Ford will launch a fully electric F-Series to battle planned pickup trucks from Tesla and EV startups Rivian and Atlis.
Jim Farley, Ford president of global markets, confirmed the electric F-Series on Wednesday while speaking at the Deutsche Bank Global Automotive Conference in Detroit.
“We’re going to be electrifying the F-Series—battery-electric and hybrid,” he said, the Detroit Free Press reported on Wednesday.
The automaker has previously confirmed plans for a hybrid F-Series, specifically the light-duty F-150, but this is the first time it has mentioned an electric truck.
Farley added that the move will help “futureproof” the F-Series, which is the biggest cash cow for Ford. The automaker sold more than a million of them worldwide in 2018, but a new breed of electric trucks has the potential to upset things.
Tesla has been quiet on plans for its own pickup but Rivian and Atlis have confirmed specs that are comparable and in some cases better than what comparable F-Series trucks currently provide. The Atlis XT, for example, is promised to come with a 5,000-pound payload rating and 35,000-lb tow rating. The truck is also said to offer up to 15 inches of ground clearance and should be able to power tools on a worksite. Meanwhile, Rivian already has a factory and could have its R1T truck on the market as early as next year.
Well before we see any electric truck from Ford, the automaker will reveal a redesign for its Super Duty range. The covers are expected to come off during next month's 2019 Chicago Auto Show.