San Antonio – Ford Motor’s new F-150 Lightning is an electric pickup truck. It looks like a truck and with an electric motor and a battery pack instead of an engine it may seem obvious, but needless to say.
Why? Because a successful battery-powered pickup is an important step in the EV transition, for Ford and large industries.
Although industry leader Tesla has proven that consumers will buy electric cars and Revian Automotive has shown that there is a demand for electric lifestyle vehicles, the F-150 is by far the most important test to see if EVs can go from compliance vehicles and special trucks to such products. Will entice more mainstream buyers.
The electric pickup market, though still largely unproven, is set to become important for investors to see in the years to come. According to auto intelligence firm Edmunds, trucks traditionally have gross profit margins and account for about 20% of all vehicles sold in the United States.
LMC Automotive expects the U.S. electric pickup market to grow from about 25,000 vehicles this year to 1 million or more by 2030. Five electric pickup models are expected to hit the market this year, and it is expected to expand to 21 later. Decade
Ford’s F-150 Lightning is the first traditional pickup truck to go electric. This is not a GMC Hummer EV “supertruck”. This is not a Tesla “cybertruck”. This is not a Revian R1T “adventure vehicle”. This is a pickup truck, electrified.
The advantages of the F-150 Lightning are similar to those of the Hummer EV and the Revian R1T, but these electric pickups – sold only in the United States – are not made equally. The three drive differently, and will start appealing to different buyers when the sale starts when they turn the initial receiver into a more general, EV-curious buyer.
Both the Lightning function and the form survive to the F-150 name, the traditional pickup known to the public and serves as a bridge between a new EV. It shares many of its designs and parts with its traditional siblings, in addition to the Powertrain, some design tweaks and an optional 15.5-inch control screen.
It costs about the same as a traditional pickup, with prices ranging from about $ 40,000 to over $ 90,000. According to Cox Automotive, this is similar to Ford’s current lineup of large four-door pickups and is consistent with an average price of around $ 61,000 for a full-size pickup.
An electric pickup for the public is something that Ford was in a unique position to bring to market. Its F-Series lineup, including the F-150, is the best-selling car in America for 40 years and the top truck for 45 years.
The company began building an electric version of the F-150 pickup truck, and it was successful. The car works as a full size truck. But electrification basically brings the added benefit of instant torque, increasing storage through a huge front trunk, or “frank”, where an engine would traditionally be – and it removes the burden of gas filling.
Lightning should drive like an F-150, and that’s not a bad thing. Ford and other automakers are increasingly converting pickups from rigid riding work trucks to comfortable vehicles that are able to move easily on and off the road.
The larger battery of the car provides for better ride, as it keeps the car more grounded and provides a 50-50 weight ratio for better balance. Above all, it provides an equal towing experience because the EV does not require a change of transmission gear, which is especially noticeable when towing cargo.
Although Lightning is capable of scaling hills or even slightly rough terrain, it does not match the Hummer or R1T in that respect – but by design. This is a truck for mainstream buyers, not a special part. Ford may offer such a tough ride at times, but it’s not.
The F-150 Lightning is capable of up to 580 horsepower and 775 ft-pound of torque. Consumer models with its top-end 131-kWh battery start at around $ 72,500 and range up to 320 miles on a single charge. Its towing capacity is up to 10,000 pounds – between Hummer and R1T. Vehicles with smaller batteries and a range of 230 miles are less expensive but also offer less performance.
Electric Ford F-150 Lightning
Andrew Evers / CNBC
One of the most unique advantages of the Lightning over the Hummer and R1T is its capability for on-board power generation. Ford has loaded the car with an outlet and a two-way charging system that can power a workplace or a home in the event of a 10-day blackout, depending on the power consumption.
Ford began shipping the F-150 Lightning earlier this month to select fleet buyers and more than 200,000 reservation holders. The company has not announced when it will reopen its order bank, as it plans to increase production to 150,000 vehicles by mid-2023.
The Rivian R1T has some first-mover advantages in the electric pickup market; Production began last fall but is slowly increasing. The R1T is capable of both performance and off-roading, moving at speeds of 0-60 miles per hour in about three seconds, like a sports car, but it can scale rocks or large mountains like a Jeep SUV.
With vegan leather and real wood, its interior and exterior styling is as glamorous as a Tesla than off-road brute. It’s a much smaller vehicle – about 16 inches shorter, in fact – compared to the F-150 Lightning, compared to the Ford Ranger or the Jeep Gladiator.
This is how Rivian describes its products as an “adventure go”. This is how Jeep has described its SUVs over the years, making the Rivian more of a threat to the Stellantis SUV brand than the F-150.
For now, Rivian CEO RJ Scarring agrees, telling CNBC in a recent interview that the three pickups are each “quite a different product.” Cross-shopping between the Rivian R1T, Hummer and F-150, he said, is extremely low: “Obviously the purpose and the goal are different.”
Edmunds reports that shoppers often look to the R1T for a comparative purchase of Ford Mustang Mach-E crossovers and other EVs, instead of other pickups.
However, Scarring has hinted at a plan for a complete lineup of vehicles in the Rivian, which could theoretically include a larger truck.
Revian R1T electric pickup truck
R1Ts range in price from $ 67,500 to $ 85,000. Currently available vehicles have a range of up to 314 miles on a single charge with a 128.9-kWh “large” battery. Performance versions with four motors produce 835 horsepower and 908 foot-pounds of torque. The car can pull up to 11,000 pounds – an important metric for many pickup owners.
There is a reason to revive the GM Hummer, a brand notoriously popular for excessive gas-gauge vehicles in the 1990s and 2000s. Whether you love Hummers or hate them, you know them. That means GM’s brand awareness was created as long as there was truth to be made for the new EV brand and it did.
The Hummer EV pickup looks like a modern version of its descendants. It is big, chic and extremely capable.
Instead of ghazal gas, it emits a lot of energy. The electric Hummer is the least efficient electric truck of the three at 47 MPGe, the equivalent of a gallon mile per electric vehicle range. This compares to 70 MPGe for both R1T and F-150 Lightning. But again, this is Hummer, so what do you expect?
The Hummer’s off-road capability is also different from the other two pickups, which helps explain its low efficiency and over 9,000-pound weight.
This Hummer can easily scale rock climbs, as well as demonstrate exceptional hands-free highway driving with a smooth on-road experience and GM’s Super Cruise system. It also has removable roof panels that can fit the car’s franchise and many other special and hidden features, including “crab walk” mode and faster charging than other trucks.
GM threw all of that and much more at Hummer in terms of off-road and performance parts. Its 110,000 starting price is a testament to this, a low-cost variant expected in the coming years that could start at $ 79,995.
GMC Hummer EV Version 1
Michael Wayland / CNBC
The current top-end Hummer, despite its weight, can achieve speeds of 0-60 miles per hour in about three seconds with its “Watts to Freedom” or “WTF” mode. It is capable of up to 1,000 horsepower and 1,200 foot-pound motor torque. Its range on a single charge is up to 329 miles with a 212.7-kWh battery pack (of which 205 are usable, GM says). It can carry up to 7,500 pounds, the lowest lift in three electric pickups.
In contrast to the Revian pickup, Edmunds reports some significant cross-shopping between the Electric Hummer and its less-than-labor competitors. Buyers interested in the Hummer pay more attention to the R1T and Lightning than any other model.
That crossover, though, still represents about 9% of those truck searchers.