Ford announced that it would expand its Rouge assembly plant by building the new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center as part of a $700 million investment at the complex. The new site will be the home of the all-electric F-150 that Ford plans to build by mid-2022. Ford notes that the expansion will bring 300 jobs to the plant, which will support not only the all-electric F-150, but also the battery for the PowerBoost Hybrid F-150 headed our way for the 2021 model year.
The F-150’s new PowerBoost drivetrain pairs a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine with a 47-hp electric motor that replaces the torque converter in the 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford will offer the hybrid powertrain on all F-150 trim levels from XL to Limited. In addition to its fuel-saving capability, the PowerBoost system will also enable regenerative braking to charge its 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery. This feature may make PowerBoost trucks especially attractive to fleet owners because it will likely prolong the life of the friction brakes.
For truck buyers who can wait until 2022 for the new Rouge plant expansion to come online and start cranking out all-electric F-150s, the savings could be even higher. By that point, Ford will be facing some competition in the segment: Rivian should have trucks in consumers’ driveways, depending on delays from the COVID-19 pandemic, and GMC’s Hummer EV will hopefully be in showrooms as well. The F-150 may be the most fleet-friendly, though, since it offers all of the same work-truck features that come in every F-series.
A report from Automotive News also suggests that the all-electric F-150 will bring much lower running costs thanks to its decreased dependency on petroleum. The article cites Ford’s president of the Americas and international markets group, Kumar Galhotra, who says the all-electric F-150 will have half the operating cost of a traditional gasoline-powered model. AN also gave us our first confirmation that, in place of an engine up front, the all-electric F-150 will have a huge frunk. To further sweeten the deal, AN reports that Ford promises that the all-electric powertrain will be the most powerful in the F-150 lineup.
The ever-important details of cost and range still haven’t been revealed, however. Ford always seems to have a finger on the pulse of the work truck buyer and the daily-driving truck enthusiast. We’re sure the Blue Oval will respond with a product that reaches just about every segment possible. Your move, Ram.