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The Electric F-150: Features, Impact and Serviceability

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Oct. 20, 2020—It started with a publicity stunt. An all-electric Ford F-150 prototype pulled a line of train cars weighing a total of more than a million pounds.

Due to scientific principles like the coefficient of rolling resistance, this didn’t mean that an electric F-150 would have a towing capacity of 1.2 million pounds. But it was a successful event in that it turned heads—mostly because the world got a look at an all-electric version of the most popular pickup.

You’ve read previously in ADAPT that OEs are coming around to marrying consumer tastes with the electric future of transportation. Based on current standards, that means more SUVs and trucks for the North American market. There are lots of exciting startup EV truck-makers out there, from Tesla to Rivian to Lordstown and more. But the big OE players are no doubt going to make a big splash in this segment (EV Hummer?), and the F-150 could very well lead the pack in the electric world.

 

Introducing…

The most recent reports say that the all-electric F-150 will go into production in 2022, but it’s unclear if sales will begin that year. It will be preceded by a model with a hybrid powertrain that incorporates a 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6.

The EV version will be powered by two electric motors, and Ford says that the model will require much less maintenance than previous iterations.

MotorTrend reported back in January that it expects at least a range of 200 miles, though keep in mind that hauling can drastically reduce range.

It was hard enough getting truck buyers to transition out of the V8 world. When going to an EV, Ford knew that it had to offer powertrain numbers. According to Car and Driver, that’s what buyers will get. The EV F-150 could have more horsepower, torque and faster acceleration than any preceding F-150.

One neat feature will be the ability for owners to use the truck as a mobile power generator, according to The Verge. That could come in handy for a variety of situations.

 

Best-Selling EVs?

Not too long ago, reducing fuel consumption or going electric meant purchasing a small, rounded car. But the 2010s saw automakers find a way to make EVs appealing to wider audiences. From Tesla’s big splash to the massive statement that Ford made by using the Mustang nameplate for a sporty EV model.

A story in The New York Times in May took the long view of this trend, noting that while automakers have come a long way in EV development, there still hasn’t been a model that was a bonafide sales success. That’s not for lack of trying (or investment), but the profit model hasn’t been proven yet.

“To say, ‘We’ve made a full E.V. truck, and we’re actually making money on it,’ will be quite an accomplishment,” Cox Automotive executive publisher Karl Brauer told The Times.

Ford is putting $700 million into a production facility that will make the EV F-150, and that’s a big indication of intent for Ford and others. Pickups are big money makers for OEs, and they’re placing bets on that continuing in the EV future—whether consumers are ready or not.

One last feature: the introductory cost. There aren’t close estimates at this time, but everyone expects that buyers will shell out a hefty fee to bring home a first-generation EV F-150.

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