On the outside, the 2021 F-150 may not look terribly different from the previous-gen pickup. But Ford’s best-selling truck, and arguably most important vehicle, has quite a few updates both inside and out. That includes a new hybrid powertrain. However, as impressive as that is, where’s the electric Ford F-150?
Does the 2021 Ford F-150 preview the electric truck model?
Ford hasn’t forgotten about the electric F-150. It’s still on the way, but it won’t be here until the 2022 model year, according to Automobile. And it’ll also be joined by an electric Ford Transit van. But if the 2021-model truck is already here, why the delay?
The likeliest reason is that Ford’s still finalizing aspects of its design and tech. The F-150 as a whole generates more revenue than McDonald’s or Starbucks, The Drive reports. A study commissioned by Ford also claims the truck supports “roughly half a million jobs,” Bloomberg reports. The electric Ford F-150 can’t afford to just be a ‘lifestyle vehicle.’
Also, it’s not just the electric Ford F-150 that’s arriving later than the ‘base’ truck. The new F-150 Raptor has also not been shown, despite Ford confirming it will be a 2021 model, Motor1 reports. Again, likely because some engineering and design decisions are still being finalized.
And some aspects of the 2021 F-150’s design do hint at the all-electric pickup truck model. For example, the hybrid model’s battery pack is mounted beneath its frame rails, Motor Trend reports, to maintain the bed and interior space. Recently-released patents also indicate the electric model’s additional batteries may be stored within the rails themselves.
Plus, to help improve fuel efficiency, the 2021 Ford F-150 comes with active aerodynamic elements, such as grille shutters. Although these features are effective for ICE trucks, they’re also great for improving EV range. And finally, like Tesla’s EVs, the 2021 F-150 supports over-the-air updates, The Drive reports.
Will the electric Ford F-150 fall behind the competition?
Ford isn’t the only company playing it safe with its upcoming electric truck. Rivian has been teasing its R1T for some time, but continuing to develop and test it along the way. However, that approach does carry some risk. Not necessarily for potential customers, but the company.
Lordstown Motors, for example, has already shown off its Endurance electric truck. Deliveries are expected to start in January 2021, Autoweek reports, and the first year of production is already sold-out. Admittedly, though, that’s only to commercial fleets, not private owners.
The upcoming GMC Hummer electric truck, though, is likely the bigger worry. It’s also expected to launch in late 2021 as a 2022 model, Car and Driver reports. While GM considers it to be a luxury vehicle, it will also feature more utilitarian and off-road features, like a removable roof.
Its estimated base price of $70,000 may seem out of the Ford F-150’s price bracket. However, Car and Driver reports the range-topping 2021 F-150 Limited will likely cost about the same. And CNBC reports the average 2021 F-150 buyer will likely pay at least $50,000 for their truck.
That being said, the electric Ford F-150 will likely beat the most-affordable versions of the Tesla Cybertruck to market. And the same goes for the Nikola Badger and possible electric Chevrolet Silverado.
What we still don’t know
Unfortunately, because Ford hasn’t released any details about the production-spec electric F-150 at this time, it’s difficult to directly compare it with the competition. Not just on specs, but on price, too.
But there is some solace to take from this. Ford clearly wants the electric F-150 to be well-received for it to spend this much time on the truck.
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