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How Ford (NYSE: F) Just Killed the Internal Combustion Vehicle

Written by Jeff Siegel
Posted May 27, 2021

I’m not going to lie…

Despite my enthusiasm over the Tesla Cybertruck, I’m very impressed with what Ford has delivered with its new electric F-150.

Not only are the specs solid, but the price is a game-changer too.

The question is will that be enough to convince most truck owners that electric vehicles are no longer inferior to internal combustion?

Living in farm country, no one has time to take risks with a vehicle that can’t deliver in terms of reliability. One of the reasons the F-150 has been so successful for all these years is because it is reliable.  

I don’t see any reason to suggest that the electric F-150 won’t be reliable. In fact, given the amount of time, energy, and capital Ford has plowed into this thing, I can’t imagine management would skimp on quality, not to mention the F-150 has been the bestselling truck for 44 years running. Ford’s not going to do anything to endanger that track record. And while Ford will not stop selling the internal combustion version of the F-150, some believe the electric version, dubbed the Lightning, will make the internal combustion version look foolish.

It’s basically the same F-150 with some bonus adds.

The Lightning has the same size bed as the conventional F-150, boasts a maximum payload of 2,000 pounds, can tow up to 10,000 pounds, and provides 775 pound-feet of torque.

The entry model will get you just over 200 miles per charge, which is essentially the standard today. With the extended battery, you’ll get about 300 miles.

One thing that really stands out for the Lightning is its ability to power your home with a home integration system.

Basically, if the power goes out, the truck can provide electricity to your home for as long as 10 days — assuming you ration your use.

As Motor Trend describes it, “If the truck is plugged in at home, the automated system will recognize the power is out and pull juice from the truck, through the wall box, and into the inverter, which is tied to the home's central electrical system. When power is restored, the vehicle will resume charging.”

And for those who use their F-150s on worksites, the Lightning comes with 11 power outlets and 10 USB ports.  

My old apartment didn’t have that many options!

Bottom line: Ford has sacrificed nothing with the Lightning and in all honesty has made the F-150 a better vehicle, which is saying a lot.

Now, if you look at the fully loaded Lightning versus the fully loaded Tesla Cybertruck, Tesla does pull ahead on range, delivering 500 miles per charge. That’s a big jump from 300 miles. The towing capacity on the fully loaded Cybertruck clocks in with an extra 4,000 pounds too and costs about $20,000 less than the fully loaded electric F-150.

That being said, I don’t see the fully loaded models being that catalyst for mass adoption. It’s really going to boil down to the entry- and midlevel models, which are definitely competitive on pricing.

At the entry level, both vehicles come in at around $40,000, and both will deliver roughly the same range, with the Cybertruck inching out just a bit higher by about 20 miles.

What will separate the two will be consumer demand, where Ford clearly has the lead. The Cybertruck design may also make it difficult for Tesla to win over any F-150 fans.

Personally, I love the design of the Cybertruck. I just like the idea of driving around in something that looks like it’s from the future. But I suspect my desire for sci-fi optics is not shared by the masses.

I’m also somewhat concerned that it’s going to take longer for Tesla to get its Cybertruck on the road. While I’m a huge fan of Tesla, meeting deliverability deadlines is not one of the company’s strong points.

Ultimately, I suspect Ford is going to dominate the electric truck market. With its loyal customer base, recognition for reliability, and all the bells and whistles we expect with modern electric vehicles, I just don’t see how Ford will drop the ball on this.

Moreover, I predict that once the electric F-150 proves itself to the F-150 customer base, sales of the conventional internal combustion version will fall victim to the superiority of electrified transportation. In other words, eventually Ford will sell far more electric versions of the F-150 than the conventional model.

Tesla will still have its loyal following too.  

More than half a million people have already preordered the vehicle, with new reservations coming in daily. And of course, Tesla’s Model S, Model 3, and Model X still draw large numbers.

Certainly Tesla is a legitimate automaker that can effectively compete against the old guard. This will continue. But when all is said and done, I believe the Cybertruck will be more of a successful cult vehicle while the Lightning will be the electric truck for the masses.

It should also be noted that electrified transportation isn’t the only competitor to the conventional internal combustion vehicle.  

Over the past few years, we’ve seen huge strides in the development of fuel cell vehicles too. Rapidly declining production costs combined with major technological breakthroughs have made fuel cell vehicles quite attractive to fleet managers and operators.  

Truth is, just as we’ve watched the electric vehicle market begin to hijack some of the market share once owned by internal combustion, we’re also seeing the same thing with fuel cell vehicles.  

In some cases, it’s even more impressive in terms of early-stage opportunities for investors as there’s still limited competition here. I’m personally quite fond of this fuel cell company, which already has major contracts in place with some of the biggest fleet operators in the world.

You can read more about that company here.

Make no mistake: The reign of internal combustion is coming to an end. And with this transition to electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles will come tremendous opportunities to make a lot of money.

To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth...

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Jeff Siegel

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Jeff is the founder and managing editor of Green Chip Stocks, a private investment community that capitalizes on opportunities in alternative energy, organic food markets, legal cannabis, and socially responsible investing. He has been a featured guest on Fox, CNBC, and Bloomberg Asia, and is the author of the best-selling book, Investing in Renewable Energy: Making Money on Green Chip Stocks. For more on Jeff, go to his editor's page.

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