Last week, at a conference following the Detroit auto show, a Ford executive confirmed that the company is working on building an all-electric Ford F-Series truck.
"We're going to be electrifying the F-Series—battery electric and hybrid," said the company's VP for marketing and sales, Jim Farley.
The announcement follows enthusiastic interest in the Rivian R1T electric pickup, which was unveiled at the LA auto show in November by an American startup company.
Back in March, Ford announced that it would build a hybrid version of the F-150, and in September it hinted that a fully electric F-150 could be in the future. Farley didn't reveal any timing for the battery-electric F-Series, however, or specify that the electric F-Series would necessarily even be a version of the most popular F-150. It could be one of Ford's Heavy Duty F-Series.
Either way, adding a battery electric powertrain to one of the most popular types of vehicles on the market could give a huge boost to electric car sales.
A few other automakers have also teased electric pickups, including Tesla, whose CEO Elon Musk has said the company will unveil one in 2021, but has released few details.
We thought we'd let our readers weigh in on the question of how serious the Ford announcement is by asking in our latest Twitter poll: "How soon do you expect an electric Ford F-150 to arrive?"
How soon do you expect an electric Ford F-150 to arrive?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) January 22, 2019
Possible answers include:
- 2020-21. This is as soon as it would be possible for any new model to arrive given automakers' development cycles. New 2020 models are already going on sale, and Ford has already revealed the new Explorer Hybrid that will go on sale later this year as a 2020.
- 2022-23. This is the same year that Tesla is anticipated to introduce its pickup—and Rivian should have already arrived based on their current timing.
- 2024-25. A new F-150 is due out in 2020, perhaps as a 2021 model, which is when the hybrid version is most likely to appear. If Ford is beginning development on a new electric version (not an unreasonable assumption since they just confirmed it again), it might be expected to arrive as that truck gets its mid-cycle freshening, which could put it our around 2024 or 2025. For many electric-car and pickup shoppers that may seem too little too late.
- Later/never. Ford executives have teased they could develop an electric F-150 for nearly a year, and this announcement is so vague that it's hard to know what to believe anymore. Some Green Car Reports readers regularly express skepticism that any company besides Tesla is serious about making electric cars. If Ford waits until after 2025, someone else could usurp the F-150s sales dominance with an electric model, and it might not matter.
As always, remember that our Twitter polls are unscientific, because of their low sample size, and because our respondents are self-selected.