Turn off the gas: is America ready to embrace electric vehicles? – by Tom Perkins (The Guardian – May 23, 2021)


In Detroit, auto plants have for decades churned out trucks built with Motor City steel and fueled by gasoline. But this week’s rollout of the Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck offered a vision of the future in America’s automotive heartland: aluminum-clad pickups running off of electric powertrains with lithium batteries.

An electric model of the nation’s best-selling vehicle at an accessible $40,000 has the potential to shift the auto industry’s course, and do more to advance the transportation sector’s electrification than any recent development, analysts say.

“Offering a well-known vehicle at a competitive price could really help push the EV agenda in the US,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds.com.

Meanwhile, Ford characterized the Lightning’s introduction as a “watershed moment”, but it also represents a major gamble. The F-150 embodies American ruggedness, and it raises the question: is the truck market’s meat-and-potatoes base ready to embrace environmentally friendly electric vehicles (EVs)?

It’s uncharted territory, said Michelle Krebs, Autotrader executive analyst. The success of the Lightning or any EV hinges on a major infrastructure build-out that’s far from certain.

For the rest of this article: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/may/23/america-ford-electric-vehicles-lightning