Ford Says Electric Super Duty Trucks Aren’t Happening

While Ford’s F-150 is slated for electrification, Super Duty versions of the F-Series are not. On Monday, the automaker told industry analysts that HD EVs weren’t in the cards — adding that customers can still expect all-electric versions of the Mach-E “Mustang” and Transit van.

“Our goal is to build a profitable electric vehicle portfolio,” John Lawler, Ford chief financial officer, explained during the forum hosted by Dan Levy of Credit Suisse. “To do that, we need to leverage our strengths and the scale that we have. We’re being very strategic about the platforms that we choose.”

This is a good answer, devoid of the false promises the industry is famous for. Ford has no idea if the electric F-Series is going to be a success and engineering something that’s capable of hauling substantially more weight on battery power alone is a tall and costly order. EV technology is also growing by leaps and bounds, making any bold investments into a platform that could be wildly outclassed in a few years a risky play.

Why bother building a non-competitive HD pickup to a customer base that only cares about whether or not it can haul 35,000 pounds for the entire day? The energy density of modern electric cars simply isn’t there, resulting in a hypothetical pickup that could theoretically haul monstrous loads a relatively short distance before needing to recharge. We doubt such a vehicle was even seriously considered by Ford after it crunched the numbers. Prohibitive development costs combined with gaps in battery technology undoubtedly killed the concept before it got off the ground.

According to the Detroit Free Press, any reasonable doubts to the contrary were removed by Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford Americas and International Markets Group. “At the moment, we do not have any plans to go into heavy duty with battery-electric vehicles,” he said.

That will change the second Ford thinks it’s profitable, however. CEO Jim Farley indicated that the automaker was interested in selling EVs to the commercial market, and not just private sales, during Ford’s third-quarter earnings call. If there’s a sudden leap forward in battery tech that can facilitate heavy-duty work without nullifying range and a customer base to sell to, Ford will probably begin development.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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