With F-150 Lightning, Ford is not chatting about pounds

Ford definitely knows how to set on a exhibit.

The introduction past month of the battery-electrical F-150 Lightning pickup was a slick Hollywood-good quality production that smashed it out of the ballpark as considerably as new auto debuts go. With Ford’s classic “glass household” Dearborn, Mich., headquarters doubling as a big display, company officers built it obvious to Tesla, Rivian and others that it intends to dominate the electric powered pickup phase.

And Ford most likely will. The F-Sequence has been America’s top-advertising pickup for 44 straight yrs.

And yet, curiously, a single term — aluminum — was not pointed out by any of the crucial presenters: Ford Govt Chairman Invoice Ford, CEO Jim Farley and the truck’s main engineer, Linda Zhang. As with the rest of the F-150 and Super Duty lineup, the Lightning will have a human body built of excess weight-preserving aluminum.

You might recall it was a lot less than a ten years ago that Ford expended a lot more than $1 billion to retool two of its assembly plants when it ditched steel panels to make aluminum-bodied vehicles. But the expense to change the F-Sequence from metal to aluminum was far, far increased than that. Ford used far more than a ten years building, testing and perfecting the bonding and riveting and manufacturing technologies desired to create the F-Series truck at higher volumes.

I watched the Might 19 introduction of the Lightning, filtering out the self-congratulatory delighted communicate and concentrating on the complex information. A person variation of the Lightning is expected to have a driving range between rates of 300 miles. That’s an amazing feat for a automobile weighing above 3 tons and that is about as aerodynamic as a cinder block.

On the normal difficulty F-150, the use of aluminum panels can help save as substantially as 700 kilos, according to Ford. With electric powered motor vehicles, the amount of money of excess weight the motors have to drive all-around directly and significantly impacts driving assortment. Reduce pounds also has other positive aspects, this kind of as improved braking and handling and amplified amount of masses the truck can tow and haul.

Ford does mention “military quality aluminum” in its Lightning press resources, but people are not extensively noticed by the public. Perhaps Ford made a decision not to attract notice to the F-150’s 6,500-pound body weight during its broadcast simply because it is really no extended profitable the lightweighting race it kicked off with the 2015 F-150.

Rivian’s R1T electrical pickup that launches in July will make intensive use of carbon fiber and magnesium and also has an aluminum entire body and a 300-mile variety. But the R1T weighs in at just in excess of 5,800 lbs .. We do not know still no matter whether that is an apples-to-apples comparison since Ford tends to load its vehicles with dozens of benefit and consolation functions and basic safety technologies.

With electrical trucks, holding body weight down is super important. The reduce the fat, the more time the driving variety among rates. You can bet there will be excess weight watchers out there seeking to see which organization is foremost the league. Appropriate now, it appears to be like like Rivian has the advantage.

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