Electric ute’s amazing hidden talent
Ford is getting serious about an electric-powered ute.
The American brand has showcased just what an all-electric version of its full-size F-150 can do by towing a train weighing more than 500 tonnes.
The F-150 is the world's best selling vehicle and is a size above Australia's second best selling vehicle the Ford Ranger. It is a similar size to recent local additions the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500.
The prototype electric ute set about towing 10 massive rail cars loaded with 42 regular F-150 trucks to show just how tough electric vehicles can be.
The company says this is above the expected rating of the production version but the stunt highlighted the incredible torque outputs of electric vehicles, essential for towing.
The electric ute is part of the maker's strategy to have 16 electric vehicles on the market by 2022, along with 24 hybrids.
Ted Cannis, Ford's head of global electrification, says the electric F-150 demonstration shows the company's commitment to electric vehicles.
A successful electric F-150 could lead to a battery-powered Ranger ute in the future.
Earlier this year Ford invested more than half a billion dollars in electric ute start-up Rivian that could spawn a plug-in version of the Ranger.
The Blue Oval will use the new partnership to turbocharge its electric car development. General Motors was believed to be interested in investing in Rivian earlier this year following Amazon's billion dollar commitment.
Rivian recently told Australian media that it was planning to bring its electric ute Down Under, possibly by 2022.
Company spokesman Chris Wollen confirmed the ute would be developed in right-hand drive for overseas markets.
"We know that there's markets that will be into these vehicles and the adventure positioning and Australia fits that perfectly. We know we're nicely suited for Australia so it's an important market for us," he said.
Ford is expected to reveal its very first production electric vehicle, an SUV inspired by the Mustang sports car, next year.