- Ford's head of electrification is hinting that the electric F-150 could be on the market as soon as 2021.
- The EV version of the top-selling vehicle on the market is expected out within a year after Ford's Mach E, a Mustang-inspired crossover EV, which will debut in 2020 as a 2021 model.
- It remains to be seen whether the electric F-150 will come out ahead of startups Bollinger and Rivian—or Tesla—to be the first pickup EV on the market.
Ford has never explicitly stated when its upcoming all-electric F-150 will actually debut, but the tea leaves are coming together to suggest that 2021 is going to be the year America's best-selling vehicle finally gets its zero-emission powertrain.
The latest indicator comes from Ted Cannis, Ford's global director for electrification, who said in a recent interview with Automotive News Canada that the electric F-150 will follow the Mach E, a Mustang-inspired electric crossover that is going to be introduced in 2020. The electric truck is supposed to follow "as soon as a year later," which takes us to the 2021 date. All a Ford spokesperson would tell Car and Driver is that the all-electric F-150 will arrive "in a few years" and that we will have to keep waiting for an announcement about specific timing.
Perhaps the EV version of the biggest-selling vehicle on the market will help consumers get a handle on what, exactly, electric vehicles are all about; Ford says its studies show 42 percent of Americans think electric vehicles need gasoline to run. In other words, there's some educating still to do, despite the increased numbers of electric vehicles on the market and all the media attention being lavished on them.
Whenever it gets here, the electric F-150 will arrive a full decade after the first mass-market EV, the Nissan Leaf, which debuted in 2010. Ford did play in the small-electric-car waters for a bit with the Focus Electric, but overall the automaker hasn't exactly dominated the EV landscape. Cannis's renewed media push this week (he also wrote a post on Medium describing how Ford is going to solve the EV puzzle) implies the company is ready to change that narrative. "Who says electric vehicles can't drive in snow?" is one of the "EV Myths Busted" videos the automaker released this week.
Cannis's message is that by being late to the EV party, Ford can capitalize on the lessons that other automakers have spent millions to learn. Ford intends to prove to the currently uneducated masses that electric vehicles can be exciting, reliable, and safe—"awesome to drive," in his words. These are the pros that EV fans have been saying for years—especially the fun factor—and is another lesson Ford is learning from those who drove before.
In July, Ford released a video of a prototype of the F-150 EV towing a train full of other F-150s that together weighed over a million pounds. The stunt was a success, and that's the kind of marketing that we can expect to see from Ford as it rolls out its EVs.
Of course, even though EVs have been available for 10 years, the truck segment remains EV-free for now. Exactly when the other hinted-at all-electric pickup trucks arrive is a bit vague. Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he will unveil his company's offering later this year. Rivian, an EV startup that Ford has invested in, said it is launching in late 2020. Startup Bollinger is going to start making its truck in the Detroit area at some point. And GM has confirmed development of an electric truck, but that's about it.
In other words, 2021 might be just the right time.