Ford confirms all-electric truck, but it's unclear when it will arrive
Ford is the king of pickup truck sales, and it wants to stay that way. A big part of the plan is continued innovation, and on the heels of introducing a fully aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup for the current generation, the Blue Oval has confirmed an all-electric F-150 is coming. This model will be in addition to the previously announced hybrid version coming in 2020.
Ford global marketing chief Jim Farley told investors at the Deutsche Bank Global Automotive Conference in Detroit that plans are in the works to electrify the best-selling F-series truck.
“We’re going to be electrifying the F-Series—battery electric and hybrid,” Farley said, according to the Detroit Free Press.
A timeline wasn’t part of the announcement, nor were any other details such as powertrain information, but a Ford spokesperson tells us that there are plans to debut a pure EV F-150…eventually.
“We are constantly looking at new ways to better serve our truck customers, from materials to features to propulsion systems,” Ford spokeswoman Emma Bergg told us. “We are not specifying timing. We don’t have any other details to share at this time.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time a Ford executive has hinted at an electric F-Series. Last year, executive chairman Bill Ford had this to say at a celebration of the Ford Rouge manufacturing complex’s 100th anniversary:
“[The F-150 Hybrid is] going to be a truck that takes you farther without sacrificing power and a truck that helps you do more when you get there, with electricity for everything from your tools to your camping gear. And then we’ll keep innovating. When it comes to building the best trucks in the world, we never rest. Whether they’re gas, diesel, hybrid—or when the time comes, fully electric—we will ensure they power the world in a sustainable way and remain Built Ford Tough.”
That sounds more to us like we’ll see an electric Ford F-Series when every other car on the road is electric. But then again, it’s also possible a more immediate plan for an electric truck came together between last October, when those comments were made, and Farley’s confirmation of an EV F-Series this week. One big thing that’s happened since then is Ford’s alliance with Volkswagen. The two automakers will work together on next-gen midsize truck production and also explore collaboration in other areas such as electric and autonomous vehicles.
FoMoCo made an all-electric Ranger from 1998 until 2002, so the company has some learnings to draw upon for an electrified F-series truck, although huge advances in EV tech and adoption will make them of limited use. The Ranger EV had a range of just under 100 miles (160 km), for example, while now both Tesla and Rivian Automotive intend to launch EV pickups with more than 400 miles (644 km) of range. The Tesla truck should arrive after Model Y, while we’ve already seen the stunning Rivian R1T currently slated to roll out in 2020.
We already know Ford plans an all-electric Transit van as well as a Mustang-inspired electric crossover, but is the world ready for an all-electric F-150? Could Ford’s recent partnership with EV-focused Volkswagen help in this endeavor? We aren’t sure, but we don’t expect to see Ford’s all-electric pickup anytime soon.