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    Thread: Ford and GM are rushing to build electric pickups...but why?

    1. Member Uber Wagon's Avatar
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      09-13-2019 10:37 AM #1



      DETROIT — Large pickup trucks that tow most of the profits in to Ford and General Motors are holdovers from another century — with heavy ladder frames and big internal combustion engines in the front driving the wheels in the back.

      Now, Ford and GM are racing to design radical new takes on their most profitable models, replacing petroleum-fueled engines with batteries in a bid to outflank Tesla Inc's plan to eclipse their brands. Ford's F-150 pickup and GM's Chevrolet Silverado are the top selling vehicles in the U.S. market.

      "This is going to be a real watershed for the whole industry," Ford Chairman Bill Ford told Reuters in a recent interview. The automaker has disclosed few details about the electric F-series, but Bill Ford hinted the truck could have load-carrying space under the hood in addition to the traditional bed in the back.

      "You pick up all that extra space where the engine compartment has been," Ford said. An electric F-Series could be a work truck — with its batteries functioning as a job site power source, he said. And it could be positioned as a high-performance vehicle next to the gas-fueled, 450-horsepower Raptor pickup truck.

      The Dearborn, Michigan-based company has said it will invest $11.5 billion electrifying its vehicles by 2022, including adding 16 fully electric models, all of which will be profitable. It recently demonstrated the immense towing power of an electric truck, using a prototype to pull 1 million pounds of railroad cars and other trucks.

      Ford and GM have more than one reason to take chances on electric pickups — a concept that some analysts and industry executives say could be a small niche.

      "Our strategy is very clear. We're going to play to our strengths. We're good at pickups."

      Electric pickups could help Ford and GM generate the significant sales of EVs they will need to meet tougher emission standards and electric vehicle mandates in California and other states. The Trump administration is moving to roll back those standards, but the electric trucks are a hedge if California prevails.

      Governments and corporations — major buyers of pickups — could view electric pickups as a way to show a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

      Competition from Tesla and EV startups Rivian Automotive and Workhorse Group is another factor, although Ford recently mitigated some of that risk by investing $500 million in Rivian.

      Three years ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk declared he wanted to attack the heart of the Detroit automakers' franchises with a Tesla electric pickup he has described as a "cyberpunk" truck with the performance of a Porsche 911 sports car. Tesla is expected to unveil a prototype this year, with analysts forecasting a 2022 debut. Musk declined to comment for this story.

      Officials familiar with Ford and GM's plans said their electric pickups will be introduced by early 2022.

      "Our strategy is very clear," Ted Cannis, Ford's director of electrification, told Reuters at the No. 2 U.S. automaker's product development center outside Detroit. "We're going to play to our strengths. We're good at pickups."

      Ford's electric truck will be built on a company EV platform separate from the vehicles it will offer later on a Rivian platform.

      Ford has said it will introduce a hybrid F-150 next year. Bill Ford said the all-electric F-150 "won't be too far after that."

      GM's electric truck
      At GM, Chief Executive Mary Barra said in April the automaker would make an electric full-size pickup, but provided no further details. The company has said it plans to invest $8 billion to develop electric and self-driving vehicles, launching 20 new EVs globally by 2023.

      Officials have not discussed plans for the electric pickup, but GM is pushing to introduce it within two years, according to several people familiar with the plans.

      The lead engineer is Josh Tavel, who was the chief engineer for the Chevy Volt, Cadillac ELR, and Spark and Bolt EVs as well as executive chief engineer for full-size pickups, GM said.

      Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe believes positive reaction last fall for his company's R1T electric truck, due in fall 2020, shows the potential demand.

      "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?" he told Reuters at the company's Plymouth, Michigan, headquarters.

      Ford officials will not discuss sales expectations for the electric F-150. But Bill Ford said the electric pickup could outperform conservative expectations — if prospective customers try it.

      Beau Boeckmann of Galpin Ford in the L.A. area and one of the largest U.S. Ford dealers, said customers are already asking about the truck. "We're going to be shocked. I think the electric pickup truck has a huge future."

      Ford has broken with pickup segment conventions before — substituting a turbocharged six-cylinder EcoBoost engine for the traditional V-8, and then giving the current generation of the truck an aluminum body instead of steel, the chairman said. The aluminum F-series is the bestselling pickup truck line in the United States, and about half are equipped with six-cylinder engines.

      "Like it was with EcoBoost and like it was with aluminum, it's important we get people in the vehicle to try it," Ford said.

      Beau Boeckmann, president of Galpin Ford in the Los Angeles area and one of the largest U.S. Ford dealers, said customers are already asking about the truck.

      "We're going to be shocked," he said. "I think the electric pickup truck has a huge future."

      Not everyone is so sanguine. Industry tracking firm IHS Markit has estimated the entire full-size electric truck segment will account for fewer than 30,000 sales in 2026, compared with an expected 2.3 million sales overall.

      "We're in uncharted waters," IHS Markit principal analyst Stephanie Brinley said. "We're talking niche in the beginning."

      Detroit's other big automaker, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV , has no current plans for an all-electric Ram, while Toyota is betting more heavily on a hybrid Tundra pickup.

      "The sliver of volume that's going to be electric pickups is not worthy of a business case," said one person familiar with Toyota's plans.

      The Detroit automakers ultimately want to defend a segment they see as their own.

      "Why would we let Tesla beat us with a pickup truck?" said one person familiar with Ford's plans. "That's our turf."
      https://www.autoblog.com/2019/09/13/...pickup-trucks/
      Last edited by Uber Wagon; 09-13-2019 at 10:43 AM.
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    3. Member westsideseal's Avatar
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      09-13-2019 10:49 AM #2
      What's the point of owning a truck if you can't roll coal?

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      09-13-2019 10:49 AM #3
      Just image how many recalls there will be.
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      Yep, when I see andlf as the thread starter, it's a mandatory click now.
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    5. Member Uber Wagon's Avatar
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      09-13-2019 10:52 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by andlf View Post
      Just image how many recalls there will be.
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      09-13-2019 11:34 AM #5
      It makes sense to make these. They'll work for 90+% of pickup buyers for their trips to the mall and starbucks and to grab three bags of mulch from Home Depot.

    7. Member thegoodson's Avatar
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      09-13-2019 11:39 AM #6
      Because CAFE.

    8. Senior Member Lwize's Avatar
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      09-13-2019 11:48 AM #7
      Because Torx.

      Plus think of the environmental damage big ass battery packs will cause? They should start with lead acid batteries!
      I reject geometry.

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      09-13-2019 11:49 AM #8
      Based on how fast the Tesla Semi is, I’d take electric as a towing vehicle around town every time. Electric motors are superior to ICE in pretty much every imaginable metric. Batteries are the only thing holding them back.

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      09-13-2019 12:23 PM #9
      1. If automakers are going to get serious about electric, they need to offer what people want - and pickups are the most popular thing sold here, and have been for a long time. American companies need to offer up crossovers and pickups in e-format. That's what buyers here prefer.

      2. There seems to be lots of space for batteries with the big pickup config so you could put serious range into them if needed. A crew-cab F150 would have space, i would think, for the equivalent of two batteries (one under the cab, one under the bed) and it would also cure the pickup of its front-heavy dynamics (though it would be heavy). That said, weight is not a real concern for most truck owners. So presumably it would able to get 300-400 mile range?

      3. People said no one would by pickups unless they had V8s, meanwhile Ecoboost 6's are the accepted mainstream engines in Ford.

      4. Many pickups are sold to businesses, so there is that added layer. If they can show a business the pickup can be cheaper to run and more reliable, it will sell even if the public (private buyers) don't flock to them. I can't imagine a contractor won't look at a fleet of e-trucks they plug in at night so no fueling, nd have way less maintenance as a negative. For them if the money works, they will do it, no questions asked.

      5. The massive tork will be seriously addictive, and since big trucks can't get great economy, why not just run electric. Besides, since most Fords at least aren't V8s, there isn't a great exhaust note to lose.

      6. Some of this thankfully is fear-based. Ford and GM didn't care when Tesla made e-sedans, or a e-sportscar. They got concerned when e-crossovers began to pop up, but so far they are Jaguar and other fancy brands. To bring an e-pickup that could threaten their core business? That's worth tossing a couple billion at just as a hedge if nothing else.

      7. Brodozers will be able to run massive tires without a regear, or at least with far less impact...oh dear. Those sluggish trucks running 35+ tires will suddenly be quick again.

      8. Not that big trucks go offroad much, but that torque will be wonderful for off-roading and rock-crawling. The tork from e-motors is exactly what truck owners want and use, and instead of a finicky diesel crippled with emissions stuff, they can get a e-truck that does moar tork.
      Last edited by Lawrider; 09-13-2019 at 12:24 PM. Reason: spacing

    11. Member TurboREX's Avatar
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      09-13-2019 12:26 PM #10
      seems pretty obvious........

      both brands top sellers are trucks, no one currently offers one, massive opportunity for companies to reduce fuel costs in the commercial sector

    12. Member 88c900t's Avatar
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      09-13-2019 12:40 PM #11
      Why? Kind of a dumb question...

      Basically CAFE, and trucks being BOF should make integrating (very large) packs much easier than a unibody vehicle. Plus, you can drive a 6000 lb, 600 ft/lb of torx truck and not have to worry about gas prices spiking, sounds like a solid plan.
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      09-13-2019 01:01 PM #12
      Ford and GM are rushing to build electric pickups...but why?

    14. Member Accidental L8 apex's Avatar
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      09-15-2019 05:24 PM #13
      Fleet sales.
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      09-15-2019 06:35 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by 88c900t View Post
      Why? Kind of a dumb question...

      Basically CAFE, and trucks being BOF should make integrating (very large) packs much easier than a unibody vehicle. Plus, you can drive a 6000 lb, 600 ft/lb of torx truck and not have to worry about gas prices spiking, sounds like a solid plan.
      exactly. besides, this would be perfect for local & regional deliveries. They definitely should offer range extender options though.
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      09-15-2019 07:25 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by andlf View Post
      Just image how many recalls there will be.
      Considering EV's are simple AF from an engineering standpoint I would say not as many as they have now..
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    17. 09-15-2019 07:49 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by thegoodson View Post
      Because CAFE.
      Pretty much this and says so in the article. And it continues on saying it will be a small niche like the rest of the EV products out there:

      "Ford and GM have more than one reason to take chances on electric pickups — a concept that some analysts and industry executives say could be a small niche.


      Electric pickups could help Ford and GM generate the significant sales of EVs they will need to meet tougher emission standards and electric vehicle mandates in California and other states. The Trump administration is moving to roll back those standards, but the electric trucks are a hedge if California prevails.

      Not everyone is so sanguine. Industry tracking firm IHS Markit has estimated the entire full-size electric truck segment will account for fewer than 30,000 sales in 2026, compared with an expected 2.3 million sales overall.

      "We're in uncharted waters," IHS Markit principal analyst Stephanie Brinley said. "We're talking niche in the beginning."
      Detroit's other big automaker, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV , has no current plans for an all-electric Ram, while Toyota is betting more heavily on a hybrid Tundra pickup.
      "The sliver of volume that's going to be electric pickups is not worthy of a business case," said one person familiar with Toyota's plans.

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      09-15-2019 08:45 PM #17
      Because pickups sell.
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      09-15-2019 09:40 PM #18
      If I could afford one, I'd be all over it. Especially if there's a reasonable option for on-the-road charging.

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      09-15-2019 09:59 PM #19
      Oh come on, Ford and GM! You've gotta know rednecks have a strong distaste for electrics! WHERE'S THAT DOGGONE V8?! 'MURICA!

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      09-15-2019 10:24 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by TSchuettinger View Post
      Oh come on, Ford and GM! You've gotta know rednecks have a strong distaste for electrics! WHERE'S THAT DOGGONE V8?! 'MURICA!
      This. No V8, no care.
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      09-16-2019 12:28 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by TSchuettinger View Post
      Oh come on, Ford and GM! You've gotta know rednecks have a strong distaste for electrics! WHERE'S THAT DOGGONE V8?! 'MURICA!
      Nice stereotypical view of pickup owners...I hope you are serious with your redneck statement.. My F150 and previous Tacoma have been a DD for over 10 years for work purposes and a generally nice vehicle for trips and hauling stuff. People making statements like this need to grow up and realize they have a place in the world and not just mall crawlers or for just the occasional trip to HD. If Ford offers (and they will with their collaboration with Rivian) something like this I will be first on board 100%. There's a place in the market for a good electric truck, and if Ford and Rivain can pull this off it will be a gamechanger.
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      09-16-2019 04:14 AM #22
      Vehicles are slowly turning into appliances. My 'hood is full of Tesla's, seems like another neighbor gets one every week. My buddy has 2 now. We used to talk about cars, a lot. Is his model S fast? Sure, but it does absolutely nothing for me; I don't care it's faster than my old 500hp track car....it has no presense, it's "idle" doesn't shake windows, it has no exhaust/gas/clutch smell. It's saddening really. I feel like at some point there will be no car enthusiasts, no weekend engine swaps and people will commute by some kind of pod, to and from work with no driving emotion, we'll become less masculine.

      FWIW, I do not currently have a "fun" car, but I'm working towards my 997 GT3. They'll probably be banned and replaced with Taycan's by then.
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    24. Member sirswank!'s Avatar
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      09-16-2019 07:43 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by 16vracer View Post
      Vehicles are slowly turning into appliances. My 'hood is full of Tesla's, seems like another neighbor gets one every week. My buddy has 2 now. We used to talk about cars, a lot. Is his model S fast? Sure, but it does absolutely nothing for me; I don't care it's faster than my old 500hp track car....it has no presence, it's "idle" doesn't shake windows, it has no exhaust/gas/clutch smell. It's saddening really. I feel like at some point there will be no car enthusiasts, no weekend engine swaps and people will commute by some kind of pod, to and from work with no driving emotion, we'll become less masculine.

      FWIW, I do not currently have a "fun" car, but I'm working towards my 997 GT3. They'll probably be banned and replaced with Taycan's by then.
      i am confused. for some, vehicles have always been appliances, and those are not the people who would drive a car with any of the traits you listed above. also, your sig lists two priuses. surely you understand the concept of an appliance commuter.

      i'd love an electric pickup, as i am one of those weekend warriors who need to haul stuff from Lowes Depot and the antique stores on the weekend, yet would love no fuel bill from my 60 mile daily commute. currently, my V8 dakota hits me hard in the wallet twice a week. i have no issue charging overnight and so long as it was affordable-ish (40-50k?) i'd be all over it.
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      09-16-2019 07:50 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by LT1M21Stingray View Post
      This. No V8, no care.
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      09-16-2019 10:50 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by Crispyfritter View Post
      If I could afford one, I'd be all over it. Especially if there's a reasonable option for on-the-road charging.
      Same here, I currently have an old beat up F150 that I use to haul trash to the dump, load my bike, kayak etc and a car for everything else. I'd happily combine both into a single vehicle, newer trucks are pretty nice places to be inside, something with 300 mile or more range and similar size to the new Ranger would be about perfect for me.

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