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  • Ford F-150 EV Prototype Tows Million-Pound Train 1,000 Feet

Ford F-150 EV Prototype Tows Million-Pound Train 1,000 Feet

Ford Wants to Prove Electric F-150 a Legitimate Work Truck

Jul 23, 2019
Photo 2/11   |   Prototype All Electric Ford F 150 Train Stunt 01

A Ford F-150 EV prototype towed more than 1 million pounds at a recent event to demonstrate that the company is serious about the forthcoming fully electric F-150's capability.

Ted Cannis, Ford Motor Company's Global Director of Electrification, composed a post on Medium about the event, wherein the automaker invited five current F-150 owners (ranging from a current-generation truck all the way back to a 1978 or 1979 model) to a trainyard. The owners soon learned what was up when Linda Zhang, chief engineer for the F-150, showed up and told them she would be hauling a 1 million-pound line of double-decker train cars using the truck. And to make matters a bit more interesting, the F-150 tow pig in question would be an all-electric prototype.
Photo 3/11   |   Prototype All Electric Ford F 150 Train Stunt 06

After towing the empty train cars a total distance of 1,000 feet, Zhang upped the ante by loading them down with 42 F-150s, one for each year the truck has spent at the top of the sales charts. Once again, the Ford F-150 EV towed the load—now up to 1.25 million pounds—the same 1,000 feet. The initially recalcitrant train wheels succumb to the truck, and the whole rig moves forward slowly and steadily. The stunt, although performed under carefully controlled situations, nevertheless shows that the all-electric pickup should still be able to get work done.

"What we're doing here is not just about air quality or rising sea level," Cannis writes in his Medium post. "We are all about building better trucks for our customers who have real work to do every day."
In that vein, an electrified F-150 makes decent sense. Electric motors make maximum torque from a dead stop, so if they're sized appropriately, they're ideal for getting massive amounts of work done. And as battery technology continues to improve, EVs should be able to perform that hard work over longer distances.
We won't lie, we view the Ford F-150 EV with a fair amount of skepticism. Limited recharging infrastructure and high battery cost could conspire to make the new truck little more than a science project for the company. But it's impossible to deny the stunt Ford pulled with the train cars, and the lessons it learns from the F-150 project are almost sure to trickle throughout the company's lineup, including a forthcoming hybridized model. The F-150 EV is on its way, and we hope it will live up to the expectations of -ton truck buyers when it arrives.
Source: Ford, via Medium and YouTube

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