There is probably no type of vehicle that is more tied to the American identity than the pickup truck. Simultaneously a cultural symbol of hard working grit and premium indulgence, the pickup truck in a manufacturer’s vehicle portfolio is directly tied to the brand’s identity. Not to mention their solvency, For example, the Ford F-150 and its fellow F-Series stablemates have been the literal backbone of the Blue Oval for decades. For nearly 40 years the F-150 has held the title as the best selling pickup in the United States, as well as being the best selling vehicle in the nation for many of those years. While Ford currently dominates the traditional pickup truck market, a number of manufacturers are trying to secure their spot as the leader in the electric truck market before the release of the electric F-150. Main contenders include the Tesla Cybertruck, GMC Hummer EV, Bollinger B1, Nikola Badger, and others.
All of these vehicles were announced and/or revealed in less than a year.
With that said, Ford has never been shy about its commitment to bringing an electric truck to the market. The company spent $11.5 billion last year alone in the pursuit of electrification.
As Ford Motor Company is ramping things up, GM President Mark Ruess has made it clear that his company intends to be the first ones to market with the release of GMC’s new Hummer EV, which will be revealed May 20th. Despite the reborn Hummer only being officially announced during Super Bowl LIV, Ruess’ statement suggests that the low-volume Hummer will arrive before the Rivain R1T, which launches at the end of this year.
The Hummer EV has already made a name for itself, thanks to its claimed power figures of 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 ft-lbs of torque.
“Hummer is interesting,” said Dave Pericak, Director Enterprise Product Line Management – Ford Icons, in an interview with MC&T. “ It just goes to show you everybody feels like there’s a market out there… that’s their way to lean into electrification.”
The answer was a little different when we asked Pericak about Tesla, who famously went after the Ford F-150 in a staged video demonstration for the upcoming Cybertruck, which subsequently got Elon called out by everyone’s favorite astrophysicist.
“No comment on Tesla Cybertruck,” said Pericak. The much-hyped low-resolution polygon pickup has sparked the curiosity of a naive audience that otherwise doesn’t understand what they’re looking at, or what kind of jazz-hands marketing they’re witnessing. It has, nevertheless, created enough buzz to generate over half a million pre-orders. Mostly from people who don’t know where they will park it.
Ford has otherwise invested hundreds of millions into startup electric vehicle automaker Rivian. Michigan-based Rivian is also creating an electric pickup truck and an electric SUV, although it will have various luxuries such as paint, which the Cybertruck won’t have.
While the electric Ford F-150 is heading into a rapidly growing segment, we wouldn’t want to be the ones trying to take sales away from the F-150 nameplate. Americans love trucks, but they really love the F-150. We’re not sure that changes just because of a different type of powertrain, or a lack of 64-bit styling.