Ford on Wednesday confirmed that it has plans to eventually introduce a fully electric F-150 pickup truck, which could rival entries in the budding EV truck space such as Rivian and Tesla.
Jim Farley, Ford president of global markets, told attendees of the Deutsche Bank Global Automotive Conference in Detroit that Ford will "electrify" the F-150 in both hybrid and battery-electric variants, The Detroit Free Press reported. An F-150 hybrid has been on the radar for some time, but news of an electric F-150 could put the brand ahead of rivals from General Motors and and Ram.
The Car Connection reached out to Ford for further confirmation on a battery-electric F-150 and spokesperson Mike Levine confirmed that the automaker is working on an electric F-150 but didn't elaborate.
"We are constantly looking at new ways to better serve our truck customers, from materials to features to propulsion systems," Levine said." "We are not specifying timing. We don’t have any other details to share at this time," he added.
Ford said last year that it's on track to unveil 13 electrified cars by 2020, though it's important to note "electrified" can range from mild-hybrid systems to battery-electric powertrains. Of the 13, a Ford-150 hybrid is slated to arrive in 2020. A battery-electric version is likely further down the road next decade.
One advantage to pickup trucks over sedans and crossover SUVs is that automakers can hide battery packs between their frame rails. That makes for fewer compromises in cargo and passenger space.
During Farley's remarks, he added an all-electric version of Ford's moneymaker will "futureproof" the model as the industry moves to more electric vehicles and away from the traditional internal-combustion engine.
A handful of newcomers to the industry plan to potentially disrupt traditional OEMs with their own electric pickup models. Chief among them is Rivian, which debuted its R1T electric pickup at the 2018 LA Auto Show. Tesla has also promised an electric pickup for some time.