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Why Ford Is Developing an Electric F-150

The most-watched development happening in Pickup Land is how Ford will approach the impending electrification of everything vehicular. Its F-150 has been the best-selling truck for 42 years, so an electric F-150 must come. There is no way Ford will let anything get in the way of this massive moneymaking franchise.

While Tesla, Rivian, and others drip, drip, drip their way toward electric pickup production, Ford gets closer to its own hybrid electric truck offerings. So, when we caught Trucks interview with Ford’s Linda Zhang who is chief engineer of the F-150 pickup, we looked for any indication of what and when the electric pickup will be debuting.

Ford F-150 Customers Want Electric Trucks

Ford-Linda Zhang Head of F-150 Development | Ford
Ford-Linda Zhang Head of F-150 Development | Ford

Zhang says that Ford’s research shows customers want an electric pickup truck. She says Ford’s biggest challenge is to show those who might be leery that the truck is tough and can tow. There has been interest in the electric F-150 from fleet customers, too. 

Exportable Power With Hybrids

The hybrid version will have exportable power to run equipment outside of what’s contained in the truck. Hypothetically pumps, machines, and compressors onsite could be powered by the F-150. 

Its recent video of a prototype pickup pulling one-million pounds of double-decker rail cars would begin to put skepticism to rest. With the demonstration, Ford wanted to show the instant and substantial electric torque the electric motors have. Since it’s instant it will be great for towing.

While she was tight-lipped about when the electric F-150 will be available, other Ford execs have stated it will be before 2022, so there was nothing new. But she did say the hybrid would arrive next year. 

Will Electric F-150 Replace Traditional Trucks?

When asked if the electric F-150 would replace traditional trucks as we know them she indicated it will be just one of many truck products Ford will offer. “We have gas and diesel and will be bringing out the hybrid next year,” Zhang said. “We have such a broad range of products for our customers. This will be an addition to the F-Series lineup, but I don’t know if it will take its entire place.”

Ford F150 Electric Prototype-001
Ford F150 Electric Prototype | Ford

Ford was caught a bit off guard with the force of change to electric development for trucks. It always planned 2020 as the target for its hybrid truck, but the electrification got wedged into regular F-150 development. It was announced early this year.

F-150 Plans For 300-Mile Range

The plan is to electrify the F-150 with a 300-mile range, then run down through the rest of the product portfolio until virtually everything is electric. That will mean Bronco and Ranger, but Ford won’t confirm that rumor. 

While Tesla, Bollinger, and Rivian get closer to launching their electric trucks, Ford has invested heavily in Rivian to get a jumpstart off of Rivian’s advanced electric timeline. So, Ford is feeling the heat from the first two manufacturers, while Rivian is comfortably positioned for aid in Ford’s conquest of the electric highway soothsayers say is upon us.