Now, it seems that F-150 Lightning pickup trucks will arrive in the driveway, garage, or at the construction site with more horsepower, more payload capacity, and additional range. That is a very important aspect for the automaker that recently has a bit of dark history with fulfilling promises – just look at the reborn, sixth-generation Bronco rollout.
Speaking of what customers are getting, the first examples that recently began shipping to dealers are just the right ones. Unlike the 2021 Bronco debacle, which had Ford trying to snatch fat profits via the First Edition collectibles, now the company is first sending to customers “the only full-size electric pickup available now with a starting price less than $40,000.”
That equals the Ford F-150 Lightning Pro Series, which kicks off at $39,974 – instead of the $53k XLT, $67k Lariat, or the $91k Platinum. And, already, there are good premises for an upcoming internal EV record, as April sales already surged 139% on the strength of Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit deliveries, even before a single Lightning Pro unit reached owners or reviewers.
Remember, General Motors has relied on the hulking GMC Hummer EV deliveries and came up with a shameful first quarter – and now its CEO Mary Barra sees $30k electric vehicles as key to overtaking Tesla. Interestingly, they might be on the same right track with EVs across the big pond (aka the Atlantic Ocean) as well. Sure, on this account, the biggest impact will come from pricing – and that is a big unknown, just yet.
However, I feel that while minivans are being killed left and right all around Europe as well – just recently we heard the Renault Scenic and Grand Scenic were the latest ones to bite the dust – Ford is doing the right thing to keep commercial vans a big part of its Old Continent plans. No matter how much some people would like to paint a rosy pickup truck picture, the F-150 Lightning does not belong in Europe because of its sheer size.
So, until the Ford Ranger EV plans fall into place, the new 2023 E-Transit Custom will be more than adequate to accelerate the Ford Pro division’s drive towards electrification. The all-electric successor to Europe’s best-selling van will be supported by an entire ecosystem of commercially-focused services, as the Blue Oval is an expert in the region. And even though a Lightning Pro with 320 miles of range (but only with the extended range battery) might sound way better, the E-Transit Custom van is not so shabby either.
Its targeted range is “just” 380 km/236 miles (according to the lax WLTP, not the stringent EPA estimates) but – more importantly – it will also arrive from the upgraded Ford Otosan facility in Kocaeli, Turkey (which is getting a €2 billion/$2,105,170,000 investment from Ford Otosan) with a few other perks. Chief among them would be the sporty new styling, DC fast-charging, and full towing capabilities.