The 2021 third-generation PowerBoost engine teams the 3.5L EcoBoost twin-turbo engine and 10-speed automatic and adds a 35-KW 45 hp electric motor and a 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery. It sprints to 60 in 5.3 seconds while the gas mileage even for the 4WD is rated at 24 miles per gallon, meaning it will get some 700 miles on a full tank. Electric only power is very limited with the gas kicking in for a smooth output, but the transmission is criticized for struggling with low-speed, light-throttle situations such as heavy traffic. Anther kink to work out is the braking, but handling and ride are right on. The F-150 PowerBoost touts 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque and can pull 12,700 pounds.
Ford’s Pro Power Onboard mobile generator system allows you to power tools and appliances whether you’re stationary or driving. Pro Power Onboard can be paired to regular gasoline engines, too, but with the PowerBoost it can generate up to 7,200 watts –enough juice to power a whole worksite. A fold-out worktable in the center console is another “made-for-work” feature.
As always, Ford offers an endless array of configurations, not just in engines, but also in cabin and bed options and trim levels. Our tester was the simply fabulous King Ranch SuperCrew with a base price just over $60,000. The PowerBoost engine added $2,500 and it was loaded up with a chrome appearance package, tow technology package, FX4 off-road package, Pilot 360 Active Prep package, twin panel sunroof and other niceties adding about $16,000 to its price tag.
So what’s in store for no-gas pickups? Reservations are full for the just-launched limited edition Hummer EV Edition 1 and the Hummer EV 3X will follow in Fall 2022. Tesla is building a new Gigafactory in Austin that will produce its fully electric Cybertruck. The Cybertruck and the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning will launch as 2022 models. In 2024, Chevy has an electric Silverado coming, and RAM and Toyota are promising electric truck roll-outs around the same timeline.
The true test for truck-makers will be if an electric pickup can perform just like a standard variant when it comes to payload and towing. Mainstream truck manufactures know the answer must be yes!