Auto manufacturers Ford and General Motors are reportedly working hard to bring their electric pickup trucks to market ahead of Elon Musk’s Tesla.
Reuters reports that Ford and GM are working hard to design a radical new take on their most profitable vehicle models, the Ford F-150 pickup truck and the Chevrolet Silverado. These are the two top-selling vehicles in the U.S. market, an now Ford and GM want to offer all-electric versions before Tesla can bring a pickup truck to market.
Ford Chairman Bill Ford told Reuters in a recent interview: “This is going to be a real watershed for the whole industry.” Few details have been released about the new vehicles, but Bill Ford hinted that the vehicle could have load-carrying space under the hood as well as a traditional truck bed in the back.
“You pick up all that extra space where the engine compartment has been,” Ford said. Ford believes that an electric F-Series could be a powerful work truck with the car’s batteries functioning as a power source on job sites. Ford added that the car could be positioned as a high-performance vehicle alongside the gas-powered 450-horsepower Raptor pickup truck.
Ford will be investing $11.5 billion in turning its vehicles electric by 2022, adding 16 fully-electric models all of which are expected to be profitable. Electric pickup trucks would also help Ford and GM generate the sales of EVs that they will need to meet tougher emission standards and electric vehicle mandates in California and other states.
Ted Cannis, Ford’s director of electrification, told Reuters: “Our strategy is very clear, we’re going to play to our strengths. We’re good at pickups.” Ford plans to introduce a hybrid F-150 next year with Bill Ford stating that the all-electric version “won’t be too far after that.”
One person familiar with the automaker’s plans stated: “Why would we let Tesla beat us with a pickup truck? That’s our turf.”