The Blue Oval plans to surprise a lot of people.
Based on its current product lineup, it appears Ford has no intention to launch electric vehicles. But this couldn't be further from the truth. Beginning in 2020, the Blue Oval will launch the still-unnamed Mustang-inspired EV crossover and within a year or so later the all-electric F-150. Yes, it's happening that soon, evidenced by the recent video Ford released showcasing a prototype F-150 EV towing 10 double-decker rail cars packed with F-150s. All told, it was about 625 tons of cargo. Yes, it was a bit gimmicky and the so-called "participants" were more than likely actors, but Ford learned something huge from the exercise.
According to a report from Automotive News, Ford's internal data revealed that following the video's launch, the number of people saying they'd be interested in buying an electric pickup increased from 10 to 18 percent. Ted Cannis, Ford's global director of electrification, said that "There are people out there looking for electric vehicles. Let's say of the 800,000 F series that we sell a year, just 10 percent are interested. That's still 80,000 vehicles. These are huge numbers."
He's right. The fact that F-150 buyers, or at least this sample, are suddenly so willing to buy a fully electrified version of their tried and true full-size pickup truck – currently the best-selling vehicle in the US – speaks volumes. No doubt it's a big gamble on Ford's part, but the fact of the matter is that customers seem willing to give something new a try.
If an all-electric F-150 can, at the very least, do everything internal combustion trucks do, such as towing and payload capacity, and offer more than satisfactory driving range, then why not? Plus, EVs don't require visits to the gas station. Charging in general, whether it's at home or a charging station, is far less expensive. Ford is so confident in its EV strategy that it has already vowed its EV will generate a profit.
"We're in very good shape," Cannis said. "I think we're going to surprise and shock a lot of people." We'll find out whether that'll happen next year.