Ford is coming out guns blazing in the electric truck segment.
On Thursday, Ford once again teased its forthcoming pure-electric version of the F-150 pickup, using the unveiling of the battery-powered E-Transit to drop a couple of photos of the future truck. But the exact model teased wasn't just any Ford F-150 Electric; it's a beefed-up off-road model, replete with a front skid plate, some aggressive-looking BFGoodrich all-terrain tires, a rugged matte black front bumper, and from the looks of it, a raised suspension.
The images definitively answer one of our most burning questions: What will Ford do to fire back at the coming GMC Hummer EV? From the looks of it, this isn't a full-fledged off-roader on par with, say, the F-150 Raptor, but it's a solid start.
Granted, we're not sure how close to production-representative this truck is, as it appears - aside from the off-road paraphernalia - to be identical to the electric F-150 prototype that towed an entire freight train last year. The mule is clearly based on the 2020 F-150 and not the all-new fourteenth-generation model that debuted for the 2021 model year, but the change to off-road tires and underbody protection surely means Ford is testing the new truck in the most rugged array of situations possible.
Ford's new E-Transit revealed something else about the forthcoming F-150 Electric, too: namely, that it will almost certainly get the same Pro Power Onboard system as the new 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid. That's the system that pairs a built-in power inverter with a few A/C power outlets built right into the bed, for running power tools at the worksite, electrical appliances at the campsite, and everything in-between.
The F-150 Electric will likely offer both the 2.4-kW and 7.2-kW versions offered on the F-150 Hybrid, Ford knowing full well that its truck customers won't settle for anything less. The former comes with just two three-pronged, 120-volt A/C outlets, while the latter comes with four, plus a big 240-volt outlet for some higher-powered devices.
The exact timeline for Ford's first-ever fully electric F-150 isn't known, but the automaker says it will launch sometime toward the middle of 2022 - about half-a-year after the E-Transit goes on sale. Rather than engineer two different workhorse-bound motors, Ford might well use the same stalwart 266-horsepower motor as in the Transit, with one- and two-motor powertrains for rear- or all-wheel-drive.