Ford executives this earlier this week stepped up the anticipated timeline for the upcoming electric Ford F-150 pickup. It’s now due in 2021, according to several reports. And it coincides with a concerted effort from Ford to promote electric cars.
That includes a series of ads, coming soon—spending level undisclosed—based on an internal Ford survey and aiming to address consumer concerns about electric cars. In the survey, many said they didn’t think electric cars would work in the snow or could be charged in the rain. And 90 percent said they think electric cars won’t accelerate that fast.
Those perceptions come from early development EVs, said Ted Cannis, Ford’s global director for electrification. One such example was the Ford Ranger pickup from the mid 1990s that had 40 miles of range and a bed full of batteries.
Now that battery prices are coming down and public charging stations are becoming commonplace, Cannis says Ford is working to address these other concerns.
Ford’s campaign aimed at misconceptions actually launched earlier this summer with its video of an electric F-150 test mule pulling a freight train.
The company plans to continue the campaign with videos showing the company testing some of its new electric cars at negative-40-degree temperatures, doing performance driving at speed at the company’s Charlotte, North Carolina, testing facility, and otherwise doing real work and showing people doing real things.
Ford isn’t the only automaker aiming at electric-vehicle misconceptions. Audi, for instance, has some cleverly written ads for its E-tron SUV poking fun of them.
The Ford campaign is aimed at spreading electric-car enthusiasm beyond early adopters to new types of buyers. And to do that, the company plans to extend more fully electric electric choices to more models and vehicle types.
“One of our goals is to fill in segments where there wasn’t one [an EV option] before,” Cannis said to Green Car Reports last month, noting that early electric cars were appropriately aimed at younger buyers and those in California, because those demographics include large numbers of early adopters.
Another EV misconception from Ford: Over two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) and Europeans (68 percent) don’t believe that electric vehicles are capable enough in terms of towing and hauling.
Obviously that one needs to be dispelled as Ford plans to use electrification to amplify the characteristics that already draw buyers to certain models, by building the electric and hybrid F-150, a hybrid Mustang, an electric SUV with Mustang inspired performance and styling, and hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of its Explorer.
The new models are part of an $11 billion investment Ford is making in electrification and launched as “Team Edison” in 2017, with the first product from the team, an all-electric SUV, due next year.
Look up to the lead video, and then below here, to see Ford's new message on EVs.