Ford’s legendary and popular F-Series pickup line will soon have electric options, the company announced today. The move is intended to “future-proof” the enormous truck business against rising gas prices and regulations favoring electric vehicles over internal combustion.
Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets, announced the news at a press conference in Detroit. As reported in the Detroit Free Press, he specified that there will be both pure/battery electric and hybrid options — they aren’t dipping their toe but jumping in at the deep end.
Ford has been leaning into electric harder than ever over the last year, detailing an ambitious $11 billion plan to offer 40 electrified vehicles by 2022; some of those are entirely new cars, like the “Mustang-inspired electric crossover” coming next year, while others will be electric versions of classic lines like the F-Series.
Tesla is also planning an electric pickup, but that company’s success in the luxury sedan market is unlikely to translate directly to the much different truck market. Rivian has one entering production, but it’s hard to imagine the brand breaking out of a rather small niche with its first model.
Ford knows that trucks and utility vehicles are its stronghold: it dedicates 90 percent of its capital to that side of the business. A million F-Series trucks sold last year, and even if a tiny percentage of those were to be electric it would be a huge barrier to entry for companies with less reputation.
As more evidence of the company leaning into the renewable future, Ford announced last year that it would stop selling all but two cars in the U.S.: the Mustang and Focus Active. That doesn’t include SUVs and trucks, of course, but one senses there will be a similar shift once those product categories are ready to be similarly phased out.
Ford detailed more general plans for its various regions and businesses in a press release.
“Over the last 19 months, we have worked to reshape and transform our company – sharpening our competitiveness, taking actions to improve our profitability and returns, and investing in our future,” said president and CEO Jim Hackett in the release.
Originally published at techcrunch.com