Ford will launch the electric version of its best-selling F-150 pickup truck on Wednesday, a move that auto experts have called “huge” for the switch to low-emission vehicles.
Joe Biden has pushed for the United States to become the world leader in electric vehicles and has offered to spend $ 174 billion of its $ 2.3 billion in jobs and infrastructure to promote the transition from fossil fuels.
Ford’s F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States since the 1970s. Last year, the company sold 787,422 vehicles, a disappointing slide amid the coronavirus pandemic from the 896,526 units sold in 2019, but that number still easily made it the top-selling truck in the United States.
The latest version of the truck will be officially unveiled Wednesday evening, scheduled for the California market, which is the largest market for electric vehicles in the United States.
The new F-150 Lightning is considered to be so important to the electrification of the American fleet that the president visited Ford in Detroit this week to promote its plans to overhaul the national infrastructure and promote electric vehicles.
“The future of the automotive industry is electric. There is no going back, ”Biden said. “The question is whether we are going to lead or if we are going to fall behind in the race towards the future.”
Biden later tested the F-150 Lightning, which will be the most powerful version of the vehicle in the current lineup with a range of at least 300 miles. “This sucker is fast,” he says.
“I think it’s huge,” said Jennifer Weiss, senior policy associate for the climate and energy program at Duke University. “Launching a vehicle like this and a marketing campaign around it is going to be huge. “
Electric cars currently make up a very small percentage of vehicles on American roads. Plug-in electric cars only accounted for 2.3% of sales in the United States in 2020; Norway leads the world with electric vehicles, accounting for 74.8% of sales. But it’s China that worries Biden the most.
China is the world’s largest automobile market. Electric vehicles only accounted for 6.3% of sales last year, but the size of its market makes it the largest number of units sold. In 2019, Chinese consumers bought more than 1.2 million electric vehicles, more than three times the 328,000 electric vehicles sold in the United States.
The F-150 is just one of a series of top EVs in the pipeline, including new vehicles from Tesla and an electric Hummer from General Motors. GM chief executive Mary Barra has pledged to deliver a full-electric vehicle lineup by 2035.
But the United States needs to tackle significant infrastructure issues for the F-150 and other EVs to become mainstream. While China has 800,000 public charging stations, the United States has only 100,000. Meanwhile, Republicans are pushing back the size of Biden’s infrastructure plan.