Ford’s F-150 Lightning and the National Forest Service are Teaming Up to Bring EVs to the Forefront
Photo Source: Ford
The United States Forest Service has a long and successful history of working in tandem with Ford to accomplish what it needs to. In the early 20th century, the U.S. Forest Service officially motorized with Ford Model Ts. It is no surprise that the government agency would turn to Ford again in an era of rapidly-evolving eco-friendly vehicles. This time, the U.S. Forest Service is leaning toward technological innovation in the form of an electric vehicle pilot program. More to the point, the agency is beginning with three Ford F-150 Lightning pickup trucks to determine their effectiveness compared to internal combustion engine vehicles over twelve months. During this time, any issues or hiccups with the automobiles will be recognized and promptly analyzed to push forward to the 2027 goal for all light-duty vehicles to be zero-emission vehicles. “It’s a quasi-experimental approach to systematically evaluate use (frequency, quality, safety, experience) of EVs relative to Internal combustion vehicle use over the study period,” clarified a Forest Service spokesman.
Range is No Obstacle
These trucks will be tested in the Eastern Region of the United States, which encompasses twenty states. The primary testing sites of the study will involve the Allegheny National Forest, Huron-Manistee National Forest, and White Mountain National Forest. Currently, the Eastern Region manages 1,489 vehicles. There are thirteen hybrid automobiles and seven more that run on compressed natural gas. On a nationwide scale, the Forest Service consists of twenty-four hybrids.
To adequately cover the aforementioned wooded areas should be a manageable task for the Ford F-150 Lightning vehicles, as each has an estimated 230 miles of range. According to Jasen Turnbull, F-150 Lightning brand marketing manager, the vehicle is equipped with an Intelligent Range system, which can calculate the range necessary to complete a trip by factoring in such characteristics as temperature, cargo, terrain, trailer load, and route. The range, for example, could demonstrate the need for more charging stations, which now number at thirty-two throughout the nation, one of which is even solar-powered in Oregon.
Efficiency in the Forest Service
The Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup trucks will, ultimately, assist the Forest Service in discovering what is required for the electric vehicles to function efficiently as part of the fleet and how to adequately integrate them once electric vehicles join the fleet in considerably larger numbers. The current value of these automobiles is $53,769 MSRP (Plus destination fee). However, no other modifications have been made besides adding the Forest Service logo to the doors.
As a matter of fact, it is improbable that these pickup trucks will be the only battery-electric vehicles that become part of the United States Forest Service’s fleet, particularly in light of President Biden’s executive order that mandates the whole federal government fleet to go zero emissions. That is a total number consisting of over 600,000 vehicles. The executive order is directed at refocusing federal appropriation on domestic-made products. With a slew of battery-electric vehicles heading into the market, there is a likelihood that more than just F-150 Lightning trucks will be put to work in local and national forests. The change is already in progress, as the light-duty vehicles of the Forest Service will gradually lead to the transition of its heavier trucks to zero emissions in 2035.
Looking Good for the Future
The Ford F-150 Lightning is already starting to become an indispensable member of the electric vehicle community. We invite you to come over to NYE Ford and find out if this is the automobile for you. Go ahead and take a look at our current inventory, and request more information if you need to. Our sales team is committed and excited to make your shopping experience an informative and enjoyable one.