Ford finds clear words when it comes to heavy pickups. In other words, vehicles that are intended to pull or carry particularly heavy loads. At Ford, these vehicles fall under the class “Super Duty”, which means something like “heavy duty”.
No electric or hybrid models are planned here. As recently as spring 2022, Ford CEO Jim Farley confirmed this, noting that battery technology simply wasn’t ready for heavier trucks at the time, the blog fordauthority.com reports.
For the next generation of these vehicles, full work is being done on e-versions and fuel cell pickups. In 2023, some US utilities such as SoCalGas and Ferguson Enterprises are to be equipped with the hydrogen trucks. According to US media reports, Ford wants to completely dispense with electric drive for this type of vehicle for the time being and rely directly on fuel cells.
Heavy pickups poorly suited for electric drive
The problem of electrifying heavy pickups or trucks does not only affect Ford. Competitors such as General Motors or Stellantis with its US brands are also struggling with it. This is mainly due to the necessary battery capacity.
Although powerful engines are available to operate them efficiently in a truck with sufficient range and tonnage, huge and heavy battery packs would be required, making the useful weight of such vehicles unprofitable.
Jim Farley, Ford CEO, said:
If you pull 10,000 pounds (4.54 tonnes), an electric truck is not the right solution and 95 per cent of our customers pull more than 10,000 pounds.
“This is a really important segment for our country, and it’s more likely to switch to hydrogen fuel cells before it goes all-electric,” Farley said at a vehicle presentation in Kentucky. At the moment, according to Ford, only gasoline and diesel really meet the needs of this class of vehicles.
The US government has also recognized this and left heavy pickups out of the expiration dates, the time when no combustion engines may be sold. Ford wants to rely on fuel cells until battery technology is advanced enough to efficiently operate heavy pickups.
Source: No more electricity? This will be Ford’s hydrogen giant, October 16, 2022