The race to electric pickup truck market intensifies as Ford and GM enter fold

With electric vehicle manufacturers Rivian and Tesla making waves recently with their respective pushes into the EV pickup truck market, two of America’s most popular pickup truck manufacturers are looking to keep their firm grasp on the market with the introduction of their own battery powered models.

Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. have long relied on their traditional pickup truck models to deliver strong profits, with Ford’s F-150 pickup and GM’s Chevrolet Silverado models both consistently in the top three vehicles sold in the US.

However, the two companies are now racing to develop an electric version of the popular trucks in order to continue their dominance over the market after Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, announced his companies’ intention to deliver a Tesla pickup truck in the near future.

The companies also appear to have one eye on recent as well as future potential changes to laws and regulations that may affect their profitability into the future.

Due to the rigorous emissions standards recently enforced upon automotive manufacturers in California and numerous other US states, manufacturers will be required sell electric, hybrid and hydrogen vehicles as a certain proportion of their overall sales. Ford and GM are hoping that the introduction of electric pickup trucks will help meet these standards and boost sales.

“This is going to be a real watershed for the whole industry,” said Ford chairman Bill Ford following the announcement of an electric Ford pickup.

While details on the new electric F-150 have been kept quiet, Ford did hint that the pickup could come with increased storage under the hood.

“You pick up all that extra space where the engine compartment has been,” said Ford.

Ford has already committed $11.5 billion to the project of electrifying its entire fleet by 2022, including the introduction of 16 new fully electric models.

News of the new Ford F-150 comes following Fords announcement that they had invested $500 million in Rivian Automotive, an EV start-up specifying in electric off-road and utility vehicles. It is understood that Ford’s electric truck will be built on their own company EV platform, separate from the vehicles being built by Rivian.

Rivian CEO, R.J. Scaringe, believes the positive reaction to his companies recent R1T electric truck unveiling showed the demand for electric trucks was there.

“The question is how large is the demand and does it translate across all price points or does it stay more isolated in the higher price points?” said Scaringe.

The decision to move into EVs was obvious according to Ford’s director of electrification, Ted Cannis.

“Our strategy is very clear,” said Cannis.

“We’re going to play to our strengths. We’re good at pickups.”

It is believed that the new Ford pickup will be ready for production by early 2022.

Meanwhile, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra announced in April that a full-size electric pickup was in the works, however provided no further details.

Officials believe the company is pushing to get the new model to market within two years.

GM has also made plants to electrify their fleet of models, investing $8 billion to develop 20 electric and self-driving vehicles by 2023.

Original source: Yahoo! Finance | Ford, GM rev up electric pickup trucks to head off Tesla

18 Sep 2019