To dig further into today’s huge Ford F-150 Lightning news, I sat down with Darren Palmer, General Manager of Battery Electric Vehicles at Ford Motor Company, for half an hour. Listen below, or read on for a summary of what we discussed.
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We talked about the formation of Team Edison, Ford’s battery electric vehicle (BEV) team created a few years ago to try to shoot Ford into a leadership position in BEVs. Darren provided some useful insight into the scope of Team Edison’s task and what came out of it.
We also talked about how that led to the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the importance of the Mustang Mach-E, and why we love the Mustang Mach-E so much. (Side note: the Mustang Mach-E is a finalist for the 2021 CleanTechnica Car of the Year award.)
We then got to the main meal, the focus of the day, the F-150 Lightning. We talked about all of the things I highlighted in “Ford F-150 Lightning — Much Wow! To The Moon!” That includes the F-150 Lightning’s stunningly low base price and the F-150 Lightning’s performance and the fact that it demotes the F-150 Raptor to second-quickest F-150 (naturally, lightning is faster than a raptor). Darren also got into the F-150 Lightning’s backup power capabilities, phone-as-a-key tech, touchscreen, towing capacity, and more.
One particularly interesting portion of the conversation I’ll pull out is that he highlighted that when they were testing the Lightning in hardcore applications (towing a lot of weight going up a 25% grade), the truck drivers were blown away at how powerful yet smooth the truck was. It felt effortless. This is the beauty of a good electric powertrain! Darren also noted that testing the vehicle in heavy-duty, harsh scenarios led the team to improve the battery management system and other tech in order to be ready for everything (hopefully) that consumers throw at the truck.
For the full conversation, listen to the podcast above or on whichever podcasting platform you prefer (see below). In coming days, a video version of the interview will be published over on CleanTechnica Pro for paying subscribers of all levels.