The electrified truck market has exploded in the past few months, with Rivian, Hummer, and Ford all launching their hotly-anticipated all-new EV pickups and shipping them off to eager customers. At an event to celebrate the first of the Ford F-150 Lightning all-electric pickup trucks rolling off the production line at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford CEO Jim Farley let slip that the automaker is already fast at work on its second all-new electric truck model to keep up with the competition, and we think we have a few smart ideas about what Ford could be planning.
Ford's new EV crossovers and pickups are so popular the automaker is tripling its production capacity for the Ford Mustang Mach-E, and ramping up Lightning production to satisfy over 200,000 early reservations on the truck. The F-150 Lightning joins the F-Series family as a similarly-equipped sibling to Ford's best-selling truck, but its next new pickup may not be as straightforward.
Farley confirmed that the Lightning is not Ford's only EV truck, and that another all-new electric pickup was in the works. Farley was not referring to the upcoming second-gen F-150 Lightning replacement that's already in development, nor heavy-duty trucks already in the cards. Ford later clarified that the new model would still be part of the F-Series family.
We think that leaves three likely candidates for what upcoming pickup could be, including a EV version of the Raptor performance truck, an electrified next-gen Ranger or Maverick, and we can't rule out the possibility of a lower-spec F-Series variant.
One of the easiest moves Ford could make for its second all-electric pickup truck is a performance model. Just like the combustion-powered Ford F-150 Raptor, we'd expect an EV version to be heavily based on the on the main EV truck. However, Ford has already confirmed its second-generation F-150 EV will ride on an all-new platform coming in 2025, whereas the current Lightning currently sits on a (heavily) modified version of the ICE F-150's platform. We'd wager if Ford was working on a performance truck, it would do it with the next-generation platform setup.
The F-150 Lightning's performance currently tops out at 563 horsepower and a whopping 775 lb-ft of torque, which are already blistering figures for a non-performance model. Though, compared to the Hummer EV's available 1,000 horsepower, it's clear there's plenty of room in the truck market for a more powerful Lightning EV. Given Ford's success with its Raptor off-road sub-brand, that'd seem like a natural form for the burlier Lightning to take.
Ford may seek a different category of performance for its second EV truck model and go for an electric Super Duty pickup over an EV Raptor. However, this isn't the truck we'd be the most excited for, if we're honest. Ford has also already clarified Farley's comments this week were not a reference to future heavy-duty EVs. Comparing the current Lightning to the current Super Duty lineup, the electric lighter-duty pickup already bests it in power and torque ratings; the second-gen Lightning on an all-new platform will likely improve upon even further. For hauling, it's likely Ford and its customers stick with the available gas and diesel powertrain options for now to maintain towing capability, where an EV would significantly suffer in performance and range in similar circumstances. In other words, a heavy-duty Lightning isn't really necessary at this point, but it'll likely happen eventually.
It's possible, then, that Ford goes the other direction, and offers a downgraded F-Series model with less performance and features, perhaps with rear-wheel drive and likely at a lower cost. The work-oriented Lightning Pro and XLT sold out incredibly fast, so Ford may want to market its full-size truck in more-accessible configurations, possibly even under the old name of F-100. Ford even recently modified an old F-100 pickup with its crate powertrain from the Ford Mustang Mach-E, dubbed the Eluminator, so it's possible it's on the minds of product planners already.
Ford may also have an all-new, smaller truck in mind, given the recent success story of the Ford Maverick. The company is rumored to be working on a next-gen Ford Ranger EV of some sort through its partnership with Volkswagen. However, comments from executives, via Drive.au, suggest that truck will be a global model built on a modified version of the Ranger's current platform. We believe Ford is likely working off of its next-gen platform for the truck Farley teased, instead.
If not an EV Ranger, Ford representatives have already heavily indicated a smaller EV truck, similar in offering to the Ford Maverick, could be coming soon. A silhouette during a product demonstration shows an outline for something smaller than the Lightning, and Ford spokesperson Mike Levine tweeted the image in response to speculation over an EV Maverick on Twitter. The Maverick is already offered as a hybrid in its current form, and its popularity and city-friendly size may be perfect for a full-EV version.
Given indications that this will be a next-gen pickup EV, it's likely we won't know what exactly Ford has planned until 2025. That's when the second-gen Lightning is primed to show up with its new platform, and Ford has already confirmed an "expanded lineup" of EVs is coming soon. That timing lines up nicely on schedule for a next-gen Raptor model, but Ford will also need an update for the Ranger and Maverick trucks by that date, as well. So even if we know when, we still don't know what. Regardless of what it is, 2025 is also when Ford plans to have its new Blue City Oval campus in Stanton, Tennessee ready for next-gen EV production, with plans to eventually expand the company's production capacity up to 600,000 EVs a year.