There was a time when the Tesla Cybertruck seemed to be headed for a head-on collision with Ford’s electric F-150 when the vehicles enter the market. But if recent reports from Ford are any indication, it appears that the Cybertruck may end up losing one of its potential rivals when it begins production late next year.
With the electric pickup truck segment emerging, vehicles like the Tesla Cybertruck, Rivian R1T, Ford F-150 Electric, and the GMC Hummer EV appeared to be set for a rivalry. The market for electric pickups is immense, considering how popular trucks are in the United States. Few electric trucks have been unveiled by automakers so far as well, leaving the segment free for the taking.
While electric pickups like the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T were created by companies that are electric from their roots, other vehicles like the Ford F-150 electric and Hummer EV are the products of legacy automakers aiming to break into the electric sphere. Ford, for its part, has taken a significant stake in Rivian, and it has announced its intentions to utilize the EV truckmaker’s tech for its upcoming vehicles.
Among these is an all-electric SUV under Ford’s luxury brand, Lincoln. Following this, other electric pickups and SUVs were expected to be released, some of which will be using Rivian’s skateboard platform. Among these is the F-150 electric, a truck that was demonstrated to have enough power to pull a 1 million-pound freight train loaded with other F-150 pickups.
Unfortunately, Ford has announced to Automotive News that its Rivian-based Lincoln all-electric SUV has been officially canceled. Lincoln did state that it will still be working with Rivian and it will be releasing a vehicle based on the EV company’s skateboard platform, but it would be an “alternative vehicle,” not an EV.
“Given the current environment, Lincoln and Rivian have decided not to pursue the development of a fully electric vehicle based on Rivian’s skateboard platform. Our strategic commitment to Lincoln, Rivian and electrification remains unchanged and Lincoln’s future plans will include an all-electric vehicle,” a Lincoln spokesperson said.
Such a development may end up delaying the release of Ford’s all-electric vehicles, including the highly-anticipated F-150 EV. Ford has not disclosed if the all-electric pickup will be using Rivian’s tech or skateboard platform, but such a strategy would not be surprising considering the company’s $500 million investment in the young truck maker last year.
It is unfortunate, but the delay in the electric Ford F-150 may very well benefit the Tesla Cybertruck. Tesla’s expansion plans have remained relatively unchanged despite the ongoing pandemic, and save for the Semi; the electric car maker has not announced any other significant delays to its upcoming vehicles. The Roadster’s release may be adjusted as well, considering that its initial delivery estimate was set for this year, but that’s a low-volume supercar, with Elon Musk expecting to produce just around 10,000 per year.
The following year would definitely be critical for the industry’s electric truck makers. Due to the ongoing pandemic, delays in vehicle releases have been announced. Even Rivian, which beat Tesla to the punch in unveiling its electric truck, has announced that R1T and R1S deliveries have been moved to 2021. GM has also revealed that the Hummer EV’s unveiling has been delayed. With the Ford F-150 electric likely moved back, the electric pickup market next year may end up being dominated mainly by the Cybertruck and the R1T, at least depending on Rivian and Tesla’s capability to build and deliver their vehicles.