Back in January, Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets, made a blockbuster announcement that caused ripples in the American auto industry. During a presentation at the Deutsche Bank Global Automotive Conference in the MGM Grand in Detroit, Farley boldly stated that the F-150, one of the company’s most successful vehicles to date and arguably its biggest cash cow, was going electric.
The electric F-150 won’t be a half-step either. There will be a hybrid version of the truck, but there will be one that uses absolutely no fossil fuel at all. The idea surprised many of Detroit’s veterans, especially considering the reputation and pedigree of the F-150 as America’s most iconic workhorse. After all, what type of vehicle will an all-electric F-150 be?
If a recently-released promotional video is any indication, the all-electric F-150 will be everything that it’s fossil fuel-powered predecessors are, and more. In a demonstration, a video of which was uploaded on YouTube, the Detroit-based carmaker showcased how much cargo its upcoming battery-electric truck could actually tow. As it turns out, the figure lies somewhere between zero and 1.25 million pounds.
To accomplish this feat, Ford brought over its electric pickup truck prototype with chief engineer Linda Zhang, who met with a group of avid F-150 owners. The engineer, after dramatically unveiling the prototype as an all-electric vehicle, proceeded to have the truck hooked up to 10 double-decker rail cars. After pulling the million-pound load for 1,000 feet, the team repeated the demonstration, this time adding an extra 42 gas-burning F-150s in the rail cars. Zhang mentioned that overall, the entire load — rail cars and F-150s included — was around 1.25 million pounds.
Inasmuch as the demo was incredibly impressive, Ford was careful to note that the towing stunt was a “one-time short event demonstration.” The company also claimed that the feat was “far beyond any production truck’s published capacity.” Yet, despite these statements, it is difficult not to be impressed with Ford’s F-150 electric truck prototype. The demo, if any, almost seemed like the veteran carmaker was showing younger companies like Tesla and Rivian (both of which are entering the market with their own all-electric pickups) that it holds a notable level of mastery in truck-building.
While Ford is yet to announce a concrete release date for its all-electric F-150, the company seems to be putting a lot of effort in ensuring that its upcoming EV initiative will be a success. The company, for example, has partnered with Volkswagen, which will allow Ford to use the German carmaker’s MEB architecture. Ford has also invested $500 million in electric truck startup Rivian, which will give the veteran automaker access to the startup’s skateboard platform. Ford plans to produce over a dozen electric and electrified models by 2022.
Watch Ford’s F-150 electric truck prototype tow over a million pounds in the video below.