Set against the backdrop of the 102-year old Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Mich., Ford Motors executive chairman Bill Ford, Jr. made a series of major announcements poised to power the automaker far into the next hundred years. This includes the start for production for the 2021 F-150, which goes on sale in November and features a 3.5L PowerBoost hybrid option, along with announcing that the all-electric version of the best-selling pickup will be arriving in 2022. Both the hybrid and battery-electric version will be built onsite at the currently under-construction $700 million Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, itself powered off renewable energy.
“This zero-emission F-150 will be on the road two years from now and it will be the only all-electric truck that is built Ford tough,” Ford said.
Previously, Ford released a video of the battery-electric pickup towing 10 double decker freight cars full of F-150s, comprising 1 million lbs. The truck is in the midst of “tens of thousands of hours of torture testing and targeting millions of simulated, laboratory and real world test miles,” according to the company. It will have millions of miles of testing before its mid-2022 release.
“While other all-electric pickups are competing for lifestyle customers, the all-electric F-150 is designed and engineered for hard-working customers who need a truck to do a job,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s current COO and incoming CEO, replacing Jim Hackett. “This isn’t a truck for ‘never-nevers,’ who never tow, who never haul and who never go off-road. It’s really been put through the ringer at Ford.”
When commercially available, this "workhorse, not "show horse," as Farley described, will feature the most power of any F-150 available today. The dual electric motors will generate the most horsepower and torque and best 0-60 acceleration, with the ability to tow heavy trailers and high payloads in the bed.
A front trunk, or frunk, can securely store 100 lbs. of valuable materials and/or tools. As with the 2021 F-150 PowerBoost hybrid option, the fully electric offering will have Pro Power Onboard, available electrical energy accessible via outlets near the liftgate that can run a worksite full of power tools. The hybrid will offers 2.4 to 7.2 kW, while the gas-powered models have a 2 kW option.
The all-electric F-150 will also boast the lowest total cost of operation of any F-Series truck. Due to eschewing an internal combustion engine for an electric powertrains, the all-electric F-150 is expected to require far less maintenance and have better than 40% savings in that area over the vehicle’s life.
Farley added the F-150 Hybrid will have the ability to tow up to 12,000 lbs., the most of any hybrid pickup.
The company has fully embraced driver-assist safety features, including pedestrian braking and active driver assist for hands-free driving, available along 100,000 miles of North American highways. Over-the-air updates will routinely improve functionality of these systems.
Aiding America’s recovery
The carbon-free Rouge Electric Vehicle Center will leverage the latest in smart manufacturing, such as collaborative robots and quality control tools to prevent defects, re-establishing the 2,000-acre manufacturing metropolis as a hub of innovation and Ford’s most important plant, as it was when it was built in 1918.
Ford, the great-grandson of founder Henry, recalled that in the 1990s, he had to fight management to keep the plant open. Now, its Dearborn Truck Plant churns out hundreds of thousands of F-150s per year.
"This plant mirrors the story of America and American manufacturing," Ford remarked. "This is where the industrial revolution took hold, where the arsenal of democracy was forged, where parents and grandparents and great-grandparents built not only cars and trucks but their own American dreams.
From an economic sense, the F-150 helps more Americans strive to realize those dreams. According to a Boston Consulting Group study, the F-Series is responsible for American 500,000 jobs and contributed nearly $50 billion to the U.S. GDP. The new center specifically will add 300 more jobs.
The point of these trucks is to support all work across all 50 states.
“F-Series pickups are the backbone of work and productivity across the country,” Farley said. “And now we are preparing to build a fully electric version of America’s most popular vehicle, and it will be a seriously capable, purpose-built tool for serious truck customers.”
The automaker’s new campaign, “Built for America,” will exemplify the message of reinvigorating the nation’s post-pandemic economy while promoting diversity and environmental innovation, which Ford pointed out was without political leaning.
“Ford is going to play our part in getting America’s economic engines running again, and it starts right here at the Rouge,” Ford exclaimed.