Today is Earth Day. It’s always a time to reflect on our footprint and impact on our planet. Even in this unprecedented year of viruses and low gas prices and possible recessions, Earth Day should still be a time to reflect.
Earlier this year, Ford Motor Company’s actions to cut emissions, mitigate climate risks and contribute to development of the low-carbon economy earned it a place on CDP’s Climate ‘A List’ for climate change for the first time. Ford is among 35 American companies recognized this year.
“Our people, our customers and our investors expect us to constantly do more to address climate change,” said Bob Holycross, vice president, sustainability, environment and safety engineering. “For more than 20 years, Bill Ford, our executive chairman, has been driving us to act more boldly around climate change.
“We believe making great vehicles, protecting the planet and maintaining a strong business are dependent on each other and not mutually exclusive priorities.”
Bruno Sarda, president of CDP North America said, “Congratulations to Ford for earning a spot on this year’s Climate ‘A List’ – the company is a model for true corporate sustainability leadership.
“Climate change is an undeniable business risk if unaddressed and we must transition to a low-carbon economy now to avoid the worst impacts,” said Sarda. “’A List’ companies know sustainability presents an exciting race to the top, an opportunity to innovate and rethink business as usual, proving that environmental responsibility simply makes good business sense.”
Ford’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions consistent with guidelines in the Paris Climate Accord includes investing more than $11.5 billion in electric vehicles. To increase the appeal and adoption of electric vehicles, Ford is introducing zero-emissions versions some of its most successful vehicles, including the Mustang Mach-E later this year and an electric F-150 in the near future. The company also recently launched North America’s largest EV charging network.
So, I figured here on Earth Day, it’d be a good time to look at some of the EV and hybrid developments Ford is working on. As I’ve reported on, there’s a hybrid F-150 coming as part of the 2021, 14th generation F-150. There’s also an all-electric F-150 coming as part of the 2022 model year. Additionally, there appears to be a very interesting hybrid/V8/AWD Mustang coming. That is a juicy combination! Let’s take a look at these.
2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid
Much has been rumored and postulated about this upcoming slight hybrid from Ford. This will be the first hybrid pickup truck from a major manufacturer and it could be a game changer.
The 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid won’t be a plug-in, as we have finally figured out, and as I reported on. The details from Ford indicate that this will be more of a gentle hybrid, with regenerative technology and also the ability to serve a mobile generator too.
We believe the 2021 F-150 Hybrid will get mated with the 3.5-liter Ecoboost engine along with a small electric motor. This should make for more horsepower and more torque, which is always a win for truck owners.
Kudos to Ford for being the first out of the gate with a hybrid pickup truck. There will be some very interested and some very uninterested consumers. But that doesn’t mean you don’t go forward. Likewise, lower gas prices should not deter this project from proceeding.
The historic drop in fuel prices are short-term and likely won’t have much impact long-term and it would be advisable for Ford and all carmakers to stay the course.
2022 Ford Mustang Hybrid
News broke earlier this month that the next generation Mustang could also include a hybrid version. At first this might sound like the final nail in the Mustang’s coffin, but a closer look reveals quite an interesting pony car.
The 2022 Ford Mustang could combine all-wheel drive and hybrid technology with a V8 engine. Could you imagine how fast and torquey (not to mention fuel efficient) that would be? Sure the all-wheel drive is repellent to some, but I’d bet that AWD could be turned off or sold as rear-wheel drive only.
What I like most about this idea is taking the average consumer’s opinion of a hybrid vehicle (slow and pokey, like a Prius) and turning that idea on its head. When done properly, a hybrid or electric vehicle can have more performance than old internal combustion engine technology.
So again, Ford seems to be earning their Climate List rating with this kind of outside-the-box thinking.
2022 All-Electric Ford F-150
Thinking that we could be less than two years away from having an all-electric full-size pickup truck, not named Tesla, is hard to believe. But Ford is going full-speed ahead on developing the 2022 F-150 EV.
There’s a million unanswered questions about range, towing ability and overall performance when it comes to this truck and I search for the ideal buyer for this truck in this article.
Ford showed off a video earlier this year of the prototype EV F-150 pulling nearly a million pounds of rail cars loaded with F-150s. Of course that’s a publicity stunt, but it shows the ability this truck should have. And like the hybrid F-150, it will take winning over some of the public to convince them this type of truck belongs in the F-150 family.
But again, fantastic vision by Ford as they look toward a green future. As always, I love hearing your feedback. Leave me a comment and weigh in.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.