Recent off its new title of 2023 Motor Development Truck of the Yr, the Ford F-150 Lightning all-electric pickup has simply been tapped as North American Truck of the Yr by the judging group NACTOY. As for wrapping your arms across the zero emission steering wheel of the F-150 anytime quickly, neglect it. That’s a no-go until you have already got an order within the pipeline…or perhaps not, because the case could also be.
The Thriller Of The Disappearing Ford F-150 Lightning Pickup Vehicles
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 (take a look at our full protection right here). The automobile’s two-way EV battery additionally gives some distinctive advertising and marketing alternatives.
With all the thrill, it’s little marvel that the next message presently pops up whenever you go surfing to see about reserving a brand new F-150 Lightning of your very personal: “As a consequence of excessive demand, the present mannequin yr is now not accessible for retail order. Contact your seller for extra info.”
Ouch! What provides?
Provide chain points and managerial selections might be in play, as famous by CleanTechnica editor and CEO Zach Shahan final week. One among our readers left a word within the remark thread that means one other issue, too.
A touch in the identical course 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 automobile managers within the new Mach-E. Ford additionally launched an all-electric model of its well-liked Transit business van in 2021, and it adopted up with a extra compact model for the European market final yr.
It’s All About The Fleet
Should you guessed that business 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 the moment, Ford’s on-line fleet showroom is showcasing the 2022 business model, the F-150 Lightning Professional, with no out-of-stock disclaimer:
“The following defining second within the transfer to electrification is right here with the Ford F-150 Lightning Professional. A truck designed particularly to supply what you want for business use. It’s the identical highly effective, powerful and sensible F-150 you’ve at all times relied on. However now, it provides a variety of extremely sensible options to make the job simpler.”
“Together with the biggest, most accessible entrance trunk of any electrical pickup, in a single day charging options that permit you to 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 Yr
Ford type of buries that factor about “work in additional locations,” nevertheless it’s an actual game-changer for business 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 automobile judging group NACTOY cited iSeeCars.com and Forbes reporter Karl Brauer, who mentioned 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 huge aftermarket help, with substantial upgrades to areas like storage and cellular energy help.”
“It’s actually the most effective 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 Yr is large for the group that has been working so exhausting to construct and ship as many Lightnings as doable, as rapidly as doable,”he mentioned. “We’re transferring quick to additional ramp manufacturing to a 150,000 run fee this fall and pushing to enhance each side of this truck.”
Motor Development additionally had this to say final December:
“With pickup vans being the bestselling automobiles in America by a large margin, changing them to EVs has the potential to make an outsized influence on every little thing from air high quality to gasoline costs to international warming—however provided that truck consumers 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 Yr.
Do You Actually Want An F-150 Lightning?
That “present truck market” looks as if one other clue. Maybe when you already personal a traditional F-150 pickup truck for business use, you may have a greater probability of leaping the road to get the F-150 Lightning Professional.
It’s additionally price retaining in thoughts that Ford is aware about its fleet enterprise. About two years in the past our associates over at Electrek surmised that particular person, non-commercial automobile consumers may as effectively 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 advised that disillusioned Ford clients can be pressured into the arms of typical gas-guzzling F-150s, of which there are nonetheless loads.
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 out there for a zero emission utility automobile additionally produce other choices, reminiscent of 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 Obligation truck. The corporate has engaged with Tremendous Truck 3, the most recent iteration of the Vitality Division’s ongoing SuperTruck program.
Final yr Ford partnered with SoCal Gasoline to show a hydrogen gasoline cell F-550. The corporate Ferguson can be on board with a take a look at run of gasoline cell vans on the F-550 platform.
Automakers are additionally starting to tease the concept of utilizing hydrogen gasoline instantly in a combustion engine, or not directly through the use of inexperienced hydrogen to provide artificial electrofuels.
Ford’s hydrogen journey has been getting an help from Mike Copeland and the parents 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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