Opinion: Ford F-150 Lightning is a milestone for electric vehicles Car News

The Ford F-150 Lightning is unlikely to be sold in the UK. This is for various reasons, including the fact that the pickup would hardly fit on our roads. Believe us: we tried it once. Yet even though it will only be seen in North America, as the first all-electric version of America’s best-selling vehicle, the importance of the F-150 Lightning cannot be overlooked.

When EV history is written, the F-150 Lightning has the potential to be a true landmark, alongside Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S and a few others.

Why? Well, for starters, the US doesn’t – yet – have emissions laws as strict as the UK, mainland Europe, or China, which really forces manufacturers to build and to sell electric vehicles. This could be under President Biden’s administration, but Ford does not have to manufacture or sell the F-150 Lightning at this time. But the direction the industry is taking is clear, and with consumers increasingly aware of the existence of these vehicles, Ford must prove that it can keep pace with Tesla – especially given the company’s impending Cybertruck. , rival of the F-150.

A little background, for those who aren’t quite familiar with the American truck market. Pickups dominate the US auto market: five of the top 10 best-selling vehicles last year were trucks. And Ford’s F-Series, which includes the F-150 and an even larger machine lineup, is leading the way: the company sold 787,422 in the United States last year and, before the pandemic, eclipsed a million annual sales.

The key is where in the United States most of these vehicles are sold – and it’s not in states like California, where hybrid and electric cars are most popular. About a sixth of all F-Series trucks sold are sold to buyers in Texas, a stronghold of the oil and gas industry. And these are the markets that will be the most difficult to switch to electric vehicles.

To sell EVs in places like Texas, Ford and other automakers will need to show that these vehicles have advantages over gasoline versions. Ford is certainly set to do it with the F-150 Lightning, highlighting a feature set designed to make it a more capable workhorse: the extra torque, the massive 400-liter frunk, the scales built-in payload and even the ability to use it as a generator that can power a home for three days. This might resonate with buyers in Texas, given the state’s power grid collapse during winter storms earlier this year …

With such features and aggressive pricing in line with the combustion engine version, the F-150 Lightning might just be able to convince buyers for what it can do, rather than what it powers. And if it can do so, it will help advance the advancement of electric vehicles in the vital US market.

The F-150 Lightning therefore represents an important step in the rise of electric vehicles.


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This notice was published: 2021-05-20 09:30:43