The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R is an off-road beast that scoffs at most obstacles and trail conditions thanks to its supercharged V8 engine. That same engine is making many wonder whether Ford will replace the Raptor lineup’s internal combustion engines (ICEs) with electric motors in the short-to-mid term. But according to Ford, which was cited by Motor Authority, the simple answer is no.
The head of Ford Performance, Carl Widmann, says that neither partially- nor fully-electric drivetrains are forthcoming for any vehicles in the Raptor lineup. The F-150 Lightning will be the dominant EV truck from the blue oval for now.
The FP boss went on to say that ICE powertrains are a better fit for off-road machines because they avoid the weight penalty endemic to EVs: big batteries. Widmann used the GMC Hummer EV as an example, Motor Authority reports:
The silver-haired performance enthusiast, who’s responsible for ridiculous machines including the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor, and the third-generation Ford F-150 Raptor, said his team has driven the GMC Hummer EV. “They are good for a shot, but not something you would run at Baja.” Widmann laughed while noting the Hummer weighs in at more than 9,000 lb.
Widmann said electric vehicles (specifically referring to off-road-capable trucks) aren’t as nimble as a V-8-powered vehicle due to all the extra weight of the batteries.
Dewalt 20V Max Cordless Drill & Driver Kit
Comes equipped with an LED which goes on when the trigger is pulled. You’ll a clear view of whatever you are drilling or screwing with minimal shadows.
Ford’s head of performance isn’t wrong to chastise the Hummer EV for its outrageously heavy battery, which seems impractical for a sport where agility is as important as power. Moreover, the Hummer EV’s battery seems irresponsible from an environmental perspective, which is ironic.
It’s hard to claim the mantle of eco-friendliness when that many resources are siphoned to a single battery pack that will power one machine alone, which is necessary to reach “satisfactory” range. It’s just such a bizarre combination to demand from one machine: monstrous off-road capability and long EV range.
Maybe if the Hummer EV was lighter or smaller it wouldn’t need such a big battery. The added mass of that battery pack makes Ford reluctant to electrify the Raptor. And, to be fair, Widmann also shot down any rumors of a bigger (heavier) 7.3-liter V8 engine for later Raptors.
But I keep coming back to the F-150 Lightning because the F-150 Raptor R and Lightning, presumably, don’t have vastly different curb weights; they’re both probably sitting at around 6,000 pounds.
Nearly everything else is different, of course: the Lightning has a different powertrain, different suspension, and different buyer altogether. But what if it didn’t? What if Ford could trade some range for a better suspension? What if Ford could make an EV worthy of the Raptor badge? It just seems like a fully-electric Raptor is right there. So close yet so far away.