Update: ‘A Ford F-100 or F-200?’ section added.
The F-150 Lightning went on sale in May 2022, and now Ford, more specifically its Ford Model e division, is already busy developing an all-new electric truck for the U.S. Codenamed ‘Ford Project T3,’ the new electric truck is coming in 2025. Here’s everything we know about the Ford T3 electric truck so far:
A Ford F-100 or F-200?
At the F-150 Lightning Launch SOP event on April 26, 2022, Ford CEO Jim Farley Jr. hinted that the new Ford electric truck isn’t the next-gen F-150 Lightning as previously rumored. Below is what he said:
We’re not gonna stop with this (F-150 Lightning) 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 (F-150 Lightning). So, we’re gonna be ready for 2 million electric vehicles four years from now.Jim 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. From these hints, we believed that the electric truck to be made in Tennessee will be smaller than the F-150 Lightning.
On August 28, 2023, Ford applied for a trademark application for ‘F-200’ at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This development has led to media speculation that ‘Ford F-200 Lightning’ is the company’s upcoming electric pickup truck.
There’s a chance, given the absence of ‘Lightning’ in the application, that the Blue Oval might introduce a gas truck named F-200. However, considering Ford’s extensive lineup, this seems unlikely. Perhaps the company is reserving the F-200 name to prevent others from using similar naming and to keep options open for future launches.
Design & Features
The Ford T3 would have a futuristic design, but not as unconventional as the Cybertruck. It’ll likely be sleeker and more aerodynamic than the F-150 Lightning, with a smooth silhouette and better drag-reducing measures. It’ll be a dual-cab model, which is usually the case with most electric pickup trucks.
The teaser below indicates the Ford T3 will have an aggressively raked windshield. That would allow a smoother airflow over the body, leading to reduced energy consumption and thus increased range. Low aerodynamic drag also reduces vibration and wind noise, allowing the driver and passengers to enjoy a smooth journey.
Referring to the Ford T3 electric truck at the F-150 Lightning SOP event in 2022, Farley Jr. told YouTube channel Miss GoElectric‘s Laycee Schmidtke 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.
Trust me when I tell you, it will be like no other truck you’ve ever seen or driven it’s going to be fast and quiet and yes it’ll be smooth as Tennessee whiskey.Jim Farley Jr., President and CEO, Ford (BlueOval City progress announcement on March 24, 2023)
The next-gen Ford electric truck will be a highly digital model, Farley Jr. suggested during the announcement. He said that the Ford T3 will be a fully software-updatable vehicle. Ford plans to give this model frequent software updates. In addition to regular software improvements, the company has promised towing, power offloading, and many innovations for the second electric truck.
We’re going to send software to it every week, every month, every year to make your truck better and we will start at home. It’s going to feel comfortable at the job site, is going to be able to tow and haul but it also have exportable power much more than today. It’ll have endless innovation that’s going to make it easier to get work done easier and faster.Jim Farley Jr., President and CEO, Ford (BlueOval City progress announcement on March 24, 2023)
The Ford T3 would allow autonomous driving on hundreds of thousands of compatible roads in the U.S. and Canada. The F-150 Lightning is already capable of that on more than 130,000 miles of divided roads in North America, and the next model will likely build on that.
We have the ambition with this truck that on a sunny day on the highway you’ll be able to take your eyes off the road you know drive safely for you so you could do more work and you get time back every day when you buy this truck.Jim Farley Jr., President and CEO, Ford (BlueOval City progress announcement on March 24, 2023)
Speaking to Schmidtke, Farley Jr. also said that there would be a 100-mile difference in the range of the Ford T3 electric truck, 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.Jim Farley Jr., President and CEO, Ford (Bernstein 38th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference on June 1, 2022)
Ford T3 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.
In a conversation with YouTube channel State Of Charge’s Tom Moloughney, Farley said that Ford has finished designing its second EV platform. The company is following the footsteps of Tesla and Apple to move development as much as possible in-house, he added. For example, it will build the electric architecture and all the software controls of the T3 instead of delegating work to suppliers. Farley ended the conversation by stating that the T3 will be a fully software-updateable vehicle, emphasizing the fact that customers will be able to change a lot more than just the in-cabin electronics.
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 2025 Ford T3 electric truck and probably even the Ford Ranger Electric.
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, former chief industrial platform 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 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.
Magna will be the first supplier at Ford’s BlueOval City supplier park. It will construct an 800,000-square-foot frame and battery enclosures facility and a 140,000-square-foot seating facility there. The latter will be responsible for manufacturing polyurethane, foam and assembling and sequencing complete seats right before they go into the vehicles. Production at both plants will commence in 2025.
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, located in the same place in late 2022. 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.
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, former chief industrial platform officer, Ford (2021 Capital Markets Day on May 26, 2021)
Ford will also develop IonBoost Pro batteries consisting of cheaper lithium iron phosphate cells.
The Ford T3 should support DC fast-charging at much higher rates than the F-150 Lightning. The latter can accept direct current at up to 120 kW (98 kWh battery pack)/155 kW (131 kWh battery pack) and takes about 36 minutes (98 kWh battery pack)/41 minutes (131 kWh battery pack) for a 15-80% charging session using a 150 kW+ DC fast charger. For the T3, Ford could be targeting much lower DC fast-charging times, of less than 30 minutes.
The T3 will almost certainly come with Plug & Charge compatibility. At supported charging stations, like those of Electrify America, customers won’t need to pull out their credit cards or smartphones to pay. The payment is automatic, as the charging station will be able to communicate with the EV and bill the owner through their registered account accordingly. The charging session will start as soon as they connect the cord from the charging station to their EV.
As an added bonus, the T3 electric truck will have the North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector built-in and thus support charging at 12,000+ Tesla Superchargers across the U.S. V3, the latest version of Tesla’s Superchargers, can deliver direct current at up to 250 kW.
Production & Release Date
Ford has said that it will start making the Project T3 at the BlueOval City vehicle assembly plant in 2025 and that this production site will have an annual capacity of 500,000 EV trucks. On May 22, 2023, at its annual capital markets day event, Doug Field, Chief Advanced Product Development and Technology Officer, Ford Model e, Ford, confirmed that the new electric pickup will debut in 2025. He suggested that it will be available in fewer configurations compared to current Ford pickups.
Project T3 is our next electric truck. The complexity goes so far in this new project that you’ll be able to count the buildable combinations on two hands.Doug Field, Chief Advanced Product Development and Technology Officer, Ford Model e, Ford (Ford Capital Markets Day 2023 on May 22, 2023)
According to AutoForecast Solutions’ research (via Motor1.com), a new Ford F-Series Lightning model codenamed ‘Ford P800’ will enter production at the BlueOval City vehicle assembly plant on August 18, 2025. Notably, this is the sole model scheduled for production at the facility in 2025, and it’s safe to assume that it is the electric truck we’ve covered in this article, the one Ford refers to as Project T3.
If Ford starts production of its second electric truck model in August 2025, it may be eyeing a world premiere in early 2025. There was a gap of 11 months between the debut and the start of production of the F-150 Lightning. However, EV operations are speeding up, and with the second electric truck, the company may narrow the gap to around eight months.
The project T3 stands for trust the truck. This is a truck people can trust not only to do work, but they can trust it in the digital age. It’s fully updateable. It’ll be constantly approving, rapidly learning from the moment it starts down the assembly line when its computer is alive and communicating with the factory until years after it’s been a part of a customer’s life.Doug Field, Chief Advanced Product Development and Technology Officer, Ford Model e, Ford (Ford Capital Markets Day 2023 on May 22, 2023)
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 Ford T3 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 new Ford electric truck could become the company’s new ~USD 40,000 model.
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.
We will keep updating this story as more details emerge.
2025 Ford electric truck (Ford T3) FAQs
What is the release date of the Ford T3 electric truck?
The next-gen Ford electric truck will arrive in 2025.
What is the expected price of the Ford T3 electric truck?
The Ford T3 could be priced in the USD 40,000-60,000 range.
Featured Image – 2022 Ford Ranger’s headlight courtesy of Ford