Heavy-duty trucks: Funding EVs, but last in line

“If you’re pulling 10,000 pounds, an electric truck is not the right solution. And 95 per cent of our customers tow more than 10,000 pounds,” Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley told media at the Churchill Downs horse track, where it revealed a redesigned Ford Super Duty line. “This is a really important segment for our country and it will probably go hydrogen fuel cell before it goes pure electric.”

In 2023, Ford is rolling out new gasoline and diesel engines on the 2023 Super Duty, General Motors is giving the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado HD a stronger diesel engine and the 2023 Ram HD lineup is gaining a Rebel performance variant.

Even as California plans to ban gasoline-powered vehicle sales after 2035, it’s making exceptions for heavy-duty pickups, Farley noted, giving the company confidence that sales of the trucks won’t be limited in the future.

Todd Eckert, Ford’s truck group marketing manager, told Automotive News that buyers of heavy-duty trucks — commonly used in mining, construction and utility work or as emergency response vehicles — haven’t shown much interest in EVs. Rather, they’re focused on what can best get the job done.

“We haven’t seen a huge clamoring,” Eckert said. “It’s about productivity, capability and efficiency. Right now, gas and diesel really serve those needs.”

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