Ford will reveal the new F-150 Lightning EV on May 19, 2021!by Robert Moore, on LISTEN 07:43
Update: 5/20/2021 The Ford F-150 Lightning has been revealed, so head over to our in-depth coverage of America’s best electric truck to learn more about it!
It’s been a while since FoMoCo’s train-pulling PR stunt came to further hype the arrival of the all-electric Ford F-150. As Ford has been rather tight-lipped lately about its full-electric pickup truck, we thought we’d have a look at what we know up until this point and what we should expect expect from the electric F-150. Here’s what we can report for the time being.
The all-electric Ford F-150 pickup truck stopped being a secret in 2019, after Ford pulled the said train pull trick. Keep in mind, though, that the electric F-150 won’t reach the market earlier than 2022, and that’s under a question mark since covid has a way (and a history) of messing up with a carmaker’s plans, Ford included. So if everything goes to plan, the electric F-150 might hit the market in 2022 for the 2023 model year.
Design and architecture
There’s no reason why Ford wouldn’t and shouldn’t develop the electric F-150 on the underpinnings on the new F-150.
That's not a sure shot fact right now and Ford might be brewing a whole new architecture for the F-150 EV.
Regardless of what road it takes, the Blue Oval is adamant that the electric pickup will look a lot like the ICE-powered F-150 truck, both inside and out. Oh, and it will have a giant frunk, or at least that’s what FoMoCo is claiming, too.
Whether the F-150 EV will debut its own, differently-named trims or it will keep the combustion-engined truck’s set of trims, well, that’s also to be decided and announced. Also on the design front, expect a fair share of tweaks brought to the truck’s kisser, where Ford will most likely add a closed-off grille since there’s no engine to be cooled anymore together with other aero-boosting bits and bobs like a redesigned fender, lower side skirts, and even new designs for the wheels.
Powertrain and capability
As per InsideEVs citing Ford, the new Ford F-150 electric will be the most F-150 ever. Two electric motors will set it in motion (one on each axle, presumably, for AWD purposes) but that’s about where it ends with the known details on the powertrain front. Obviously, there’s going to be a battery pack feeding electrons into those motors but then again, the carmaker is tight-lipped on topics such as capacity, charging times, and so on.
For the sake of the argument, Ford’s first-ever EV, the Mustang Mach-E, can be configured with either a 68-kWh (Standard Range) or an 88-kWh battery pack (Extended Range), fitted with 288 or 376 Li-ion cells, respectively. These cells are sourced from LG Chem, which produces them in Europe, at its plant in Poland. LG Chem is also a supplier for the new 2022 Ford E-Transit electric van.
It’s difficult to say what sort of battery pack will sit inside the F-150 EV. Since Ford’s claims are that it will be the most powerful F-150 ever made and vectoring in the trumpeted yet not tried and tested million-pound pulling capability, the battery should be on the hefty side, maybe touching or even surpassing the 100-kWh ceiling.
These exist today, with the likes of Lucid, Rimac and NIO are already using such batteries; Rimac’s C_Two has a 120-kWh battery pack, NIO’s cars can be fitted with a 100-kWh unit and Lucid debuted a 113-kWh pack in the Air sedan. Not to mention Rivian, which plans to fit the BEV R1T with three battery options: 105, 135, and 180 kWh.
Why aim big with battery size and capacity? Well, F-150 customers buy those trucks and use them for hard work. There’s no other point in getting the F-150 besides hauling or towing cargo, so to offer a decent range under load, Ford simply has to double down on batteries for its electric pickup truck.
We expect a maximum range of well over 300 miles for the electric F-150 to make sense, otherwise it won't be able to live up to its name(plate).
Price, availability and assembly
Ford will assemble the electric F-150 pickup at its Rouge complex in Dearborn, Michigan, in a new facility that got a $700 million investment. CNN reports that this is also where the Blue Oval is going to assemble its electric batteries, with work planned to kick off in mid-2022.
As mentioned above, the electric Ford F-150 won’t come to market earlier than the summer of 2022, and that’s if everything goes to plan logistically. With the covid situation not looking to improve next year, delays might still happen. Regardless, timing is of the essence for Ford and its F-150 EV because a lot of players are coming to the market around the same time (or even earlier).
On one hand, you’ve got the likes of Rivian and its R1T or GMC and the new Hummer EV, and on the other, there’s also the Tesla Cybertruck to be taken seriously.
Indeed, Ford’s biggest ace up the sleeve is the weight of the F-150 name and its sheer popularity, however, the EV market is new territory for both Ford and its loyal truck buyers, thus relying on just the sonority of the F-150 moniker might not suffice in the long run.
Price-wise, you’ve guessed it, we can’t tell you anything at this point because there’s simply not enough information and we’d rather not play the speculation game.
What kind of batteries will the electric Ford F-150 have?
Expect Li-ion batteries but their source is unclear for the time being. Ford might continue to work with LG Chem, the current cell provider for the Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit.
When will Ford introduce the electric F-150?
The F-150 won’t arrive sooner than the summer of 2022, but even this date isn’t a certainty as Ford might have to face logistic delays along the way.
How much will the Ford F-150 electric truck cost?
There simply isn’t enough information on this topic, but you can expect it to sit at the higher-end of the F-150’s current range.
Will the electric F-150 be better than the Tesla Cybertruck?
Ford is quite secretive about the F-150’s powertrain, which means details such as power, torque, range, and towing capacity are virtually unknown. Therefore, we’ll have to wait for official specs to hand in a verdict.
How much will the electric Ford F-150 tow?
While Ford’s train-pulling stunt suggested the F-150 can tow one million pounds, that’s not going to be the official rating. Expect something on a more down-to-Earth level, but given the instant torque provided by the e-motors, it should still be an impressive figure, hopefully.
How much range will the Ford F-150 electric have?
Again, such details are unknown, but if we were to guess, we’d say anything north of 300 miles should be a decent number.