The market for electrified trucks has mushroomed in the past few months, as Rivian, Hummer and Ford all launched their long-awaited new electric vehicles and shipped them to eager customers. On an occasion to celebrate the first all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck rolled off the production line at Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford CEO Jim Farley let slip that the automaker is already fast in business. Its second all-electric truck model is to keep up with the competition, and we think we’ve got some smart ideas about what Ford can plan.
What we know
Ford’s new crossovers and pickups are so popular that the automaker is tripling production capacity of the Ford Mustang Mach-E and ramping up Lightning production to meet more than 200,000 early pickups on the truck. The F-150 Lightning joins the F-Series family as a similarly-equipped brother to Ford’s best-selling pickup truck, but the next new pickup may not be straightforward.
Farley confirmed that the Lightning isn’t Ford’s only electric truck, and that an all-new electric pickup truck is in the works. Farley was not referring to the upcoming second generation F-150 Lightning variant already in development, nor to the heavy trucks already in the cards. Ford later clarified that the new model will remain part of the F-Series family.
We think that leaves three potential candidates for what the next pickup could be, including an EV version of the Raptor Performance truck, an electrified next-generation Ranger or a Maverick, and we can’t rule out the possibility of a lower-spec F-Series variant.
All-electric Ford Raptor
One of the easiest moves Ford can make for its second pickup truck is the performance model. Just like the combustion-powered Ford F-150 Raptor, we expect the EV version to be heavily based on the flagship EV truck. However, Ford has already confirmed that the second-generation F-150 EV will ride on an all-new platform coming in 2025, while the current Lightning is currently on a (largely) modified version of the ICE F-150 platform. We’d bet if Ford was working on a high-performance truck, it would do so with a next-generation platform setup.
The F-150 Lightning currently outperforms with 563 horsepower and a whopping 775 pound-feet of torque, already staggering numbers for a non-performance model. Although, compared to the available 1,000-horsepower Hummer EV, there’s clearly plenty of room in the truck market for a more powerful Lightning EV. Given Ford’s success with its off-road sub-brand Raptor, this may seem like a natural form for the more sophisticated Lightning to take.
Ford F-150 Lightning a duty thing?
Ford may seek a different performance class for its second model EV truck and go for a Super Duty electric vehicle over the EV Raptor. However, this isn’t the truck we’d be most excited about, if we’re being honest. Ford has also already made clear that Farley’s comments this week were not a reference to heavy electric vehicles in the future. Comparing the current Lightning to the current Super Duty lineup, the lighter electric truck already excels in power and torque ratings; The second generation of Lightning will likely improve on an entirely new platform. As for towing, Ford and its customers will likely stick with existing gas and diesel powertrain options to maintain towing capacity, as the electric vehicle will suffer greatly in performance and range in similar conditions. In other words, heavy-duty Lightning isn’t really necessary at this point, but it will probably happen eventually.
It’s possible, then, that Ford will go the other way, offering a lowered F-Class model with less performance and features, perhaps with rear-wheel drive and most likely at a lower cost. The business-oriented Lightning Pro and XLT sold out surprisingly quickly, so Ford might want to market its full-size truck in accessible configurations, perhaps even under the old name of the F-100. Ford even recently modified an older F-100 pickup with its Ford Mustang Mach-E powertrain, called the Eluminator, so it’s possible that it’s already on the minds of product planners.
Ford Ranger replacement
Ford might also consider an all-new pickup truck, given the Ford Maverick’s recent success story. The company is rumored to be working on a Ford Ranger EV of some sort through its partnership with Volkswagen. However, comments from executives, via Drive.auWe propose that the truck be a universal model based on a modified version of the existing Ranger platform. We think Ford is likely working out of the next-generation truck platform that Farley has raised, instead.
If it’s not an EV Ranger, Ford representatives have already strongly indicated that a smaller EV truck, similar in offering to the Ford Maverick, could be introduced soon. A silhouette during a product demo shows a schematic of something smaller than Lightning, and Ford spokesperson Mike Levine tweeted the photo in response to speculation about the EV Maverick on Twitter. The Maverick is already being offered as a hybrid in its current form, and its popularity and city-friendly size may be perfect for a full EV version.
When do we expect it all?
Given the indications that this will be a next-generation pickup, it’s likely we won’t know exactly what Ford has planned until 2025. That’s when the second-generation Lightning prepares to debut its new platform, and Ford has already confirmed it will be rolled out.” Expanded lineup of electric vehicles coming soon. That timing lines up well on the schedule for the next-generation Raptor, but Ford will also need a refresh for its Ranger and Maverick trucks by that date as well. So even if we know when, we still don’t know what. Whatever it is, 2025 is also when Ford plans to have its new Blue City Oval campus in Stanton, Tennessee, ready to produce its next generation of electric vehicles, with plans to eventually expand the company’s production capacity to 600,000 EVs per year.