The rate of electric vehicle adoption in the United States has been growing exponentially year over year. In 2021, over 600,000 new electric cars were sold in the US. This represents an 83% percent growth rate when compared to how many were sold in 2018. However, despite the fact that electric vehicles are visibly gaining steam, numerous challenges still remain. These percolating challenges come down to things like cost, practicality, and broad market appeal. Although, thanks to the Ford F-150 Lightning that slowly may be starting to change. Ford’s latest EV pickup could very well have the potential to be the driving force behind more widespread adoption and utilization of electric vehicles.
At present, Tesla is unquestionably the market leader in the electric car industry. This is due largely in part to the fact that they were one of the earliest pioneers of the modern EV movement and as such have the most robust charging networks and ecosystems in existence. This innately makes them more appealing to anyone interested in purchasing an EV. That being said, people who drive Teslas do not utilize them for the same purposes that a driver of an F-150 would use their pickup for. Teslas are not utility-focused cars. They are daily drivers meant to get someone from place to place. They are luxurious and appeal to many of society’s upper echelons. In fact, Money & Markets labeled Teslas nothing more than status symbols. In contrast, the F-150 Lightning is meant to appeal to various other subsets of individuals.
The internal combustion engine version of the F-150 is the most popular car in the United States. It is used by farmers, tradespeople, contractors, and any other individuals who have a need for a car capable of handling any heavy-duty expectation you throw at it. The Ford F-150 Lightning was developed to service this wide breadth of the population. The Ford F-150 Lighting was created to show those hesitant or completely adverse to driving an EV that there is an electric car out there that can do everything their gas-powered one can do (and perhaps even more.) The Ford F-150 Lighting also highlights that EVs aren’t just meant for the uber-rich or uptight business person looking to bolster their image, but they are just as much for the average hard-working citizen.
Nick Schmidt, who runs a farm in rural Michigan and uses nothing but pickup trucks to accomplish his day-to-day duties, became the very first purchaser of the Ford F-150 Lightning. His initial thoughts on his purchase were that it was exactly what he “wanted it to be, just a Ford Pickup truck, “ Schmidt told NPR. Perhaps, in some ways, it even exceeded Schmidt’s expectations. “It’s fast. I mean, for a big, full-sized pickup truck, it’ll do, I think, 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds or something, which is unheard of, “ Schmidt beamed.
If Schmidt is any indication, the Ford F-150 Lightning certainly represents a beacon of hope for the broad adoption that the EV industry needs. That being said, there are still a lot of obstacles to overcome before that broad adoption actually becomes attainable. First, most EVs are still very expensive. And the F-150 Lightning is no exception.
Second, the charging infrastructure in the United States can be described as abysmal at best. Right now, robust charging networks are still limited to a handful of major cities around the nation. That has to be greatly expanded and improved upon before any remarkable EV adoption can occur. And that’s really just scratching the surface. Still, the Ford F-150 Lightning could very well be the common denominator that the EV industry has been visibly lacking since its inception. But at least now there is a known visible and marketable common denominator, and knowing is half the battle.