Contemporary off its new title of 2023 Motor Development Truck of the 12 months, the Ford F-150 Lightning all-electric pickup has simply been tapped as North American Truck of the 12 months by the judging group NACTOY. As for wrapping your palms across the zero emission steering wheel of the F-150 anytime quickly, neglect it. That’s a no-go except you have already got an order within the pipeline…or possibly not, because the case could also be.
The Thriller Of The Disappearing Ford F-150 Lightning Pickup Vans
Ford started hitting the sustainable mobility candy spots with the brand new F-150 Lightning proper out of the field, together with a hookup with the photo voltaic developer Sunrun in 2021 (try our full protection right here). The car’s two-way EV battery additionally gives some distinctive advertising and marketing alternatives.
With all the thrill, it’s little surprise that the next message presently pops up whenever you log on to see about reserving a brand new F-150 Lightning of your very personal: “On account of excessive demand, the present mannequin yr is now not out there for retail order. Contact your seller for extra info.”
Ouch! What offers?
Provide chain points and managerial choices could possibly be in play, as famous by CleanTechnica editor and CEO Zach Shahan final week. Certainly one of our readers left a word within the remark thread that implies one other issue, too.
A touch in the identical path popped up late in 2021, after Ford launched the Mustang Mach-E in a blizzard of publicity.
Considerably misplaced within the bonfire was the curiosity of the NYPD and different fleet car managers within the new Mach-E. Ford additionally launched an all-electric model of its well-liked Transit industrial van in 2021, and it adopted up with a extra compact model for the European market final yr.
It’s All About The Fleet
In case you guessed that industrial clients may nonetheless be capable to pay money for a reservation for an F150 Lightning, run proper out and purchase your self a cigar.
At present, Ford’s on-line fleet showroom is showcasing the 2022 industrial model, the F-150 Lightning Professional, with no out-of-stock disclaimer:
“The following defining second in the transfer to electrification is right here with the Ford F-150 Lightning Professional. A truck designed particularly to supply what you want for industrial use. It’s the identical highly effective, robust and good F-150 you’ve at all times relied on. However now, it gives a variety of extremely good options to make the job simpler.”
“Together with the most important, most accessible entrance trunk of any electrical pickup, in a single day charging options that help you begin the day at a full cost and Professional Energy Onboard which turns your truck right into a fully-functioning generator,” Ford provides. “All along with a powertrain that allows you to work in locations you couldn’t earlier than and requires much less scheduled upkeep.”
Truck Of The 12 months
Ford form of buries that factor about “work in additional locations,” nevertheless it’s an actual game-changer for industrial pickups. As an alternative of the noise and air pollution that emerge from an idling truck and associated tools, the F150 Lightning purrs like a kitten.
Don’t simply take our phrase for it. The car judging group NACTOY cited iSeeCars.com and Forbes reporter Karl Brauer, who stated that “Ford’s effort to create an all-electric F-150 is exceptional as a result of it combines the usual truck’s dimensions, which suggests it retains large aftermarket assist, with substantial upgrades to areas like storage and cellular energy assist.”
“It’s actually one of the best of all worlds, giving the F-150 Lightning a variety of functions for each conventional and new-to-the-segment truck clients,” he emphasised.
Ford president and CEO Jim Farley additionally promised that the F-150 Lightning bottleneck will ease this yr.
“Incomes North America’s Truck of the 12 months is large for the crew that has been working so exhausting to construct and ship as many Lightnings as doable, as rapidly as doable,”he stated. “We’re transferring quick to additional ramp manufacturing to a 150,000 run charge this fall and pushing to enhance each side of this truck.”
Motor Development additionally had this to say final December:
“With pickup vehicles being the bestselling automobiles in America by a large margin, changing them to EVs has the potential to make an outsized impression on every thing from air high quality to gasoline costs to international warming—however provided that truck patrons need them.”
“The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is the primary EV pickup to attraction on to the prevailing truck market, doing its job so convincingly that it’s our 2023 MotorTrend Truck of the 12 months.
Do You Actually Want An F-150 Lightning?
That “current truck market” looks as if one other clue. Maybe when you already personal a traditional F-150 pickup truck for industrial use, you’ve gotten a greater likelihood of leaping the road to get the F-150 Lightning Professional.
It’s additionally value preserving in thoughts that Ford is aware about its fleet enterprise. About two years in the past our mates over at Electrek surmised that particular person, non-commercial automotive patrons may as nicely neglect about shopping for an F-150 Lightning any time within the close to future, partly because of the curiosity of fleet managers in all-electric pickups.
As a worst-case state of affairs, Electrek instructed that dissatisfied Ford clients can be compelled into the arms of typical gas-guzzling F-150s, of which there are nonetheless lots.
That’s not essentially the case. Fleets have a tendency to show over quickly, so it gained’t be lengthy earlier than used F-150 Lightnings start hitting the used truck market. People who’re available in the market for a zero emission utility car additionally produce other choices, equivalent to electrical SUVs and vans.
Scaling Up The Zero Emission Pickup
On the greater finish of the zero emission truck scale, Ford has additionally been making noises about introducing a gasoline cell model of its F-550 Tremendous Responsibility truck. The corporate has engaged with Tremendous Truck 3, the newest iteration of the Vitality Division’s ongoing SuperTruck program.
Final yr Ford partnered with SoCal Gasoline to reveal a hydrogen gasoline cell F-550. The corporate Ferguson can also be on board with a take a look at run of gasoline cell vehicles on the F-550 platform.
Automakers are additionally starting to tease the thought of utilizing hydrogen gasoline instantly in a combustion engine, or not directly by utilizing inexperienced hydrogen to supply artificial electrofuels.
Ford’s hydrogen journey has been getting an help from Mike Copeland and the oldsters over at Arrington Efficiency, who launched a souped-up hydrogen-powered 1964 Ford Falcon to the world final yr.
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Picture (screenshot): Ford F-150 Lightning Professional electrical pickup truck courtesy of Ford.
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