• Electric 2020 Ford F-150 and Super Duty? Ford is Investing $4.5 Billion into Electric Vehicles


    2016-ford-f150-limited-grille

    Ford investor announcement, released last week, outlines a general plan for the future that includes expanding the “core business” of building vehicles, and executing on “emerging opportunities” such as electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and mobility solutions.

    Ford sees vehicle electrification as an important part of business going forward, and pickup trucks and commercial vehicles will be a big part of it. Ford announced a $4.5 billion investment to help the company add 13 new electrified vehicles by the year 2020. That is a lot of alternative powertrain introductions over the next 3+ years. Ford specifically called out commercial vehicles and trucks as leading the electrification trend (see the quote below).

    Ford is focusing its electrified vehicles on its areas of strength – commercial vehicles, trucks, utility and performance vehicles. Ford today is working on vehicles as well as electrified vehicle fleet management, route planning and telematics solutions.

    What does it mean for a vehicle to be “electrified”? It can include a spectrum of power trains: gasoline-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, full electric, hydrogen fuel-cell electric, turbine-electric hybrids, and more. Ford is being purposely vague as to not disclose too many details to competitors.

    Which electrification technology would make the most sense for a pickup truck like the F-150 or the Super Duty? A hydrogen fuel-cell electric system may not offer enough driving range for a truck that hauls a tows heavy weights, and it is limited to geographic areas with hydrogen fueling stations. A plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid may be a better choice, but the added weight of batteries will take away from payload and towing capacities.

    GM has been experimenting with light hybrid Silverado trucks and are working on a hydrogen fuel-cell Chevy Colorado vehicle with the U.S. military. Toyota has been researching this topic for some time, but have not officially announced any plans for an electrified pickup truck. Ram and Nissan have their respective electrified systems that they can apply to a pickup truck. Neither have made announcements about this.

    In the meantime, Ford appears to be working on a turbo-diesel powered 2018 F-150, although the company have not officially confirmed or denied it. Check out the F-150 prototypes in the video below.


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    23 thoughts on “Electric 2020 Ford F-150 and Super Duty? Ford is Investing $4.5 Billion into Electric Vehicles

    1. Good information, thanks.
      I have zero interest in an electric pickup truck. The leading electric car manufacturer, Tesla, can barely figure out how to go 240 miles with their largest battery in a sedan. Now imagine a pickup truck, which already weighs twice what the Tesla weighs, pulling a trailer which weighs more than the truck itself. I guess the entire bed could be devoted to batteries and the vehicle would have zero payload capacity and still be able to go only a couple hundred miles. Stupid! Contrast that to Ford’s current Super Duty, with a 48 gallon diesel fuel tank and an engine efficient enough to go 700+ miles before refueling. Of course, the refueling only takes 5 minutes and you’re happily on your way again.

      1. What you don’t want to wait hours to charge your truck? That is ludicrous! People are never in a hurry!

        Only truck I can see headed that way is the Ranger with a light payload and light duties. Battery tech is soooooooo far behind in technology. Even phone makers are just utilizing less power hungry processors and hardware to keep usage to a minimum.

    2. I can’t see the practicality of an electric only pickup for reasons mentioned by Troverman. What I can see are gas/electric hybrids where the electric motors kick in for additional uphill or pulling power instead of pouring the gas to it. GM’s first kick at the cat back in 2008-2009 with the truck hybrids did ok. The downfall was cold weather which over prolonged time without driving caused battery freezing (meant to be driven daily/every couple days). The new system has smaller batteries, better performance and better assistance for increased fuel economy. GM’s had electric and electric/hybrid buses on the streets of California for a decade and we are starting to see the technology develop and get into production vehicles.

      The biggest benefit if a hybrid system is that the gas engine can spend more time in 4 cylinder mode at higher speeds. When going up a incline on the highway, the electric assist system can add the extra power to keep the engine demand down; keeping it in 4 cylinder mode more…… potentially.

    3. If you look at heavy excavation equipment, it’s all electric driven by diesel. Electric motors = torque. If they can design a Chevy Volt like truck that has essentially unlimited range but the wheels are electrically driven, I would be intested. But not in the first one.

      1. A Volt-type system would also be a possibility. Electric motors have max torque the second they turn on. Train engines have been driven by electricity for years, with the electricity being produced by diesel engines (most people think the diesel engines turn the wheels).

        The Volt has a battery system so it can be driven up to 80 kms or so with no engine usage and then adds in regenerative braking to help recharge the battery also. This could be adapted for trucks; just need larger electric motors for more torque.

    4. Yes but what are they not telling us. 4.5 billion, there up to something. the planet is going green like it or not. It could be a monster, you think ford is going to forget the torque war. I think not.

    5. Battery Power will kill the diesel. Already you can order 2000HP transports with 4000ft-lbs of torque on their way. 4.5Billion being invested by professionals in the industry and we still have the yo yo’s on here spilling their diahrea. Electrified is the future….BOOM

      1. Thomas, Thomas, Thomas – Google before you post bud.
        Yesterday’s news, electric Nikola ain’t happening.
        They are saying Hydrogen now – when pigs fly is what I say.
        And I am an industry professional.

        1. Danny Danny Danny. I didn’t say Nikola. But to say it’s not happening when Ford is spending 4.5 billion really means you are not an industry professional by any means. A professional would not have to say such a thing as they would already have enough confidence in themselves. On top of that Nikola is still in the race to produce the first semi electrified transport. Up against Mercedes and Tesla. Nothing is at a halt. Electrified vehicles are coming and are going to be way ahead of anything we have seen in the past.

    6. imagine how much energy is wasted slowing down trucks. implement it like a Prius but use the electric power where the load is the highest ( accel from dead stop, passing, incline). use regen braking only to slow the car down unless very high load is applied quickly

    7. Diesel electric is the near future. Full electric is a joke as far as range. Several of my co-workers have Tesla’s and we have had to install chargers everywhere; homes, work and job sites. Sweet cars but no way most people would want to deal with the charging situation. The infrastructure and battery technology isn’t even close to mainstream. Full electric in a truck…..towing……lol. The technology is not even close. Electric is the chit for torque but needs the efficient diesel to power it. One day, like 30 years from now maybe full electric in a real truck…….maybe.

    8. Bring it on! Super Duties with 4,000+lb-ft at 0rpm. 0-60 in under 3 seconds at any altitude. Ike Gauntlet with a 30,000 lb trailer going the speed limit the entire way. (Basically there won’t be a need to do the test anymore). Plus Diesel engines are only going to get more expensive trying to meet tougher emissions. We will save $10k+ on that alone, transmission, brakes, transfer case, differentials. No more Expensive oil changes or $75-100 per tank. No more injector issues, DPF and DEF. All that can be removed and invested in batteries.
      I’m sure all the current problems with EVs will be mitigated in future technologies: range, charge times, and energy density. Don’t be scared of progress.

    9. I would agree with some here. I think that the electric motor powered by a small cdiesel generator would give you the most fuel efficiency, capacity, and range.
      Diesel Hybrid and Electric Diesel Trucks may be the next wave.

      1. The trucks are already selling for the equivalent (actually more than) of a typical families income. Technology should make things more affordable, not less attainable for the masses. Economy and performance won’t Be the issue because they’ll be too expensive for families to own, let alone pay the computer technicians to keep these increasingly complicated machines running. Good grief, the shade tree mechanic will ge a legend soon. When I was your age, we had these things called tools, and when something broke……

        1. Things are always expensive when they are new until production and suppliers fine tune and get cheaper. Then other companies hop on board and start price wars. Computers were a lot more expensive in the 80’s and a lot less powerful,… time is irrelevant.

        2. Electric motors have one moving part! No emissions system. No cooling system. No complicated mechanical 4×4 system. How much simpler do you want over a 32 valve V8 turbo diesel?

    10. The great thing about electric is the power. Tesla has the fastest 4 door sedan ever produced as well as the third quickest accelerating production car every produced. A hybrid is also if the fastest accelerating and the fastest production car around the ring.

      With ford saving weight they could add some back in batteries in such on a version of a hybrid. A small diesel charging some batteries providing power to electric motors at 2 corners or 4 corners….. No transmission, drive shafts, rear ends axles and such. Just run the small diesel or small gas at a low rpm and constant rpm to charge batteries…. When you hit the accelerator just pull more juice from the batteries without the need for engine RPM increase due to the reserve capacity of the batteries having energy available to give the electric motors the power it needs. This would be awesome in a pickup.

    11. Thomas
      All these comments about electric saving the world are mute until someone actually invents a rapid charge electrical storage device that is safe and not too heavy. Until then there is no benefit to electric for trucks (not commuters) as engines will still be needed to produce the power and range. If I have missed this miracle battery then please let me know. Trains do not have to worry about weight or hills.

    12. Im with you Scott. Ford went with aluminum in 2015 hhmmm forward thinking? Save weight for batterys, electic motors, small diesel gen, maybe even the 3.0 the f 150 is getting witch by the way has been mostly confirmed. Andre asked the ford ecoboost engineer if he had any info about the diesel for the F 150 he replied ” I dont have any info about THE diesel at this time” its about 12 mins in on the questions and answers video about the 2017 f 150

    13. 4.5 billion isn’t chump change. Looks like FORD is determined to go electric one way or another. Actually they have already invested a lot of money in various electric technologies. I believe they were involved in the development of a fuel cell that used gasoline instead of hydrogen and they were supposed to have a vehicle running on it by 2004. I have never seen any such vehicle. Most likely FORD will go the same route as VIA motors but they will most likely use the 2.7L engine. Battery technology is improving with metal air and metal fluoride showing some promise. It seems though that nothing short of nuclear batteries will do the trick for 100% electric vehicles and they are too big too expensive and most people don’t want them anyway. We’ll just have to stay tuned and see what FORD does.

    14. Often wondered why one couldn’t “scale down” the power scheme of diesel electric railway engines for use in road use tractor trailer trucks. Railroads beat over the road costs on a ton-mile basis: it costs less fuel to move a ton of payload by rail than by truck. Having a diesel running at it’s most efficient RPM powering a generator to power electric motors on the drive wheels instead of the mechanical connection from engine to wheels might eliminate some weight on the truck.

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