Ford rolling out all-electric pickup truck

Morning In America

(NewsNation) — Ford is rolling out an all-electric version of its iconic F-150 pickup truck Tuesday. a pivotal moment in the push to move to hybrid and electric vehicles in the United States.

The F-150 Lightning was first announced last year, and as of Monday morning, the 2022 model of the Lightning was sold out.

Interest in electric vehicles has accelerated over the past decade from combating high gas prices to environmental concerns. President Joe Biden took the pickup truck out for a spin last year, marking a new phase in the shift from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles.

“It’s very exciting to be part of history, right? We’ve talked about, we’re in the moment of building this big change for the company, with the country and even the world going from gas to electric,” Ford BEV implementation manager Chris Skaggs said. “So it’s very exciting to be part of that. And I think everybody feels that.”

The F-150 Lightning pickup is expected to be one of the most significant EVs to ever hit the market. The pickup will be able to travel up to 300 miles per battery charge, thanks to a frame designed to safely hold a huge lithium-ion battery that can power your house should the electricity go out. Going from zero to 60 mph will take just 4.5 seconds.

With a starting price near $40,000 (before options), Ford has calculated that an electric version of America’s top-selling vehicle will appeal to the sorts of buyers who favor rugged pickup trucks prized for strength and durability.

Third-generation Ford employee Brian Palmer said he understands skepticism about electric cars but said he is a firm believer and a soon-to-be owner of the F-150 Lightning.

“This truck has proven me wrong in every facet,” Palmer said on “Morning in America.” “Once you get in and drive it, you will become a believer I guarantee it.”

Electric vehicles are not subject to the same price fluctuations that the global oil market can be, making the cost to fuel your ride cheaper. This doesn’t fully eliminate the issue because depending on the type of electric vehicle you buy, you’re still on the hook for gas, but less.

A regular hybrid uses roughly 30-60% less fuel than a conventional model, whereas a plug-in uses about 40% less.

Electric cars have not been without their tribulations. The lack of charging stations nationwide and the initial high costs of purchasing an EV remain the two major drawbacks to electric vehicles that gas-powered vehicles don’t suffer. Also earlier this month U.S. safety regulators opened an investigation into electric and hybrid vehicle batteries after five automakers issued recalls due to possible defects that could cause fires or stalling.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the probe covers more than 138,000 vehicles with batteries made by LG Energy Solutions of South Korea. General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Stellantis and Volkswagen have issued recalls since February of 2020, most due to internal battery failures that can increase the risk of fires. Ford and BMW also have recalled batteries in recent years.

The investigation is another bug in a growing global rollout of electric vehicles by all automakers to replace internal combustion vehicles to cut emissions and fight climate change.

For the Biden administration to prevail in its push for green energy-driven manufacturing, it will need to overcome resistance as well as skepticism. Critics fear the loss of auto industry jobs in a shift away from gasoline-fueled vehicles. Because EVs are much simpler, it takes fewer workers to build them. And bottlenecked supply chains could leave automakers short of computer chips and vehicle batteries, along with other parts, for months and perhaps years.

NewsNation will be live from the Ford plant in Dearborn, Michigan to cover the unveiling.

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