Pickup truck enthusiasts and electric vehicle aficionados alike were pleased when Ford released its latest F-150 pickup on May 19. The new all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning is the auto company’s most innovative vehicle yet. Arriving in 2022 with an expected range of 300-plus miles per charge and 4.0 seconds 0 to 60 mph acceleration, the Lightning’s reveal comes hot on the heels of Minnesota clearing the final hurdle to become the 15th Clean Cars state and the first in the Midwest. Both moves represent a critical step on the journey to an emissions-free transportation sector here in Minnesota and nationwide.
“Electrifying Ford’s F-series of trucks is a big deal—arguably even the most important electric vehicle launch of 2021,” said Jukka Kukkonen, Clean Transportation Consultant with Fresh Energy. Trucks in Ford’s F-series are the best-selling vehicles in the country. Making more electric truck options available to the public could spark a massive shift in getting more electric vehicles into consumers’ hands. Paul Blomquist, owner of C&M dealership in Hallock, Minn., agrees. Nestled deep in the northwest corner of Minnesota, Blomquist’s “family-owned, neighbor-driven” dealership already opened up reservations for the company’s newest, all-electric unveiling, and Paul is excited. “We can’t wait to get Minnesotans behind the wheel of an electric F-150 Lightning,” Paul said. “We’re already seeing lots of reservations come in and we expect interest to grow over the next year.”
Coupled with President Biden’s visit to Ford’s electric vehicle plant in Dearborn, Mich.—serviced by United Auto Workers of America union members—the announcement marks an ongoing push for the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill, the American Jobs Plan, which calls for $174 billion of investments in electric vehicle manufacturing and charging infrastructure as well as incentives to drivers.
Leading a healthy transition from oil and gas to clean and affordable renewable electricity that powers our homes, cars, and buses is a key aspect of Fresh Energy’s work. It’s why we’ve been advocating for common sense clean car standards for more than 13 years—we know that by shifting the transportation sector to electricity, we can double our carbon reductions economy-wide while also improving the quality of life in communities currently burdened by air pollution. This announcement from Ford is precisely the type of beneficial electrification that Fresh Energy staff have encouraged for years, and that Clean Cars Minnesota cements for our state: innovation that increases consumer choice, reduces pollution, strengthens the grid, and creates thousands of union jobs.