Ford and Volkswagen could corner a new market with a smaller electric pickup truckby Robert Moore, on
At this point, it would be a miracle if we see the Tesla Cybertruck this decade, the GMC Hummer is too expensive, GM can’t sell EVs to save its life, yet the Ford F-150 Lightning is already sold out. What does that tell you? The American public wants electric trucks, but they don’t want to pay a fortune for them and, while the Cybertruck is cool, it’s gimmicky and won’t appeal to the wide range of people that actually buy trucks. A Ford Ranger EV, however, would be more affordable than all of the aforementioned trucks, it would be usable in day-to-day life, and it would just make sense. As it turns out, it might happen sooner than we all thought.
The Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok EV – Under Strong Consideration
When Ford revealed the all-new global Ranger in November of 2021, we knew that it would be built alongside the Volkswagen Amarok, and we knew it would have a range of internal combustion engines. Despite the climate at the time, there was absolutely no mention of even a hybrid plug-in variant, let alone a full-on electric Ranger. Granted, the T6 platform that underpins the Ranger isn’t exactly designed for full-scale electrification. It can, however, support a plug-in hybrid setup thanks to clever packaging, and that’s why a Ranger PHEV will launch sometime in 2023. A Ranger (or Amarok EV) isn’t exactly on the horizon but it might not be that far off, either.
During a media presentation for the 2023 Volkswagen Amarok, a member of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ marketing team, Lars Krause, actually gave us some interesting information. Krause said “we’re looking at a pure electric version. It is still early, but it is something we are considering within the lifecycle.” That means that an electric Amarok and electric Ranger could arrive before the end of the decade, but how? After all, neither are designed for an all-electric powertrain, and the T6 platform simply can’t support such a layout, or so we thought.
Apparently, VW’s representative seemed confident that the 2023 Amarok’s Ford-developed chassis could support both a battery pack and an electric motor. "We think it’s possible. Obviously, we’d need to modify certain elements. But yes, we’re seriously considering an electric variant.” Autocar has speculated that both the Ranger EV and Amarok EV could be built by Ford in Michigan, but that’s far from official. It also claims that the Amarok EV will be launched as early as 2025.
This news makes sense all the way around, though. Not only because the demand for electric pickup trucks in America has taken a surprising turn for the better, but because they are actually needed for compliance reasons. In Europe, for example, Euro 7 emissions regulations will go into effect soon, and an electric Amarok would help lower VW Commercial Vehicle’s fleet average and help the brand avoid paying hefty fines. There, a PHEV version of the Amarok has been ruled out, so a full-on EV would make sense. Add in the European method of taxing ICE vehicles and the Amarok EV becomes extremely viable.
The only real question is how Ford and VW will do it. If one does it, the other will certainly follow, as it wouldn’t make sense to miss the opportunity presented by the other. If the T6 platform can really support a decently sized battery pack and the electric motor, then the downside would be that neither truck would be built on a platform that was designed for electrification. It will be modified to work, which is definitely not the same thing. The two brands could collaborate to build an all-new platform but that would be a major undertaking, and it would certainly push the launch of said EVs much further into the future past 2025.