Update: ‘Incredibly high-volume model’ section and ‘Business trifurcation’ sub-section of the ‘Ford EV strategy’ section updated.
The F-150 Lightning went on sale just back in May 2022, but Ford, more specifically its Ford Model e division, is already busy developing an all-new electric truck for the U.S. with the aim of launching it in the 2025 model year. Here’s everything we know about the next-gen 2025 Ford electric truck so far:
A Ford F-100 Lightning?
At the F-150 Lightning Launch SOP event on April 26, 2022, Ford CEO James Farley Jr. hinted that the next-gen 2025 Ford electric truck won’t be the next-gen Ford F-150 Lightning as previously rumored. Below is what he said:
We’re not gonna stop with this beautiful truck. We will produce 600,000 EVs a year by the end of next year. I wish we could bring you all down there, but we’re already pushing dirt down in Blue Oval City in Tennessee for another electric pickup truck that’s different than this one. So, we’re gonna be ready for 2 million electric vehicles four years from now.James Farley Jr., President and CEO, Ford (F-150 Lightning production launch on April 26, 2022)
Farley Jr. subsequently ruled out introducing a Ford F-250 or F-350 Lightning due to the payload demands and the battery pack requirements for a super-duty truck. The electric truck to be made in Tennessee is likely to be smaller than the Ford F-150 Lightning.
Next-gen 2025 Ford electric truck platform
In an interview in December 2021, Farley Jr. told Automotive News that Ford will build a vehicle that isn’t available today on a brand-new, full-size truck platform at BlueOval City. Speaking to Bernstein Senior Analyst Toni Sacconaghi at the Bernstein 38th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference on June 1, 2022, Farley Jr. said that Ford is in the final engineering of its advanced electric architectures.
Where the F-150 Lightning uses a modified version of the gasoline F-150’s chassis, Ford has two platforms that it will launch exclusively for electric vehicles. A smaller ‘GE2 platform’ coming in mid-2023 will underpin cars and crossovers (including a second-gen Mustang Mach-E) and a ‘TE1 platform’ for trucks will form the basis for the next-gen 2025 Ford electric truck and probably even the Ford Ranger Electric.
In addition, the Ford Bronco EV (which is almost confirmed by the company as a project having been greenlit) and electric “two- and three-row SUVs for families around the world like (Ford) Explorer (EV) and Lincoln Aviator (EV)” will also be accommodated on this RWD/AWD BEV platform, Hau Thai-Tang, Chief Product Platform and Operations Officer, Ford, confirmed in 2021.
“Incredibly high-volume model”
In the aforementioned interview with Automotive News, Farley Jr. said that Ford thinks that it’s going to be an “incredibly high volume” model. On September 27, 2021, Ford had confirmed that the production of the next-generation electric F-Series pickups at BlueOval City will start in 2025. The EV we are talking about in this story will likely be the first model.
BlueOval City will be a 3,600-acre campus consisting of a vehicle assembly plant, a battery production plant, and a supplier park. The same day Ford announced it (September 27, 2021), the Tennessee government revealed in a related announcement that the company will build it on the Memphis Regional Megasite.
On September 23, 2022, Ford announced that it has broken ground at BlueOval City and is on track to open what will be its largest, most advanced auto production complex to date in 2025. Covering an area of nearly six square miles, the new manufacturing facility will create about 6,000 new jobs when the company begins operations there in 2025. It will bring the Blue Oval, the second most popular EV brand in its home market, closer to its target of making two million EVs globally by late 2026.
The next-gen 2025 Ford electric truck should be far more efficient than the F-150 Lightning. Referring to this model to YouTube channel Miss GoElectric‘s Laycee Schmidtke at the F-150 Lightning SOP event, Farley Jr. said that it will have a very radical design and feature active (deployable) aero tech. The EV expert revealed this during an InsideEVs US podcast (watch on YouTube) on April 29, 2022.
Farley Jr. also said that there would be a 100-mile difference in the range, and it’s safe to assume he meant a positive difference. The F-150 Lightning delivers an EPA-est. range of up to 320 miles, which means the next-gen electric truck’s max. EPA-est. range could be around 420 miles.
At the Bernstein 38th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference, Farley Jr. had more to say about how Ford plans to make its second-gen EVs more efficient. He pointed out how gains could be made by improving the braking system and the aerodynamics of the vehicle:
Every watt, every amp matters. Just on a full-size truck — an optimized full-size truck for aero — versus let’s a Lightning, is 75 miles of range. That’s USD 3,000 in battery. The aerodynamics and other brake systems that are more expensive but recapture more efficiently (and) the reengineering for the vehicle to minimize the size of the battery since it’s so expensive is gonna be a game-changer for the vehicle.James Farley Jr., President and CEO, Ford (Bernstein 38th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference on June 1, 2022)
Ford IonBoost+ battery
On April 27, 2021, Ford announced Ford Ion Park, a new facility for the R&D of battery and battery cell technology and potentially even manufacturing batteries in the future. This will be in addition to the 200,000 square-foot learning lab for developing, testing, and building vehicle battery cells and cell arrays that opens late this year, located in the same place. The next-gen Ford electric truck should pack batteries developed at the Ford Ion Park.
On July 27, 2021, Ford confirmed that it will construct the Ford Ion Park in Romulus, a city in Michigan’s Wayne County. USD 100 million will go into this project, which will be more than half of the company’s USD 185 million committed investment in developing, testing, and building battery cells and cell arrays. The Blue Oval plans to refurbish an existing 270,000 sq.-ft. facility to accommodate up to 200 engineers and make space for pilot-scale equipment for electrode, cell, and array design and production innovation and engineering. It will open its “new collaborative learning lab” by the end of 2022.
Ford will develop ‘IonBoost’ lithium-ion batteries consisting of unique pouch cells with special chemistry, Farley Jr. said at the 2021 Capital Markets Day event on May 26, 2021. These batteries will have Ford’s own battery control algorithm, and be suitable for larger vehicles, including trucks and SUVs. ‘IonBoost+’ will be the name of Ford’s next-gen battery technology, Thai-Tang said at the same event. The company believes that IonBoost+ delivers the highest energy density of any cell of its type, he added. IonBoost has an NMC chemistry for the cathode, with Nickel account for 88% of the content. IonBoost and IonBoost+ are one and the same thing, but the latter is the official name.
This cell chemistry (IonBoost+), coupled with Ford’s proprietary battery control algorithm featuring high accuracy sensing technology, delivers higher efficiency and range for customers. Our pouch cell format is unique and ideal for powering larger vehicles and performance products.Hau Thai-Tang, chief product platform and operations officer, Ford (2021 Capital Markets Day on May 26, 2021)
For its commercial vehicles, Ford will develop IonBoost Pro batteries consisting of cheaper lithium iron phosphate cells.
Cheaper than the F-150 Lightning
Speaking to Schmidtke in April 2022 and then to Sacconaghi in June 2022, Farley Jr. gave many indications that the next-gen 2025 Ford electric truck will be more affordable than the F-150 Lightning.
First, Farley Jr. told Schmidtke that there would be a USD 7,000 difference between the price of the future electric truck and the F-150 Lightning. Then, while speaking to Sacconaghi, he explained at length how Ford wants its next-gen EVs to be less expensive, indicating that the USD 7,000 difference would mean lower pricing for the future model.
The F-150 Lightning’s base price is USD 46,974. So, is Ford targeting a circa USD 40,000 entry price for its groundbreaking future electric truck? Probably.
Ford will likely introduce a new distribution model by the time it launches the next-gen 2025 electric truck. At the Bernstein 38th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference, Farley Jr. said that the company’s current distribution model is USD 2,000/unit more expensive than Tesla. It’s possible that the company looking at a direct sales channel for its next-gen EVs, and may also stop public advertisements to save cost.
Ford EV strategy
Ford is bullish on electrification in its North American and European markets and is planning a massive xEV onslaught. The company plans to invest more than USD 30 billion in electrification. It expects 50% of global vehicle sales to be derived from pure electric models by 2030. The Blue Oval will launch multiple EVs from Ford and Lincoln brands this decade, including a Bronco EV, Explorer EV, Ranger EV, an MEB platform-based compact electric SUV, and Aviator EV.
In addition to the development of new electrified products and powertrains, a part of the USD 30 billion investment will go into domestic battery production. In partnership with SK Innovation, the company plans to build BlueOvalSK Battery Park, a battery manufacturing complex consisting of two battery plants, in central Kentucky. It will build the battery plant at BlueOval City in Tennessee also with the South Korean battery specialist.
To accelerate electrification and simplify its business, Ford has separated operations into three divisions: Ford Model e (passenger EVs), Ford Blue (passenger ICEVs, and Ford Pro (CVs). As it splits up its business, the company expects major changes from its dealers to smoothen the transition to EVs.
Ford is also cracking down on dealers notoriously profiteering from its popular EVs that are short in supply. According to a report Automotive News published on September 14, 2022, the company will mandate its dealers to sell its EVs at non-negotiable prices. While this would also mean customers will no longer be able to haggle for discounts, dealers not levying excessive markups would dwarf the shortcoming of the change in pricing strategy. The new practice will ensure transparency and fair pricing in the buying process.
We will keep updating this story as more details emerge.
Next-gen 2025 Ford electric truck FAQs
What is the release date of the next-gen 2025 Ford electric truck?
The next-gen 2025 Ford electric truck could arrive in 2025.
What is the expected price of the next-gen 2025 Ford electric truck?
The next-gen 2025 Ford electric truck could be priced in the USD 45,000-50,000 range.
Featured Image – 2022 Ford Ranger’s headlight courtesy of Ford