By on September 13, 2019

Despite the amount of electric vehicle hype soaking today’s society, Ford’s upcoming electric F-150 pickup remains shrouded with mystery. What kind of power can customers expect? Range? Payload? Towing capacity? There’s few details of this looming creature, and even fewer details of General Motors’ EV pickup.

What’s left is enthusiasm from the Glass House and come-down-to-earth predictions from auto analysts.

Speaking to Reuters, Ford Chairman Bill Ford salivated at the thought of an engineless F-150, musing that the replacement of a bulky internal combustion engine and associated cooling system with a compact, low-mounted electric motor would free up cargo space under the hood. Like a bed box, but even better concealed.

“This is going to be a real watershed for the whole industry,” he said of the product, expected to bow “not too far” after next year’s F-150 hybrid. As for the powertrain layout, Ford hinted at a front-end trunk with his comment, “You pick up all that extra space where the engine compartment has been.”

Trucks are meant to be versatile, and wasted space doesn’t do a vehicle any marketing favors. Certainly, electric powertrains are known for instant torque — a plus for any hard-working truck owner — while the energy contained within the vehicle’s sizeable battery could be put to work on a worksite, powering any number of tools or lights. However, the price needed to make the F-150 EV viable will likely make it a much more common sight in public works yards in progressive jurisdictions than in private fleets. For regular laborers, Chevrolet’s Silverado Work Truck, Ram’s 1500 Tradesman, and Ford’s F-150 XL will continue to dominate the construction and landscaping scene.

Recently, IHS Markit predicted that by 2025 the take rate for EVs in the U.S. will rise from the 2 percent forecasted for 2020 to seven percent. The overwhelming bulk of these vehicle will be traditional cars and crossovers. Among full-size pickups, electric propulsion will make up just 30,000 vehicles in 2026, IHS predicted. That’s a 1.3-percent cut of the segment.

And yet Ford isn’t daunted, preferring to get out ahead of challengers rising from an increasing number of corners. The F-150 EV is expected to reach customers by early 2022, official sources claim, around the same time as Tesla’s much-hyped (but inherently uncertain) pickup and GM’s shadowy offering. The electric vehicle upstart Rivian, a partner of Ford’s, aims to have its R1T pickup in buyers’ hands by late 2020.

[Images: Ford]

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46 Comments on “Bill Ford Envisions a Trunk in the Front, a Bed in the Back...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “You pick up all that extra space where the engine compartment has been.”

    Tesla – circa 2012

  • avatar

    Edsel

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Is that like the different kind of motaur? Human legs, with a motorcycle on top? Yeh, I could see that.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    I can’t imagine that the range – when loaded or doing what trucks were built for – will be very good. I do know that when I get on a hybrid or an EV car, the range drops pretty significantly compared to gentle driving. For those trucks that are essentially passenger vehicles that never do any truckish tasks it probably would work but will a truck buyer consider it? I doubt it. Most of the virtues of EV ownership are not considered virtues of a typical truck owner. In fact, some of them are outright hostile to the idea of caring about resources. Witness the brain-dead that roll coal over joggers. So unless going electric adds something that a pickup owner finds desirable this is a non-starter.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      “In fact, some of them are outright hostile to the idea of caring about resources.”

      *Ignoring resources needed to build batteries and the substantially higher damage to the environment it takes to get and refine those resources.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @Hummer:

        As you know, building a car and operating a car are different things. Building an EV consumes arguably more and environmentally-worse resources, but this is outweighed by the resource savings over the vehicle’s lifespan. There isn’t a one-for-one equivalence.

        In 100k miles, my Ioniq EV will not burn ~4000 gallons of fuel or require 13 oil changes, compared to say, an Elantra. In that same 100k miles, an electric pickup would offer even more environmental savings compared to its ICE equivalent.

        I’m not saying this as a tree hugger (I’m not), but merely pointing out that the efficiencies of scale found in even coal-fired electricity production outweigh the environmental impact of countless small combustion engines driving around.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      It will be interesting to see how Ford, GM, Rivian, Tesla, and the EPA express range for electric pickups.

      It is well-known that the Model X loses half of its range when towing its 5000-lb rated load. I would expect the same of a pickup. The mfrs had better make this clear to buyers, but I doubt they will, if my experience with my 12 Leaf 1.0 is any guideline.

      The mfrs are happy to let the buyer learn the hard way that cold weather, speed, and heavy loads are detrimental to EV range.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        We’re talking 1/2 tons, and they’re rarely bought strictly for towing. But even those tow less than half the time (or they step up to a 3/4 ton).

        So then you don’t by the EV pickup for towing. Simple. “The Fast Lane Car” experimented (goofed around) with a Tesla X towing a campers and a 1,700 watt “purse” style (inverter type) generator as an onboard “range extender”.

        The results were marginal, since the Tesla was confused by the lack of normal “Ground” (not returning to Earth). They used a “Neutral to Ground” (bridge) converter, but the Tesla stopped accepting a charge after 3 hours and added 12 miles.

        So there’s compatibility issues to work out, but a generator (a real one, with 220v 2-phase at over 10,000 watts) may at least get you to a charging station in an emergency.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          Towing generators behind EVs makes for clever redneck videos, but it’s stupid and counterproductive.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Poor i3…

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Lots truck owners carry extra fuel for range extending, not just for offroad. Some even bolt on auxiliary tanks. Amazing, but yeah its true.

            They’re “trucks” and many carry generators anyway. I’ve seen arc welders, tigs/migs and all sorts of power accessories bolted on or carried. Not a big deal. And they’re not “towing” a generator unless it’s to power an entire job site or something.

            Except part of it is the spirit of ingenuity. If you do any towing/camping/etc regularly, you know what I mean.

            But when offering “solutions” to complainers (whiners) about problems encountered with pickups, like the “too high” bed sides issue, they don’t want to hear it.

            For example, they snivel: “I shouldn’t have to carry a rake or grab tool, never mind milk crates or ANY of that stuff!”

            Pickup owners figure things out their own way. The rest just like to hear themselves complain, and not about to own a pickup in a million years anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            My neighbor got an in bed tank for some extra diesel. They towed a massive 5th wheel and it was such a pain to stop they wanted more range.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            An electric power takeoff might be just the thing to power a truck-mounted welder.

            Depends on the whole duty cycle, though. Of your day consists of driving 200 miles, welding something, and then driving 200 miles home, the conventional setup might be best.

            If it’s 20 miles each way, though, powering the welder off of the truck battery might be a huge win.

            On the other hand, the F-150s that the maintenance and groundskeepers at my local university drive would must be lucky to cover 40 miles in a day. They’re basically mobile toolboxes and mobile garden sheds. Electric would be a big win there.

            The details of the duty cycle matter.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “So unless going electric adds something that a pickup owner finds desirable this is a non-starter.”

      How about durability? Tesla is rating the powertrain and the new battery tech they patented at a million miles.

      Supposedly will be in production next year. Sounds like it’s for real. Two additives to the electrolyte, vinylene carbonate (VC) combined with 1,2,6-oxodithiane-2,2,6,6-tetraoxide along with positive electrodes made from single-crystal NMC532. Lowers the cost of the batteries too.

      It’s going to be steady progress and continuous improvements to batteries and charging rates. Sort of like what we’re seeing with multi-terabyte drives under $100. I remember when everyone was saying the laws of physics would never let that happen.

      By the way, I’ve met a lot of EV owners and only one of them bought the car because of environmental concerns. It’s all about that instant torque. While the agricultural 4 cylinder in the car next to you is attempting to clatter back to life, you’re leaving them behind in the rearview mirror before they even start moving.

      https://electrek.co/2019/09/13/tesla-patent-battery-cell-better-performance-cheaper/

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        mcs,

        Thanks for the article.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        For me personally, an EV powertrain is desirable.

        I’ve owned three pickups trucks, and I’ve hated the drivetrain in every one of them. I’ve also found them to be very useful at times, and worth putting up with.

        Make it electric, and suddenly it becomes appealing.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        For me personally, an EV powertrain is desirable.

        I’ve owned three pickups trucks, and I’ve hated the drivetrain in every one of them. I’ve also found them to be very useful at times, and worth putting up with.

        Make it electric, and suddenly owning one becomes appealing again.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Ford is becoming Tesla 2.0.

    Low quality and led by a complete moron. Dumping billions into silly electric fashion accessories while allowing the real vehicles to become low quality garbage. Makes perfect sense.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Don’t worry. If the Focus EV is any indication, Ford will never become as good as Tesla at making EVs.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Yes Ford will never be as good as to allow bumpers to fall off when it rains and to implement beta level driving software that doesn’t see very large vehicle sitting in a lane of traffic.

        Although seeing how botched the Explorer and MKExplorers are turning out to be I may need to amend that statement

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I wonder, will the front of Ford’s electric F-150 still look like a Peterbilt? Can’t help much with the highway range…

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Good to see the luddites all got a day off work

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Truck buyers aren’t going to buy EV’s.

    Exhibit 1: Pickup truck owners purposefully blocking charging stations. Maybe they wanted the spot and were annoyed that it was designated for tree huggers and of course they don’t realize that their vehicles are annoying to literally everyone not driving a pickup….everywhere they go.

    Exhibit 2: current gasoline powered pickups. Notice how the truck has morphed into ever larger, ever more aggressive, brighter headlights, massive angry grills. It’s impossible to reconcile an environmentally forward thinking vehicle with the design elements pickup truck buyers want. I’m thinking any electric pickup will be less offensive to look at, thus lost sales.

    Exhibit 3: HD and special edition pickups. There really is no such thing as excess in the pickup truck world, especially when there is money to be made. The pendulum swings in only one direction. Bigger, more cartoonish, more in your face assault to the senses of anyone within sight or earshot. This has been a winning and profitable formula for quite some time.

    It will be a Halo vehicle that they can brag about but won’t really move the needle in the pickup truck market. But who knows, maybe you can get aftermarket or dealer installed accessory smog blowers so you can still taunt the greenies. Maybe you can use those big batteries to power a lighting system that covers every inch of the front of the truck in LEDs or something to blind every driver within a half mile. It’s got to have that gimmick, that something to let the truck buyer unleash his inner D’bag if it is ever going to sell in numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      *Private* truck buyers might not make the switch to electric, but there’s a pretty sizable fleet market, so as long as Ford can get the cost per mile below the gas equivalent, some fleet managers will inevitably be interested.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Utilities will be snatching them up too, especially if they provide your electricity. They’ll be the gimmicky “Green” alternative to gasoline/ICE fleets.

        Great for PR and whatnot. And I’m sure you’ll be able to tell the EV F-150s from the normal ones from a mile away (if not outer space).

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        A lot of it does depend on the gas and electric prices in a given area, however there are many fleet trucks that never venture more than a handful of miles from where they park every night and they are only used 1 shift per day.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “*Private* truck buyers might not make the switch to electric, but there’s a pretty sizable fleet market, so as long as Ford can get the cost per mile below the gas equivalent, some fleet managers will inevitably be interested.”

        Exactly! With current battery technology and a complete lack of any type of a charging network in rural areas, electric PU’s are a non-starter. As a fleet vehicle that never leaves town they could make a lot of sense.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Exhibit 1: Pickup truck owners purposefully blocking charging stations.

      That’s actually pretty rare. Maybe the EV pickup drivers can block gas pumps?

      Exhibit 2: current gasoline-powered pickups. Notice how the truck has morphed into ever larger, ever more aggressive, brighter headlights

      With an EV pickup, you could have one as large as a Tesla Semi and still be able to slap a “My Gigantic Pickup is Greener than Your Little Prius” bumper sticker on the back. Want to really piss off the greenies? That would do it.

      Exhibit 3: HD and special edition pickups.

      With more room available with an EV, maybe they could create an A380/747 like double-decker? Add a “My A380 Special Edition Double Deck Pickup is Greener than your Prius” bumper sticker to that one.

      Final cool feature you can’t put on a gasser – Rivian’s Tank Steer. Spinning around 180 degrees in it’s own space.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Cool, so if you could just clear up when it is OK to stereotype a group by their worst individuals that’d be cool. I know people ger reeeeealy upset nowadays when you get that wrong.

      Also, I suppose I should see a shrink for my split personality thing I have going on

      – Owner of an EV and an F150.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        …Also, I suppose I should see a shrink for my split personality thing I have going on

        – Owner of an EV and an F150…

        I’m split as well. I drive a hybrid and a C7, and am a left of center liberal that is a big believer in gun rights. I just don’t fit in!

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      And as to your points…I live in Alabama and own a first gen Leaf, so I visit chargers often. Literally the only vehicle I ever see “blocking” the charger is a Tesla model 3 at the outdoor mall. Aparantly the dude thinks it is his personal parking space and just leaves it there all day. There are only 2 and I have to stop there if I take the Leaf to the airport on a cold day. It is awesome being at like 10 percent and his car is just sitting there, not charging. Never seen any other vehicle doing this. And I live in Alabama…If every truck driver did this my Leaf would never go anywhere…it couldn’t.

      Point 2, I present the Jellybean F150 of the late 90’s. Everyone said the same nonsense and Ford couldn’t make enough of them. A similarly styled truck with the attributes of an EV would sell just fine. Heck people might prefer it to GM’s current design.

      As to exhibit 3, I can’t price a half ton up to the top tier Teslas no matter how much you add. Excess? How about those stupid doors on the X, morons sleeping while their “not really self driving” car shuttles them areound. 2 Second 0-60? I’d argue that is as excessive as any chrome package on a pickup…not that I care if anyone gets either, it’s just funny to me. BTW, My F150 was 36k out the door. Can you even get any of the EV’s that aren’t subsidized by me or penalty boxes for that?

      Look man, I like EV’s. My wife’s next ride is likely to be a Tesla, but people like you are worse than all of those stereotypes people have about BMW drivers. You know good and well only a tiny percentage of pickup drivers act as you describe…same with douchy EV drivers. Heck I bet most WRX drivers don’t even vape.

      Sell your nonsense elsewhere

      • 0 avatar
        thegamper

        I call it like I see it Art. I won’t apologize for it. I concede that there are plenty of people that need a truck, there are lots more that arguably need one and there are plenty that simply like them. That’s fine, but I do enough driving to know that pickups draw the stereotype in huge numbers and it’s no coincidence. If you think automakers aren’t designing to capture large numbers of these sales, I think you are crazy. I’m going to keep calling them out for making us all worse off for providing the ammunition with design that is intended to annoy, inconvenience and intimidate other drivers.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        ..Heck I bet most WRX drivers don’t even vape…

        Quote of the day! Such is the problem with stereotypes.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        Art, I’m sorry to hear about your problem with the guy in the Tesla Model 3 at the parking lot.

        The good and bad thing about the Model 3 is that it appeals to people who never wanted an EV before. So along with being the “stretch” dream car for EV enthusiasts, it’s also the new BMW 3 series for the same douchebags who have always bought a BMW 3 series. Predictable behavior, whether out of ignorance or arrogance, ensues.

        You need two things:
        1. A stack of cards explaining EV etiquette. To wit: it’s a charging spot, not a parking spot. If you’re not actively charging, your car doesn’t belong there. No exceptions, no excuses. Leave one under his windshield wiper.
        2. A J1772 extender cable. Park your car behind the douchebag’s Model 3, connect the extender cable to the public charging station, and charge.

        P.S. Sorry for stereotyping car-with-a-3-in-the-name owners as douchebags. They’re not all douchebags. Heck, there are probably more douchebags per capita among pickup owners. (*ducks incoming tomatoes*)

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      Maybe truck buyers just don’t want any of the large sacrifices that come with owning an EV.

      Hey mean the Model X can barely tow a trailer. It goes a very short distance and needs to be recharged for hours.

      But yea truck buyers would love that.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      “Truck buyers aren’t going to buy EV’s.”

      But EV buyers might buy trucks.

      [Raises hand. Me! Me!]

      I’m planning to buy a Tesla next year, and then a truck will be on the table after that.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    Well at least Ford has the budget to devote to the EV-150 now that they’ve eliminated all those pesky cars from their lineup.

    I can’t wait for Easter at Dearborn. I hear all of Ford’s eggs are going to be in one basket.

  • avatar

    Bill Ford’s legacy is hiring the ineffective Hackett.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    Just more nonsense. Bill Ford is an idiot, they will never build a pure EV pickup. You’ll be lucky to see an aggressive hybrid pickup from Ford at a ridiculous asking price that will ensure failure. And Rivian, the money laundering scheme, will never build anything, certainly NOT a consumer EV pickup truck. Expect regular postponements of production for the R1T with never ending creative excuses, all of them lies.


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