Ford may not win the race to have the first electric pickup truck in production, but its electric F-150 is arguably the one people are watching the most. Even small changes to the best-selling vehicle in America are a big deal, and going electric will be the biggest change in the truck's 73-year history. These spy shots offer a taste of just how different the truck will be.
In this case, we aren't just talking about electric power. With a big electric motor at the back, the traditional solid rear axle is gone. We've known an independent suspension setup was coming, but these photos give us a good look underneath the truck to show the coilovers at the corners. Half shafts from the motor to the hubs are also visible, and as with previous spy shots, the rear motor is certainly large and in-charge for the camera.
Gallery: 2023 Ford F-150 BEV Spy Photos
Speaking of large and in-charge, profile shots clearly show the hefty frame underneath the F-150's body. Details about the battery pack aren't known, but it sure looks like Ford isn't skimping on strength to carry the extra weight. We've heard the automaker has a target range of 300 miles on a charge, but could also offer an upgraded battery for a 400-mile-plus range. As for other components, we know the F-150 EV will wield dual motors for all-wheel drive, but it's possible a cheaper single-motor RWD version could be offered.
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With independent rear suspension, such a rear-drive machine might make an ideal platform for a new F-150 Lightning performance truck. Ford has already said the electrified version would be the most powerful F-150 of them all, though we suspect harnessing that power through the rear wheels alone would be a tremendous handful. That's okay – we'd take an AWD Lightning with a sub-four-second 0-60 time. Are you listening, Ford?
As for the camouflage, don't expect a significant departure from the styling of the current-generation F-150. We suspect much of the wrap is just a ruse, but the grille and front bumper will be unique to the electric truck. Taillights could also be EV-specific, and of course, this pickup doesn't need fuel doors.
The rumor mill still pegs the electric F-150 as entering production in the first half of 2022 as a 2023 model. Rivian could have its truck in production this year, and the most expensive version of the GMC Hummer is also expected to start production in late 2021. Ford probably won't be the first to market, but we should at least see the EV F-150 revealed before the year is out.