with fully electric vehicles.

A hybrid vehicle does not require you to plug in to charge the battery. The battery bank typically charges through regenerative braking and the vehicle’s internal combustion engine. Several manufacturers are embracing this technology and including it in their vehicles.

Who Makes a Hybrid Truck?

You can find hybrid trucks from most of the major truck manufacturers. Ford, Toyota, Ram, and Chevrolet are some names you’ll likely recognize and are making hybrid trucks. As demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles continues to rise, the coming years will likely be an intense battle between manufacturers.

This will be another key area where they will fight for the top spot.

White RAM truck parked under palm trees.
Don’t stress about having to charge your battery with a hybrid truck.

What Are the Disadvantages of Hybrid Trucks?

Manufacturers spend millions to highlight the benefits of why you should choose their vehicles. It’s easy to get caught up in flashy marketing that you don’t consider the negative side of things. Let’s take a look at a few things you should consider.

1. Costs

Hybrid vehicles are expensive, so it shouldn’t surprise consumers that hybrid trucks come with a steeper price tag. However, the price tag isn’t the only more expensive thing. Hybrid vehicles typically cost more to maintain, and some insurance companies charge more to insure them. 

Higher insurance costs are largely because those choosing a hybrid vehicle typically do so because they’re traveling many miles. So while you may be saving money on fuel, these added costs will quickly chip away at that fuel savings.

2. Towing Capacity

Can you tow with a hybrid truck? Absolutely. However, only a handful of hybrid trucks can pull over 10,000 pounds. You’ll want to be mindful of the weight of anything you’re hitching up to tow with your truck. Exceeding the towing capacity on hybrid trucks isn’t all that difficult.

Pro Tip: Know before you tow! Make sure not to make any of these 7 Common Towing Capacity Mistakes.

3. Maintenance

There’s not much difference between routine maintenance costs of a hybrid and a gas vehicle. However, there is one important maintenance difference.

The heart of a hybrid system is its battery pack. Manufacturers must warranty these battery packs for eight years or 100,000 miles. If your hybrid’s battery pack fails after your warranty expires, it can cost you thousands.

Woman driving red hybrid truck
Cruise down the open road in a hybrid truck.

What Are the Benefits of Hybrid Trucks?

There are some great things to consider when it comes to hybrid trucks. As technologies improve, we expect they will only get better.

Fuel Efficiency

Hybrid trucks get to enjoy the benefits of the electric motor. Being able to switch back and forth when necessary gives these trucks an increase in fuel efficiency. The 2022 Ford Maverick can achieve an astonishing 42 mpg in the city, outperforming the 2022 Honda Civic gasoline engine.

With this type of fuel efficiency, it’s easy to see why many drivers are considering hybrid trucks. That’s especially with gas prices these days.

Purchase Incentives

Some tax credits and purchase incentives can help make it easier to purchase a hybrid truck. Incentives can save thousands of dollars simply by choosing a hybrid vehicle.

However, you must ask about any current purchase incentives based on your location and the specific vehicle. These incentives can change or expire or may only be available for a certain amount of vehicles.

Red RAM truck parked on grass.
Save at the pump with a hybrid truck.

How Long Do Hybrid Batteries Last?

Many hybrid owners get between 100,000 miles to 200,000 miles on their vehicle’s battery pack.

However, car manufacturers in the U.S. must warranty their battery packs for a minimum of eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. As car manufacturers develop technologies, some extend warranties to 10 years or 150,000 miles.

Is Hybrid Worth It for Highway Driving?

By design, hybrids shine the most during city driving. They perform the best when kept under 50 mph, typically too slow for most highway driving situations. If you do most of your driving on highways, you’ll still get relatively decent mileage. However, it won’t be nearly as efficient as when driving in city conditions. 

Depending on the price difference between the gas and hybrid models, your fuel savings can take a significant amount of time to offset the increased costs. Before you spend a chunk of money on a hybrid, make sure it’s worth it for your specific driving situation.

Pro Tip: Would you rather drive an SUV instead of a truck? Check out these 5 Best Hybrid SUVs for Camping Trips.

Are Hybrids More Expensive to Maintain?

When it comes to routine maintenance, it’s typically the same as a standard gas vehicle. The regenerative braking system massively extends the life of your brakes and leads to fewer issues with them.

However, if your vehicle is outside of its warranty and your hybrid’s battery pack dies, it can lead to a hefty bill. These repairs can cost several thousand dollars but are infrequent and pretty rare.

Is a Hybrid Truck Worth It?

Depending on what you’re going to need in a truck, a hybrid truck might be a great choice. You’re not likely going to be towing a massive fifth wheel with one.

But, they can accomplish a majority of the tasks most people require out of a truck. You’ll enjoy the benefits of saving at the pump. You can also drive knowing you’re minimizing your impact on the environment.

Are you considering a hybrid truck for your next purchase? Tell us in the comments!

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MattR

Saturday 2nd of April 2022

Just wow! What a slanted headline.

Ask the people in Texas who powered their homes during the freeze about avoiding hybrid trucks. The F-150 with 7.5 kW of on board electric generation can save the cost of a job site generator. No, they aren't for everyone, but for most the cost of ownership is better over the life of the vehicle.

There are always battery pack replacement scares in articles like this, but packs are lasting longer than feared.

David B Bayless

Friday 1st of April 2022

I have been thinking of buying the Ford F150 Hybrid with the 7.2 Kw generator in the truck bed to power a Camper while boondocking or parking in tent or primitive camping instead of using an electric campsite. While it gets decent gas mileage in town or on the highway averages around 22 to 24 mpg. I have heard it gets appalling gas mileage when towing a Travel Trailer or heavy loads even less gas mileage than a comparable gas or diesel engine truck. The Maverick Truck you mention while getting great gas mileage has very limited towing capacity as do many Hybrid SUVs. Interesting is the Toyota Rav4 Prime, can run 40 miles on the electric motor alone, or run Hybrid for great gas mileage, has up to 302 horsepower but can only tow 2500 pounds and there is a waiting list to get one. I hope to see more powerful Hybrid/gas/electric motors in the future that can tow up to 10000 pounds and still get great gas mileage.

Doug VanPelt

Friday 1st of April 2022

FWIW: I have a 2021 Ford F150 Hybrid, with a tow package. It has a towing capacity of 12,700#. It is used primarily for towing our camp trailer, which admittedly on the smaller/lighter side than many, at about 5K#. It tows the trailer which absolute ease. RE: purchase price- yes there is a premium for getting a hybrid. However, by choosing a base trim model and only adding practical options, I paid much less than I would have if I'd chosen higher level trim/convenience options (by far). My truck has no 'gee-whiz' options, not even carpet or vanity mirrors, but it has a high level of practicality. It still has more tech options than I'll ever figure out or probably use. I definitely like being able to 'talk to it' and tell it to send or take phone calls, look up directions, and select music. It's fancy enough for me. One could easily spend another $20K on luxury/ego options while the hybrid option added $4.5K. It's all a matter of choice. RE: mileage- this truck is rated 24/24, and that is attainable. Pretty darn good for a 4x4 fourdoor full size pickup. It can operate on low load conditions entirely on the battery (much care must be taken to be easy on the accelerator). This means level ground, not a lot of stop and go, and not towing. When doing anything else than this, the hybrid feature does not engage much. I have gotten as much as 26.5 mpg (not towing, level ground, 55 mph max, light foot) and it has done 50-55 mph on full electric mode for short distances. But do note that you won't pay for the hybrid system by increased mileage, in most cases. When towing our mileage is really not much, if any, better than a non-hybrid model. RE: other reasons to consider: this truck, by using the electric motor and battery as an electrical generator and power storage option, has a 7.4 kW generator. The truck at idle and low RPM's is very quiet, almost undetectable at any distance. So, no need for a noisy, expensive, and polluting portable genset. You can run a fairly good sized jobsite, or anything requiring electrical power. You can keep the essentials in your home running during a power outage. This is where the hybrid option really shines IMHO. I haven't owned it long enough to comment on the maintenance costs, but if the experiences of friends who've had regular F150's is any example, it doesn't worry me at all. So far, so good. We usually keep our vehicles for about 8 years or more. Who knows what the situation will be like that far in the future. Right now, I'm satisfied and have no regrets.

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