We are in the last days of the CleanTechnica Car of the Year election.
When I heard that Ford was going to create a battery-electric F-150, I thought it shifted the EV world. A day later I heard Rachel Meadow, in her own unique way, make about the same argument. What happens to the opinion on fully battery-electric vehicles when the most sold vehicle, with the most loyal user base, turns electric?
Here is my take on this. The F-150 sells over 1 million vehicles in a good year. There are likely over 30 million F-150 vehicles on the roads because the F-150 is durable, very durable. Those 30 million owners are told that their next, or the one after their next F-150, will be electric. They have to reevaluate everything they have heard and thought about electric driving. They are going to be electric truck drivers, as there is no escaping that future.
And many of the other, just as brand loyal, truck drivers will realize that where goes the F-150, so goes their truck’s future. Electric driving is no longer a salonfahig (socially acceptable) toy for coastal, liberal elites. It is now a farmer approved working tool in the heartland where you find “Real ‘Muricans.”
For all the car and truck drivers, being somewhere in between the coastal liberal elites and the hard working farmers in the heartland, the message is clear. Their driving future will also become electric. If not with their next car, then the car after that.
The Tesla Model S showed that electric cars could be real usable cars. The Ford F-150 Lightning made that true for all vehicles. The reach of the F-150 is much wider than that of a luxury sedan in a niche market. It is the most beloved, most sold vehicle in the USA.
For the future of clean, zero emission driving, the F-150 Lightning is as consequential as the Model-S. That makes it my choice for car of the year, and probably vehicle of the decade.
P.S. I see I need to use another webcam for future conferences.
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