We had thought that towing range for the F-150 Lightning would be very bad before the truck was out, and, indeed, publications like MotorTrend recently confirmed as much, getting as little as 90 miles of range towing a 7,218-pound trailer. It sounds like with Super Duty, Ford won’t even bother with electric for the foreseeable future.
Don’t take it from me, though. Here’s a few Ford executives including Jim Farley, CEO of Ford, via Automotive News:
“If you’re pulling 10,000 pounds, an electric truck is not the right solution. And 95 percent of our customers tow more than 10,000 pounds,” Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley told media at the Churchill Downs horse track, where it revealed a redesigned Super Duty line. “This is a really important segment for our country and it will probably go hydrogen fuel cell before it goes pure electric.”
Todd Eckert, Ford’s truck group marketing manager, told Automotive News that buyers of heavy-duty trucks — commonly used in mining, construction and utility work or as emergency response vehicles — haven’t shown much interest in EVs. Rather, they’re focused on what can best get the job done.
“We haven’t seen a huge clamoring,” Eckert said. “It’s about productivity, capability and efficiency. Right now, gas and diesel really serve those needs.”
And don’t just take it from Ford, as here’s Scott Bell, a vice president at Chevrolet, as quoted by Auto News:
“We see this segment as maybe one of the last to hang onto ICE,” Bell said.
This all, logically, makes sense, because towing really is a problem for trucks, given that one way automakers increase range is by making EVs more aerodynamic, and one problem with a lot of things you might tow is that they are very much not aerodynamic, in addition to the added weight. It is also the first thing I hear whenever I ask many a current truck owner about switching to electric, which is that being able to tow for medium to long distances is a high priority, and they haven’t yet seen an EV truck that can do that.
All of which is probably where hydrogen fuel cell eventually comes in, as Farley notes, except that tech feels very far away, and isn’t even well-established in cars, to the extent that automakers are even interested in it. So: Get ready to see a lot more gas- and diesel-powered Super Dutys for now. I’m just glad Ford is finally admitting that towing sucks with EV trucks. There’s also still time, Ford, for you to answer a certain email on the subject from May of last year.