Ford Motor Co. said it is working on an electric version of its popular F-150 pickup truck. Trucks.com’s spy photographer caught the electric truck undergoing tests near Detroit.
This vehicle looks like an early test bed for the electric powertrain. An electric F-150 that reaches market is sure to have some significant changes. But the photos show that the vehicle is plugged into a charger via a charging port on the lower portion of front bumper. Moreover, the body of the F-150 sits slightly higher due to batteries that can be seen located underneath the cab.
It’s possible that the prototype is a plug-in hybrid F-150 that likely travels an unknown number of miles just on its battery and electric motor. A tailpipe at the rear of truck indicates there is a gasoline engine to extend the range. But, based on the height of the vehicle, it looks more like a full battery electric truck disguised with a tailpipe. Ford, Porsche and other automakers have previously used dummy tailpipes to camouflage electric vehicles.
Electric F-series in the works
Jim Farley, Ford’s president of Global Markets, told an investor meeting last month that a battery-electric F-150 was under development.
“We’re going to be electrifying the F-series — battery electric and hybrid,” Farley said at the Deutsche Bank investors conference. He did not say when it might go on sale.
Ford has been working on a variety of electric and plug-in vehicles. Its new Lincoln Aviator luxury SUV has a plug-in hybrid version. Ford also is working on an all-electric SUV.
The company also has said it is developing “electrified” versions of almost its entire vehicle line. But those vehicles will range from pure electric to hybrid vehicles.
It makes sense that the F-Series pickup is included in this program. Ford sold more than 900,000 in the U.S. last year. It was Ford’s best-selling vehicle globally and the top-selling vehicle of any type or body configuration in the U.S. last year. Analysts say Ford’s F-Series line of trucks is the automaker’s biggest profit driver.
No details yet
Ford has not provided any details about its plans for the electric F-150. There’s no way to know the size of the battery pack or how many miles it can travel before recharging.
But it’s clear Ford doesn’t want to fall behind as rivals develop electric pickups.
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has said the electric car company will build a pickup.
In November, electric vehicle startup Rivian Automotive unveiled the R1T pickup, which it said will have 250 miles of range and be priced at $69,000 before incentives. Plymouth, Mich.-based Rivian intends to begin production in 2020.
Workhorse Group Inc., another startup, which is making electric delivery trucks for UPS, is developing the W-15 electric pickup truck.