All-electric isn't just for cars anymore.
Ford Group Vice President for Marketing and Sales Jim Farley confirmed that the company will build an all-electric version of its top-selling F-Series pickup. "We're going to be electrifying the F-Series—battery electric and hybrid," he said at a presentation at the Deutsche Bank Global Automotive Conference in Detroit on Wednesday, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.
The company is racing announcements from Tesla and Michigan-based startup automaker Rivian, which are each expected to introduce their own electric pickups in 2021. Rivian showed its R1T to the public at the LA auto show in November. Tesla has not yet revealed even a concept of its promised pickup.
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Ford Chairman Bill Ford alluded to an electric F-Series possibility months ago. In a statement last September, he said, "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." It now looks like that time may be coming closer.
This is the first time that a Ford executive has confirmed in front of a large group of financial analysts representing Ford's investors that the company plans to build a fully electric version of the truck.
As the best-selling individual vehicle in America, racking up more than 909,000 sales in 2018, no vehicle could do more than the F-Series to usher electric cars from sales to early adopters into the garages of mainstream buyers, especially if it arrives in the highest-volume half-ton model, the F-150.
The company did not reveal timing for the electric truck. "We are constantly looking at new ways to better serve our truck customers, from materials to features, to propulsion systems," said company spokesman Mike Levine. "We are not specifying timing. We don't have any other details to share at this time."
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One of the vehicle's chief rivals, however, the Rivian R1T, is expected to debut with up to 400 miles of range, fast charging capability at 160 kilowatts—and a $70,000 price tag. To sell in significant numbers, an electric F-Series would have to be competitive with those specs.
Ford is also planning to build a 300-mile off-road-capable electric crossover SUV in 2020, but it has revealed few other details about that vehicle either.
While the timing and other details remain to be answered about an all-electric F-Series, there's one electrified F-150 that's better-defined at this point: the F-150 Hybrid. Ford confirmed last year that it will also build a hybrid version of the F-150 in 2020 with a power take-off to run tools or camping equipment. Look for more details about that one soon.