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Ford, GM rev up electric pick-up trucks to get out of the Model

DETROIT (Reuters) – Big pickup trucks that are pulling most of the profits of the Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., are holdovers from another century, with a heavy-duty ladder frame and the large internal combustion engines in the front driving the wheels at the back.

FILE PHOTO: Chevrolet, Bolt, EV’s Chief Engineer Josh Tavel from the General Motors Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Michigan, USA, as of March 15, 2016. Steve Fecht/General Motors/handout via REUTERS.

Right now, Ford and GM are racing to design a radical new take on its most profitable models, and the replacement of the petrol engines powered by batteries, in an attempt to outflank Tesla Inc, and plans to eclipse their brands. The Ford F-150 pickup and GM’s Chevrolet Silverado were the top selling vehicles in the U.S. market.

“This is going to be a real turning point for the entire industry,” Ford Chairman Bill Ford told Reuters in a recent interview. The automaker has announced some of the details on the electric, F-series, but Bill Ford was in the truck it could be a load of extra space under the hood, in addition to the traditional bed on his back.

“You’ll have to pick up all that extra space in the engine compartment, it is,” Ford said. An electrical F-Series is a work truck-with the battery will function as a job site power supply, ” he said. And it could be positioned as a high-performance car in addition to the gas-powered, 450 horsepower, Raptor, pick-up truck.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based company has said it will invest $11.5 billion in electrifying its vehicles by 2022, including the addition of the 16 fully-electric models, all of which are profitable.

Ford and GM have more than one reason to reduce the risk of electric pick-ups, a concept that some analysts and industry executives say it may be a small niche.

The electrical pickups help Ford and GM, the generation of significant sales of evs, they will need to have in order to meet the more stringent emission standards, the electric vehicle mandates in California and several other states. The Trumpet of the administration in the movement to roll back those standards, but, the electric forklift trucks have been one of the hedge as the California rule.

Governments and companies, big buyers of pick-ups could see, an electric pick-ups as a way to try to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

The competition for Tesla, and EV start-ups Rivian Automotive Work Group, Inc., is a different matter, though Ford has recently released a limited number of such opportunities, by investing $500 million in the Rivian.

Three years ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that he wanted to strike at the heart of the city of Detroit, the automakers’ franchises, with a Tesla, an electric pick-up, he has been described as a “cyberpunk” truck with the performance of the Porsche 911 sports car. Tesla is expected to unveil a prototype of this year, with analysts predicting a 2022 debut. Musk declined to comment for this story.

The officials are familiar with the Ford’s and GM’s plans said on their electric pick-ups will be submitted by early 2022.

“Our strategy is very clear,” Ted Cannis, Ford’s director of electrification, told Reuters the No 2 US automaker’s product development center outside of Detroit. “We’re going to play to our strengths. We have to get good at pick-ups.”

Ford’s electric car will be built on a company’s EV platform, which are separate from the vehicles, it will be a Rivian’s platform.

Ford has said that it will introduce a hybrid F-150 in the next year. Bill Ford said the all-electric F-150 is “not too far after that.”

GM ELECTRIC PICK-UP TO PUSH

When GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said in April that the car maker is an electric, full-size pick-up, but did not provide further details. The company has said that it plans to invest $8 billion to develop electric and self-driving vehicles, with the launch of 20 new Quality in the world of 2023.

Government officials have discussed plans for an electric pick-up, but GM has been pushing to introduce it within two years, according to several people familiar with the plans.

Lead engineer Josh Tavel, who was the chief engineer for the Chevy Volt, Cadillac ELR, and Spark, and pin Service, as well as the executive chief engineer for full-size pickups, GM said.

Rivian CEO R. J. Scaringe believes in the positive response to last fall, the company R1T-electric truck, in the fall of 2020, the potential demand is.

“The question is what is the question, and does it translate at all price points, or is it a more isolated at the higher price points?” he said to Reuters that the company’s Plymouth, Mich., in the chair.

Ford officials are not talking about the sales expectations for the electric F-150. But Bill Ford said the electric pick-up, was able to outperform the conservative expectations, to the potential for customers to try.

Ford has to be broken with a pick-up in-class agreements for the replacement of a turbo-charged, six-cylinder “EcoBoost” engine, the traditional V-8 in it, and then give it to the current generation of the truck will have a aluminum body instead of steel, the president said. The aluminum F-series has been the best selling pickup truck line in the United States, and about half of them are equipped with a six-cylinder engine.

“If it had EcoBoost and like it was made with aluminum, it is very important that we have people in the vehicle, in order to give it a try,” Ford said.

Beau Boeckmann, president of Galpin Ford in the Los Angeles area, and is one of the largest of any U.S. Ford dealer, said customers are already asking about the truck.

“We are deeply shocked,” he said. “I think it’s an electric pick-up truck, and has a great future.”

However, not everyone is as optimistic. Industry-tracking firm IHS Markit, has an estimate been made of the entire full-size electric truck market account for less than $ 30,000 in sales in 2026, compared with an estimated 2.3 million in revenues in general.

“We are in uncharted waters,” IHS Markit, principal analyst Stephanie Brinley said. “We’re talking a niche of at the beginning.”

Detroit’s other big car maker, Fiat Chrysler automobiles NV , has no current plans for an all-electric Ram, while Toyota Motor Corp. is betting more heavily on a hybrid Tundra pickup truck.

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“The best of volume that’s going to be the electric pick-ups is not worthy of a business case,” said a person familiar with Toyota’s plans.

The Detroit automakers will eventually want to defend a class that they see it as their own.

“Why should we let the Model hit us with a pick-up truck?”, it says a person familiar with Ford’s plans. “That’s our turf.”

Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Additional reporting by Joseph White and Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Joseph White and Matthew Lewis)

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