An electric Ford F-150 pickup truck recently towed more than one million pounds of rail cars for 1,000 feet at a recent demonstration of the company’s ambitions to enter the electric pickup market. Elon Musk has claimed Tesla plans to produce a pickup but has not unveiled a design yet.
Business Insider reports that auto manufacturer Ford recently demonstrated the towing power of its all-electric Ford F-150 pickup truck prototype by having the vehicle tow 1 million pounds of rail cars for 1,000 feet. Ford then loaded 42 F-150s into the rail cars and had the prototype tow the cars again, weighing a total of 1.25 million pounds or 625 tons.
A regular Ford F-150, if properly configured, can tow approximately 13,200 pounds. This towing power has made the F-150 the best-selling vehicle in the United States for 42 years, but many have doubted whether electric vehicles will be capable of competing with gas-powered vehicles when it comes to sheer power. If recent tests with Ford’s electric F-150 are anything to go by, however, that shouldn’t be an issue for the company.
Ford’s electric F-150 had no issues towing over one million pounds in the demonstration. Linda Zhang, the F-150’s chief engineer, commented on the performance of the truck stating: “Instant torque combined with a lightweight vehicle helps us deliver a new level of power, performance, and efficiency.” Discussing the impressive demonstration, Zhang stated that it was a “pretty epic and extreme demonstration.”
While many electric car manufacturers have focused on the speed of their vehicles, Ford has focused on another element: instant torque. Electric vehicle motos have access to all of their torque the minute the engine starts moving, while a regular gas-powered F-150 still needs to develop its 470 pound-feet of torque by increasing engine speed. “We’re focusing on meeting the needs of customers, giving them what they would expect from built Ford tough,” Zhang said.
Ford does not yet have a release date for its electric F-150 pickup truck, but expects to produce the vehicles in the next few years. This would be a major blow to Elon Musk’s Tesla, which has had its own hazy plans to enter the pickup truck market in the future. Ford is also teaming up with VW on electric vehicles expected to hit the market by 2023.
Amazon has invested heavily in Rivian, a Tesla rival focusing on creating an electric pickup. GM has reportedly expressed interest in investing in the startup as well.