Ford devised 'mechanical bull on steroids' torture test for hybrid F-150 battery

Zac Palmer
·2 mins read

Ford wants you to know that its Hybrid PowerBoost F-150 is just as tough as its standard non-hybrid versions of the truck. We’d expect nothing less, but Ford just released a five-minute video detailing all of the various torture tests it subjects the F-150 family to. You can watch it above — it’s fairly educational and fun to watch, as manufacturer testing videos go.

The most intriguing part of the whole ordeal is Ford’s newly-developed torture test of the hybrid battery. Ford built a custom multi-axis bucking bronco rig for the battery to sit on. That rig uses hydraulic actuation to shake the living hell out of the battery. Ford says it’s able to accurately simulate the truck hitting harsh potholes and running over washboard roads with this rig. It also claims that 82 hours on this machine is the equivalent of 10 years on the road.

All the other tests for the hybrid powertrain are standard fare for the F-150 lineup. It’s taken to Davis Dam in the Mojave Desert for full towing capacity testing. Engineers go up and down the 11.4-mile, 3,500-foot slope pulling the 12,700-pound maximum capacity trailer to see if it can handle the steep climb combined with 100-plus-degree heat. 


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Off-road capability is judged in the Anza-Borrego Desert in Southern California. The F-150 is subjected to a number of off-road events including mountainous sand dunes, high-speed trails, mud walls, and slippery and jagged rocks. At home on Ford’s Proving Grounds, robots repeatedly drive it over man-made potholed and grooved roads too harsh for human testing.

Of course, Ford isn’t the only one who torture tests their trucks to the limit. Every manufacturer has its own set of tests to validate its engineering.

When it goes on sale this fall, the F-150 PowerBoost hybrid will make 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque. That makes it the torquiest F-150 in the lineup.

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