The electric-powered Ford F-150 Lightning has been drafted.
As part of a pilot study, a trio of Lightnings is the first step by the U.S. Forest Service to transition from internal-combustion-powered trucks to batteries.
Initially, the trucks are to audition in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest, Michigan’s Huron-Manistee National Forest, and the White Mountains National Forest in New Hampshire. The Forest Service is aiming to test how they’ll cope in remote areas and in extreme weather conditions.
The agency, which is the component of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that administers the nation’s 154 national forests, has high hopes for EVs. With a fleet of more than 8,700 light trucks currently in service across the country, electric models will be put into the fleet as older ICE trucks are retired, the agency says.
“The Forest Service is embarking on an exciting study of the first-ever use of electric vehicles in a natural resources field setting,” Jason Kirchner, a spokesperson for the agency tells Outside magazine. “The research will determine the feasibility of electric vehicles in field-work settings, helping the agency determine the right tool for the job when it comes to electric fleet vehicles.” The Ford was selected because it’s the only EV pickup truck currently available through the Government Services Administration, which handles federal vehicle acquisitions, Kirchner told the magazine.
As for the Lightning in the consumer market, Ford reported that it was the best-selling electric truck in the U.S. in November, totaling 2,062 units. Since its debut at the end
of May, F-150 Lightning sales have numbered 13,258 trucks, according to Ford.