Ford throws water on all-electric F-150 prospects
Tom Quimby | June 13, 2017

The primary reason Ford switched to an all-aluminum body on the F-150 was weight savings that could be put toward payload and towing. The automaker says an all-electric powertrain would largely negate that benefit.

Until batteries shed some pounds, don’t expect to see Ford producing an electric F-150 anytime soon.

While the automaker announced plans for a hybrid F-150 by 2020 and an all-electric crossover SUV (CUV), an all-electric F-150 is not a priority—and for good reason.

“In a CUV, you aren’t too worried about payload or towing, but it’s very different for a truck. And when you put that number of cells and that much weight into the vehicle, it does cut into payload and towing,” Raj Nair, Ford’s chief technology officer, told Business Insider.

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Though the hybrid F-150 will come with a battery pack, Nair said it will not effect the truck’s payload or towing capacities.

“We want electrification to be a bonus,” Nair added. “One thing that is really advantageous on the hybrid is it also becomes its own power generating source.”

Ford’s big announcement in January revealed more than just a hybrid F-150. A hybrid Mustang, a plug-in hybrid Transit, two hybrid police cars, a hybrid autonomous car and six more all-electric vehicles are in the works.

Ford is investing $4.5 billion towards its goal of having 40 percent of its fleet electrified by 2020. The automaker has been working more closely with aftermarket hybrid companies, such as XL Hybrids, Lightning Hybrids and Motiv Hybrids through its Electric Qualified Vehicle Modifier (eQVM) program, which it unveiled in March at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.

XL Hybrids offers a hybrid electric drive system for Ford Transit, E-350 and E-450 chassis, F-250 to F-550 Super Duty trucks, F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks and F-53/F-59 stripped chassis as well as a plug-in hybrid upfit for the F-150 pickup. Motiv Power Systems offers an all-electric powertrain for the Ford E-450 and F-59 chassis and Lightning Hybrids produces a non-electric hydraulic hybrid energy recovery system for the Ford E-350 and E-450 chassis, F-350 to F-550 Super Duty trucks, F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks and F-59 chassis.

 

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