Ford has officially ruled out making a heavy-duty electric pickup truck, at least for now, as it focuses on starting production of the F-150 Lightning, the electric Transit van and the vehicle (or vehicles) that it is developing on Volkswagen’s MEB platform. We may see a fully-electric Super Duty Lightning in the future at some point, it was not ruled out, but its creation is not a priority right now.
However, it will surely happen at some point in the not too distant future as more and more types of vehicles will be switched from ICE to EV. When Kumar Galhotra, president, Americas and International Markets Group was asked about an electric Super Duty, he said that
At the moment, we do not have any plans to go into heavy duty with battery-electric vehicles.
Ever since the F-150 was unveiled, it got a lot of positive attention, making many people realize that an electric pickup could still look conventional; they didn’t have to have a Tesla Cybertruck or any of the more futuristic pickups out there and they could just have an F-150 that ran on electricity.
What’s interesting about the Lightning is that it didn’t just attract pickup buyers – being an EV, it became an option for a part of the car buying public that would never have considered a pickup. The F-150 is still classed as a light-duty, meaning it’s lighter than 8,500 pounds, and while that may sound big by European standards, it’s considered fairly compact in the States.
If Ford electrified a Super Duty right now, since it is classed as a heavy-duty pickup, it would be too big for most people’s needs. Sure, some would still buy it to get a kick out of owning such a big truck that is completely silent and very quick, but it just wouldn’t sell in enough volume right now to justify it.
You can order a heavy-duty electric pickup today, the GMC Hummer EV, but that vehicle has somehow managed to turn a brand that had become a joke into a nameplate that people want to see proudly displayed on their massive electric pickup weighing in excess of 9,000 pounds. Ford’s electric Super Duty would not become a fashion statement in the same way the Hummer EV has and a lot of its appeal stems from that.
Another reason why Ford may not want to invest in an electric Super Duty right now is the fact that its towing rating might be lower than that of an ICE variant. For reference, even though the F-150 Lightning has 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque, it can only pull up to 10,000 pounds (with the extended-range battery); an F-150 with the 400 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine is rated up to 14,000 pounds.
And since the Super Duty is bought more by people who need its utility and towing capacity, it an electric one with a lower rating may not make sense for Ford to make right now.