Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies has launched a new line of hybrid vehicles, with the flagship being a plug-in hybrid version of the Ford F-150 pickup truck, the top selling vehicle in North America . Although it’s only available to fleets, the hybrid pickup will maintain the capabilities of the conventional F-150, while achieving substantially higher fuel economy and producing dramatically reduced emissions.

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The PHEV F-150 uses Quantum’s new “F-Drive” hybrid system, which can be applied to either the rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive pickup and delivers a range of about 56 km (35 miles) on electricity alone before shifting to a hybrid mode. The total range before refuelling is estimated at about 644 km (400 miles).

The F-Drive has been integrated in the F-150 vehicle in such a way that there is no impingement into the cab or bed and it maintains full ground clearance. The 20 kW hour battery pack and assorted hybrid components are placed on the driver’s side of the truck between the driveshaft and outboard frame member, with the factory fuel tank and 150 kW generator located opposite it on the passenger side.

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We believe this vehicle fills an important niche for fleet customers desiring a largely electric pick-up truck with extended range capability,” said Alan Niedzwiecki, CEO Quantum Technologies. Quantum is perhaps best known for its work with Fisker on the Fisker Karma high-performance electric sports coupe.

Source: AutoNet.ca, by Joe Duarte, May the 7th, 2011