The Ford F-150 Lightning is changing minds across America about what an electric vehicle can do. In fact, Ford declared it their best truck to date—not best electric vehicle, but best truck, period.
Electric SUVs are available now and pickups will be soon. This development has been anticipated for years. Electric vehicle sales are about 24 times higher than they were 10 years ago, with several factors driving demand:
- Instant torque from electric motors boosts acceleration.
- Low center of gravity improves handling and reduces rollover risk.
- Superior traction control of electric motors can increase off-road capability and safety in winter.
- The upfront cost of an EV purchase is now more competitive with similar internal combustion models, and most EVs qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500.
- The cheaper operating fuel cost per mile for electricity compared to gasoline or diesel.
Ford’s F-150 Lightning is scheduled to arrive in spring 2022, starting at less than $40,000 for the commercial trim package with a 230-mile range. A 300-plus mile battery is an option. All models are four-wheel drive with respectable towing and payload capacities. The Lightning is also equipped to provide 9.6 kilowatts of home backup power or portable power for a jobsite.
Tesla has more than a million preorders for its new Cybertruck, which likely will arrive in 2022. The 250-mile range, two-wheel-drive model starts under $40,000 and increases to $50,000 for the 300-mile range, four-wheel-drive model. Tesla plans to offer a 500-plus-mile range version for $70,000 that can tow more than 14,000 pounds.
GMC announced a late 2021 release of an electric Hummer with 1,000 horsepower and additional features for off-road performance.
Rivian, a startup backed by billions of dollars from Ford and Amazon, plans to unveil its R1T electric pickup later this year.
Crossover SUVs are one of the most popular vehicle types, and a number of manufacturers say they will have electric models available soon.
Ford’s Mustang Mach-E is available now with a range up to 305 miles. It starts at $45,000. Volkswagen’s ID4 CUV starts at $40,000 and is available with all-wheel drive options. More electric SUVs are coming, including Rivian’s R1S, Nissan’s Ariya and Volkswagen’s six-passenger ID6.
And it’s not just vehicles shifting to electric.
Electric snow machines and jet skis are arriving soon. Even large construction equipment such as excavators, backhoes and heavy-duty trucks will have electrically fueled models.
One remaining hurdle for increased EV adoption in rural areas is fast, sufficient charging for longer trips. Most EV owners charge at home, but more fast-charge stations on rural highways will be helpful.
If you’re interested in an EV, talk to your utility. It may offer special EV rates or rebates.