American carmaker Ford Motor Company on Tuesday released a video showcasing the towing capacity of a new F-150 electric pickup truck. The video showed the electric F-150 towing a number of rail cars that were carrying a weight close to 1.25 million pounds. The vehicle is still a few years away from production, reports news outlet CNBC.
Ford has stepped up investments in the electric vehicle sector, signing an agreement for technology sharing with German carmaker Volkswagen last month and investing in an electric startup named Rivian earlier this year, following announcements related to the development of an electric pickup truck by rival motor company Tesla.
Ford is the leading pickup truck seller in the United States but has yet to produce an all-electric version. According to a report in CNBC, the F-series of trucks made by Ford are the best-selling pickup trucks in the U.S. over the past four decades, and the company depends heavily on the sales of these vehicles to turn profits.
The entry of electric vehicles into the market over the past few years has complicated the business of traditional car manufacturers. Electric cars run on batteries and therefore offer a cheaper solution than fuel-based alternatives. The cost of EV production has also decreased in recent years, and EV makers can now offer vehicles at competitive prices to traditional cars.
California-based EV maker Tesla has emerged as the leading electric vehicle seller in the U.S amidst all this. In 2018, Musk announced that Tesla was working on the production of a new electric pickup truck that would be priced close to $50,000. The truck would have a towing capacity of close to 300,000 pounds, Musk said last year.
The announcement by Tesla was likely seen as direct competition by Ford Motors. The 2019 Ford F-150 pickup truck is priced between $28,000 and $38,000. However, the hallmark of Ford vehicles has been their strength in towing capacity, and Musk’s plans to make Tesla vehicles more powerful stand to hurt Ford.
The recently released video is a demonstration of Ford’s commitment to keeping the company a leader in the pickup truck market. It also shows that Ford is pivoting to electric vehicles. However, both Tesla and Ford are still yet to produce EV pickup trucks. The entry of other automakers, like Amazon-backed Rivian, could also increase competition in the EV truck sector.