Ford is in “deep development” of its next-generation electric vehicles, including a new, full-size EV pickup that will complement the automaker’s already-successful F-150 Lightning.
Ford has been working on several new developments for its Model e division dedicated to EVs in hopes of creating an industry-leading platform. One of these developments, revealed last year, was an all-new pickup design with a new nameplate, rumored to be a fresh slate for Ford to build upon.
Electric trucks have become a growing part of the overall EV market in the U.S. Rivian, Ford and General Motors all currently have competitive offers available, with Tesla, Lordstown Motors and others planning to release additional pickups within the next year.
On Ford's Feb. 2 earnings call, CEO Jim Farley hinted toward the new EV pickup, and his comments seemed to solidify reports from late last year that indicated the company’s next electric truck would not be a transitional model that sports the same name as a gas model.
“Now, we are deep in the development of our second-generation EVs, including our next-generation electric full-size pickup, which, by the way, is awesome," Farley said.
Farley’s vague comments are unsurprising, but they catalyze plenty of potential for a carmaker like Ford. The company has been selling the most popular pickup brand in America for 46 consecutive years and America’s best-selling vehicle 41 times in the F-150 series.
The F-150 Lightning has also been a Ford EV pickup concept, selling 15,671 units of the all-electric pickup in its first year on the market.
While details are scarce at the current time, Ford did detail some of the plans it has for the next-generation EV architecture, which will be developed completely from scratch. Farley said the new platform would encourage simplification, which should improve manufacturing and engineering through various streamlined processes.
Ford will need it, too, especially as the company is planning to reach a volume potential of 1 million units with “just a handful of orderable combinations.”
Other things can be optimized. “We didn’t know that our wiring harness for Mach-E was 1.6 kilometers longer than it needed to be. We didn’t know it’s 70 pounds heavier, and that that’s worth $300 of battery. We didn’t know that we underinvested in braking technology to save on the battery size,” Farley added later in the call.
While the two-row crossover is what Farley referred to as “the core civic of the EV business,” it still wants to focus on profitability, of course. Still, it intends to continue offering a strong and marketable product at a price attractive to customers and viable for Ford to continue bringing in profits.
Ford is still working through the kinks, and its business overall has plenty to optimize.
"We left about $2 billion of profit on the table due to cost and especially continued supply chain issues,” Farley said. “These are the simple facts. And to say I’m frustrated is an understatement.”