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Toyota Tacoma Hybrid Never Going to Happen?

The truck market is a rather rapidly changing environment with competitors consistently playing follow the leader. When Ford and Toyota announced a hybrid partnership, we thought the Tacoma was a likely target for a hybrid model. However, GM canceled all their hybrids and Ford doesn’t seem to excited to offer a hybrid thanks to their EcoBoost success. What gives? Is a Toyota Tacoma Hybrid dead before it began?

Toyota Tacoma Hybrid Never

Is a Toyota Tacoma hybrid ever going to come to the market or is it just a pipe dream?

Hybrid technology in pickup trucks isn’t a brand new invention anymore. There are several full-size trucks that offer it including older models of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. It has been a hot commodity in smaller cars and has lawmakers passing all sorts of legislation calling for tax rebates to those who buy them. Many people see hybrids as the answer to all sorts of things like dependence on fossil fuels, real cost savings for consumers and better for the environment.

If it is such a good thing why don’t we see more hybrids on the road? Most hybrid trucks can be found in fleets. Why fleets? Frankly, the cost of hybrid is outrageous and fleet owners will see the long-term cost savings after rebates. The average consumer simply doesn’t own a hybrid long enough (7+ years) to finally realize the cost savings. For example, the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado hybrids had some of the highest MPG on the market – 20 mpg in the city. Yet, it also had a hefty price tag of $39,000 new ($7,000 more than a comparably equipped version).

That $7,000 is just for an upgrade from the manufacture. Via motors is touting the ability to upgrade your vehicle to a hybrid for the small cost of $80,000 (seriously!). Granted for that price you can drive your truck for 40 miles on battery power. However, that is a lot of dough.

What does that mean for compact trucks? It is hard to see consumers buying a stock Toyota Tacoma hybrid for $7,000 more than the non-hybrid. However, truck owners are different than other owners with many of them keeping their truck for longer periods of time. And there is a lot excitement about getting a compact truck to get over the 30+ mpg mark. Will that mean anything to Toyota or is a hybrid extremely unlikely? That remains to be seen.

Would you pay thousands more for a hybrid? Or are you waiting for a compact diesel?

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