Ford’s electric F-150 pickup can power your home for 3 days. Should Houston oil and gas be worried?
The all-electric version of Ford Motor Co.’s best-selling F-150 pickup truck is yet another sign of the accelerated energy transition that is increasing its stakes for the oil and gas industry in truck-loving Texas.
The Detroit automaker unveiled the F-150 Lightning on Wednesday, an electric pickup truck that starts at just under $ 40,000, can travel 230 miles on a full charge, and tow up to 10,000 pounds. For Texas at risk of hurricanes and tornados, the Lightning has another advantage: Texans can connect the truck’s 9.6-kilowatt battery to keep their house running for three days in the event of a power failure.
“For both Ford and the American auto industry, the F-150 Lightning is a crucial moment on the way to an emission-free, digitally connected future,” said Ford’s CEO Bill Ford in a statement. Selling trucks for 44 years, the backbone of work across the country and a trusted symbol for generations of customers. Now we are revolutionizing it for a new generation. “
The F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in Texas. If the Detroit automaker can make the F-150 Lightning a bestseller, the electric vehicle can accelerate the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, which are a small but growing segment of the gigantic auto industry. It would also have profound implications for Houston’s critical oil and gas industry, which has long relied on the automotive industry to drive demand for crude oil and petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel.
The International Energy Agency estimates that electric vehicles displaced nearly 600,000 barrels of oil products per day in 2019. This number is expected to rise to 2.5 million barrels per day by 2030.
Ford’s range of electric vehicles was eagerly awaited. Other automakers, including Tesla and startup Rivian, are rolling out their own electric trucks, but Ford’s entry into space is a potential market driver.
Ford’s F-Series pickup has been the top-selling vehicle nationally and the top-selling truck worldwide for the past decade. Today there are 16.6 million F-series trucks on the road, which corresponds to around 6 percent of all vehicles. Ford sold $ 42 billion worth of F-Series trucks in 2019, more than McDonald’s, Nike and Starbucks this year.
While the most popular vehicle in 39 states, the F-150 is especially popular in Texas, where the truck is paramount. The luxury King Ranch version with leather and wood trim is a Texas icon.
The F-150 Lightning has the potential to bring electric vehicle sales up to speed. So far, most electric vehicles have been sedans like the Chevrolet Bolt and the Nissan Leaf. However, analysts believe that the introduction of more popular SUV and truck models could expand the electric vehicle market.
Electric vehicle demand is expected to increase over the next decade as Ford and other major automakers ramp up production and battery technology continues to advance to lower prices and improve range. Industry leaders predict that electric vehicle prices will become competitive with gas-powered vehicles in the US by 2023. It is estimated that there will be an estimated 280 million electric vehicles on the world’s roads by 2040, according to global energy research firm Wood Mackenzie.