Ford to go against the grain with battery range in new electric F-150
Ford has announced that the hugely popular F-150 model will be available as an electrified model from 2022.
Following the arrival of manufacturers Rivian and Nikola in recent times, the electric ute market is becoming increasingly competitive as manufacturers look to become the first to hit the so-far untapped, potentially lucrative market.
With the electric arms race continuing to grow as more company’s look to get involved, the size of the electric battery being offered by manufacturers has become a key point of difference and talking point.
But while the likes of Tesla, Rivian and Chevrolet battle to offer the longest-lasting battery, Ford has different ideas for their electric batteries.
According to Ford’s global chief of product development Hau Thai-Tang, the vehicle’s range may not necessarily be as important for electric utes like many are predicting.
“Range is a tricky one,” said Thai-Tang. “It’s one of those things where the customers will tell you more is better, and this gets back to a little bit of the ‘you have to be careful of what the customers tell you versus what they really do’.
Thai-Tang explained that drivers had become accustomed to wanting longer ranges for their vehicle, without properly understanding how they use the vehicle.
“We know with our connected data that on average our customers drive about 17 miles (27 kilometres a day.
“When you ask them, they will typically tell you they want 300 miles (480 kilometres) plus of range because that is what they are used to with their ICE vehicles.
“What they don’t recognise is they are carrying those batteries, that mass, that cost, that physical size around all the time and if they are only driving on average 17 miles per day, it’s a bit of just-in-case.”
Understanding customers driving habits and adopting a smaller battery would solve a number of issues facing EV manufacturers.
A smaller battery is much cheaper, making the overall cost of the vehicle much more affordable for consumers.
It would also greatly reduce the overall weight of the vehicle. With utes and pick-up trucks already carrying much more weight than a standard passenger vehicle, adding a heavier battery pack would only serve to add even more weight to the vehicle, reducing the vehicle’s ability to produce an extended driving range.
And, if drivers really are only driving approximately 30 kilometres per day, this would render much of the battery space useless, as the vehicle would spend much of the day idle and charging.
While the expected range of the F-150 remains a mystery at this point in time, Thai Tang’s comments have left many in the industry curious.
Source: EVcentral | Electric Ford F-150: don’t expect big EV range
29 July 2020