The race to bring out battery-electric pickups is on.
Hau Thai-Tang, Ford Motor Co.’s chief of product platform and operations, said during a conference on Wednesday organized by J.P. Morgan, Ford’s first battery-electric pickup truck will be ready for market during the first quarter of 2022. “It will be the F-150 BEV,” Thai-Tang.
Ford rolled out its first-ever hybrid F-150 in the fourth quarter of 2020, as part of the truck’s 2021 model-year line-up.
GM, Tesla readying BEV trucks
General Motors expects to have Hummer EV all-electric “supertruck” aimed at the upper end of the truck market ready for distribution next fall. GM also is planning to build a more conventional BEV pickup trucks for Chevrolet and GMC.
GM has said it plans to have 30 new electric vehicles in every segment and a multiple price points ready by 2025 when it expects to sell upwards of 1 million EVs.
Tesla is promising to have its Cybertruck ready by the end of 2021 as it races to finish a new assembly plant outside Austin, Texas, which was scheduled to be ready next month. However, the Austin American Statesman reported that Tesla has filed documents with the State of Texas, saying the plant would be ready for production by May 1.
The sprawling Texas complex, which is expected to employ as many as 5,000, also is expected to assemble the Model Y and the battery-electric semi-trucks the company noted during its last earnings call.
Rivian, Lordstown forging ahead
Meanwhile, Rivian is expected to have its R1T battery-electric pickup truck rolling off the assembly line in volume early next year. Rivian is already taking orders for R1T and the company’s assembly plant in Normal, Illinois, is in the last stages of preparation for production.
Lordstown Motors also is expected to begin building battery electric pickup trucks this year at refurbished assembly plant that once belonged to GM. Lordstown expects to build prototypes as early next month and then launch production shortly.
BEV F-150 picking up momentum
Thai-Tang noted that Ford’s plans also call for the completion of a new plant at the company’s legendary Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan, where the BEV F-150 will be built. The launch of BEV F-150 will follow the launch of Transit EV in the fourth quarter, that Ford will build at a truck plant in Kansas City, Missouri, he said.
The BEV F-150, which will utilize one of the new all-electric platforms in which the company has invested, also will carry the digital services that Ford expects to offer its commercial customers.
The other electric platform in which Ford has invested is being used for the Mustang Mach-E, which is now beginning to reach dealers in the United States and eventually be exported to the European market, which is making rapid strides into an electrified future.
Across Europe, one of every 10 vehicles sold was an EV, according to officials from Ford, which last week increased it spending for from to $22.5 billion from $11.5 billion.
Ford’s BEV plans get a lift from VW
During recently completed negotiations with Unifor, the union representing Canadian autoworkers, Ford pledged to begin building electrified vehicles at its Oakville, Ontario, by the time the contract expires at the end of 2023.
Ford is planning to borrow Volkswagen’s all-electric platform, the MEB, to serve as underpinnings for a new family of crossover vehicles that will be built in Oakville with Ford designs or top hats and other features and characteristics from Ford, Thai-Tang said.