Ford's Electric Truck Plan to Slow Down

Apr 18, 2012 02:40 PM EDT | Staff Reporter

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Ford Motors may build electric-powered pickup trucks, but not anytime soon due to the costly batteries.

On Tuesday's announcement, Ford CEO Alan Mulally said that it will take some more time to start building electric pickup trucks.

“The value of light-weighting in the bigger vehicles is much bigger than on the smaller vehicles. Electrical parts are so much bigger and still extremely costlier. And Ford Motors feel that the migration to the bigger vehicles will be much slower,” said Mulally.

The U.S. automaker has cut the costs of building electric versions of compact and midsize cars by producing in a single assembly line. Electrifying the platform for a larger truck, according to the company, may not be so easy.

Since 2008 when gas prices went above $4 a gallon in United States, automakers have been focusing on fuel efficient cars. Ford was no exception. The company is now turning its attention to making its trucks and large vehicles fuel efficient. Last year, Ford made a partnership with Toyota Motors to develop hybrid trucks and SUV's. The plan is the have them ready by 2020. For now, the company can reduce the weights to boost the mileage.

“We’re not doing loss leaders to subsidize other altruistic reasons. It has to be taken on business sense otherwise we can’t keep investing more on the research. Building these types of cars alongside the traditional gasoline vehicles is also one way Ford Motors can maintain its reasonable margins on those vehicles,” said Alan Mulally.

Mulally added that the batteries used in hybrids will cost around $2,000 while those in plug-in hybrids will cost between $7,000 to $8,000.

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