Ford Says Electric Super Duty Trucks Aren't Happening

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
ford says electric super duty trucks aren t happening

While Ford’s F-150 is slated for electrification, Super Duty versions of the F-Series are not. On Monday, the automaker told industry analysts that HD EVs weren’t in the cards — adding that customers can still expect all-electric versions of the Mach-E “Mustang” and Transit van.

“Our goal is to build a profitable electric vehicle portfolio,” John Lawler, Ford chief financial officer, explained during the forum hosted by Dan Levy of Credit Suisse. “To do that, we need to leverage our strengths and the scale that we have. We’re being very strategic about the platforms that we choose.”

This is a good answer, devoid of the false promises the industry is famous for. Ford has no idea if the electric F-Series is going to be a success and engineering something that’s capable of hauling substantially more weight on battery power alone is a tall and costly order. EV technology is also growing by leaps and bounds, making any bold investments into a platform that could be wildly outclassed in a few years a risky play.

Why bother building a non-competitive HD pickup to a customer base that only cares about whether or not it can haul 35,000 pounds for the entire day? The energy density of modern electric cars simply isn’t there, resulting in a hypothetical pickup that could theoretically haul monstrous loads a relatively short distance before needing to recharge. We doubt such a vehicle was even seriously considered by Ford after it crunched the numbers. Prohibitive development costs combined with gaps in battery technology undoubtedly killed the concept before it got off the ground.

According to the Detroit Free Press, any reasonable doubts to the contrary were removed by Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford Americas and International Markets Group. “At the moment, we do not have any plans to go into heavy duty with battery-electric vehicles,” he said.

That will change the second Ford thinks it’s profitable, however. CEO Jim Farley indicated that the automaker was interested in selling EVs to the commercial market, and not just private sales, during Ford’s third-quarter earnings call. If there’s a sudden leap forward in battery tech that can facilitate heavy-duty work without nullifying range and a customer base to sell to, Ford will probably begin development.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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  • RHD RHD on Nov 04, 2020

    Ford needs to dedicate one brand to the electric vehicles, sort of like what GM is doing with Cadillac. Maybe they can bring back Mercury. If it flops, just send it back to the dustbin of history. If it takes off, then pat yourself on the back for having such foresight and daring. Heck, start with an electric Ranchero or Ranger pickup. Price it affordably, put the maximum possible battery in it, and watch them fly off the showroom floor.

  • DenverMike DenverMike on Nov 04, 2020

    We're talking about an approx 5,000 lbs battery (the Tesla 3 has a 1,000+ lbs battery) for a net gain of about 4,000. This in a class limited to 14,000 lbs. The EV crew/4X4/Dually F-350 would weigh very close to that limit with the driver.

    • See 4 previous
    • Vulpine Vulpine on Nov 05, 2020

      @DM: I suggest sitting back and simply wait to see. With at least two versions of the truck in the works, the smaller of the two is obviously meant for regional routes while the larger is obviously meant for hub-to-hub type driving, typical of the major cross-country companies like Roadway, UPS, Hunt, Swift, etc. Where it comes down to independent drivers, you're probably right but corporate entities could easily recognize the advantages of using electric over diesel, especially on mountainous routes.

  • Oberkanone Priced too high though not by much.
  • FreedMike Looks VERY niche to me. But that's not necessarily a bad thing - this might serve nicely as a kind of halo model for VW.
  • SPPPP Point: It's the only EV minivan around. Counterpoint: It's too expensive for a minivan, heavy, ugly, and has bad ergonomics. To me, a PHEV like the Sienna or Pacifica seems like a more sensible solution.
  • Oberkanone Were I able to get past my distrust and loathing of VW I'd want a 2 row ID Buzz. Pricing is about right for the current marketplace. Will it sell? Demand will exceed supply. After two years in the marketplace the novelty may be gone and demand may drop like an anchor.
  • Sam Who do I sue when the car doesn't do what I want it to and that action of the car being autonomous caused the crash?