September 17th, 2020 by Kyle Field
Ford opened up with more details about its fully electric F-150 in an event streamed live this morning. The new F-150 will start rolling off the production lines in mid-2022, boasting more power and torque than its gasoline-powered counterparts. Ford is promising a breakthrough in cost with the new electric F-150, with a total cost of ownership that’s far lower than its combustion competition. “The all-electric F-150 is targeted at a total cost of operation that’s more than 40% less than the similar gas engine trucks over the life of the vehicle,” Ford COO and incoming CEO Jim Farley said.
With impressive performance and functionality, the electric Ford F-150 is poised to completely disrupt even its own combustion truck business on cost alone. Fleets live and die by two things: cost of ownership and uptime, and the electric F-150 is a step change in both. Ford believes it can deliver a total cost of ownership of the new electric F-150 for more than 40% less than its existing trucks. That’s insane. At those prices, fleets will almost be able to upgrade combustion trucks with two new electric vehicles at the same cost over the life of the vehicle.
The electric F-150 is primed to change the game when it comes to uptime. Electric vehicles almost universally require less maintenance than combustion vehicles. With nearly 100 times fewer moving parts in the powertrain, they are more reliable and deliver savings over the long haul. No oil changes, no air filters, no transmission rebuilds, and the like. On top of that, electric vehicles can charge up at a fleet depot overnight, saving fleet managers valuable runtime since employees won’t have to spend the first or last part of the day refueling the truck.
It’s clear Ford has been pushing to finalize the electric build of its F-150 for quite some time. “This truck has been tested and tortured to be Ford tough like you wouldn’t believe,” Farley said. They are putting it to the test on their Michigan proving grounds with thousands of hours of torture testing in the real world and a target of millions of hours of total testing across simulations, laboratory testing, and real-world miles.
As a completely new powertrain that lays down more power and torque from its dual electric motors, the focus on testing makes sense. Ford prides itself in building work-ready, “Ford Tough” vehicles and it clearly wants to put its best food forward with its first real foray into the world of electric work vehicles. Ford is also bringing new functionality to the F-series with the electric F-150 in the form of a new mobile power generation system that can power job site tools curing the week and camp gear on the weekend. “It’s also able to power everything in a campsite or on a job site,” Farley said.
Up front, Ford plans to use the now vacant real estate under the hood to let owners safely store valuable gear. “It has an enormous front trunk,” Farley said. “We call it the frunk.” Sounds familiar. Jokes aside, the addition of a large frunk to a work truck is a huge win. Open bed trucks force owners to add expensive lock boxes or to store tools in plain site inside the cab. Converting the area under the hood to lockable, secure, out-of-sight storage for owners is a huge win and brings much needed functionality and security to an already attractive package.
Ford’s event today makes it clear the company is building an extremely robust, attractive, and affordable electric F-150. It seems primed to cannibalize all of the gas and diesel competition, including its own trucks. Ford expects the first electric F-150s to roll off production lines in mid-2022. That’s a bit late compared to competing electric trucks from Tesla and Rivian, but at least Ford is going to be in the game.
The new electric F-150 will be produced at Ford’s historic Rouge Complex, where construction of a new $700 million addition will support a completely new Ford F-150 lineup for 2022, including a new PowerBoost Hybrid, and the new electric F-150. Expansion plans include a new battery assembly facility and fully electric F-150 production.
Considering the billions being spent by incumbent electric vehicle manufacturers to build electric vehicle factories, Ford’s investment is not on the same playing field, but it does already have production capacity to produce 2 million F-series trucks per year. All told, the upgraded facility will see 300 new jobs created for the upgraded truck lines.
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