Ecotuned Ready To Convert Ford Trucks To Electric, Like A 48-kWh F-150

4 months ago by Sebastian Blanco 31

Ecotuned EV powertrain for Ford F-150

Ecotuned EV powertrain for Ford F-150. Photo by Sebastian Blanco.

Ecotuned Spec Sheet

Ecotuned Spec Sheet

Sure, Ford is working on some sort of electrified F-150 pick-up truck, but whatever that vehicle is, it’s a long ways away. If you want an all-electric big Ford this year, then give the fine folks at Ecotuned a call. It’ll help if you speak French.

Based out of Montreal, Canada, Mike Li, who is the mechanical designer for Ecotuned, told InsideEVs that the company is a 15-person operation which has already converted five trucks.

Li noted the conversion package, while small and in its second generation already, is not yet ready for mass consumption. In fact, Ecotuned hasn’t yet revealed the price for this conversion (Li said that announcement would happen in the next three months), but the whole package is designed to swap easily into a standard F-150. Li did say that the return on investment for this conversion is about 2.5 years, and that Ecotuned expects its powertrain to last for a million kilometers (621,000 miles).

As you can see in the spec sheet (above – click to enlarge), Ecotuned’s powertrain offers 280 pound-feet of torque from a 214 horsepower motor that draw power from a 48-kWh, 360-volt battery pack. There’s a two-speed transmission and the whole thing offers a range of 140 kilometers (about 87 miles) on a full charge. Taking out the F-150’s engine and gas tanks and replacing them with the Ecotuned powertrain – conveniently sized to fit in that space without needing to make any major changes – adds about six percent to the overall weight of the truck, but Li said that the company tried to keep everything feeling balanced and the same as if the gas powertrain was still in there.

With this powertrain, Ecotuned can convert not only the F-150, but also the F-250, F-350, and F-450, and is going to work on Ford’s shuttle buses based on these trucks as well, later this year.

Source: Ecotuned

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31 responses to "Ecotuned Ready To Convert Ford Trucks To Electric, Like A 48-kWh F-150"

  1. William says:

    This is most welcome, thanks guys! Can’t wait!
    Workhorse better get busy, and quick!

    1. Brandon says:

      Yeah, but Workhorse’s is a PHEV, so it’s got quite a bit more utility than an 87 mile pure electric truck such as this.

  2. Damocles Axe says:

    I suppose if one asked Ford if they could make an all-electric F-150 they would say “the technology is not ready, it wouldn’t be practical”.

    So now there is VIA, Workhorse, Deuche Post, and now Ecotuned getting in on electric trucks with 80-plus mile range. I wonder when the car makers previously known as the “big three” will get with the program?

    1. Nada says:

      Plus Nissan Mercedes and VW have or will have EV vans in europe this year…

      If a Tesla BEV truck does not scare the living daylights out of Ford then they have major problems…

      Trucks should be very easy to convert to EVs with all the space between the frame rails plus a bed…

      1. CLIVE says:

        When your FORD and you fire your CEO after 3 years and hire a non car industry CEO to replace him I’d say they know they have problems now and ahead.

        1. Anon says:

          * you’re

          1. r smith says:

            *your

    2. DJ says:

      It actually isn’t practical, at least not here in the US. The manufacturers you mentioned are in the game to sell high volume and large profit vehicles.

      Despite what everyone seems to think on here we are the minority. Most people don’t want an EV F-150 that can only go what 100 miles before it’s dead.

      Most people I know who have actual work trucks travel more than 100 miles a day so a 48 kWh battery is going to leave them stranded a lot of days which means losing out on $. Heck the Workhorse truck has a 60kWh pack and can only go 80 miles? Maybe 100 miles is being WAY too generous!

      Now, are there people who do want an electric F-150? Heck ya there are but that’s why you’ve got a company like Workhorse that is charging $20k more for a comparable truck and that’s MSRP not what people actually pay for a F-150 so it’s actually even more of a difference. These people are going to have to pay more for what they want simply because it costs more to make them. Same with passenger cars.

      So until OEMs can make a vehicle that competes on price and function or it’s shown otherwise that there is enough volume to warrant them selling a base model EV pickup for nearly 2x the price of an ICE it just isn’t practical so it’s not going to happen.

      While you may not like that not making one doesn’t mean it’s the wrong decision for them.

      1. Damocles Axe says:

        I wonder how much truth there is to the speculation that half of the F-150 trucks are used only to haul groceries? I’m sure that at least some people buy these trucks for social reasons… (and they could very practically be all electric)

        1. menorman says:

          A lot of people buy them for hauling the boat/camper out a couple times a year, then figure they might as well use it all the time since they’re stretching their budget with it anyway.

        2. Rad says:

          A coworker that has always driven a Chevy truck needed to haul a sofa. Being a little longer than the bed I asked them if they had tie down straps. “No, I never haul anything.”

      2. Aaron says:

        I’m just going by what is provided on the page here. So you’ll have to take this with a grain of salt.

        It looks like Ecotuned is using a battery that fits under a portion of the f150’s cab. If that small battery is the 47kwh, more than doubling it to 100kwh should be dead simple if the battery is grown to fill the space under the bed.

        The only thing keeping me from switching to an EV for my vehicle is that I drive over 80 miles a day regularly. If they offer an expanded pack (and support converting older F150s) I’d pick up a early 00’s F150 and convert it in a heartbeat.

    3. SJC says:

      The big three said no one would buy the PNGV cars of the 90s that got 70 mpg, then the Prius set sales records.

    4. kubel says:

      No, they would say they are unable to comment on products that have not yet been released. Ford is working on a plugin F-150.

  3. Warren says:

    Around here they used to haul contractors’ toolboxes, and construction materials. Since 2008 they use them to pull lawn service trailers. After work and on weekends they have always been used to haul dogs, guns, and beer.

    1. Warren says:

      These days, the huge zero turn mowers they all tow, burn more gas than the trucks.

  4. F150 Brian says:

    As an F150 owner and an Eco-conscious person I really like the idea of this. But while I do use the truck to commute to work (which I’d love to do on battery power) the reason I bought it is to pull my boat and haul camping gear. When I do this, I use a lot of energy, probably 40-50 KWh per 100kms if it were electric.

    I can’t imagine how a BEV with a battery of any practical size will ever meet my needs, and I think I represent a significant portion I of the pickup truck market.

    EREV or ICE it will be…

      1. JeremyK says:

        Power and torque are not the issue. As Brian clearly stated, the amount of ENERGY needed for truck applications is significantly greater than those for cars.

  5. Joseph says:

    I would love a phev f150. I have a 2011 that hauls yard waste to the dump/compost area nearby, tows the boat a few times per year and does other dirty jobs for the household. All electric might work, but 80 miles is just not enough. Phew means that it could do the short drives and long drives if necessary. What about the winter? We like having the 4 wheel drive during snow storms and 80 miles of range turns into 40 miles when the tempest cold. We also have a volt and xc90phev. 20 miles of electric combined with gas opperation thereafter would be great. Is there anybody doing one of those conversions?

  6. Daniel says:

    Pure electric truck? No. But an EREV or PHEV truck with usable all electric range? Absolutely!

  7. E-Ray says:

    OK everyone, listen up. Let’s take the WayBack machine to 1998-2000, when you could have leased a fully electric Ford Ranger EV, as I did. The heavily subsidized lease was $199/month for 3 years. The rest of this section comes from Wikipedia:

    “The Ranger EV was essentially a Ford Ranger XL 4X2 Regular Cab featuring an electric vehicle powertrain instead of the Ranger XL’s standard I4 engine.

    The majority of Ford Ranger EVs were leased to fleets. Some leased Ford Ranger EVs were sold to lessees, however, so there are some Ford Ranger EVs that have been and may be available for purchase as used.

    It was expected that Ford, like other companies, would completely destroy almost all remaining stocks by crushing, as has been done by several other major vehicle manufacturers.

    This plan engendered considerable resistances from electric vehicle fans, with the adverse publicity prompting a change in Ford’s policy. This change of policy appears to have also influenced Toyota not to destroy all of its leased RAV-4 electrics. Also, a persistent few of Ford’s lease return resistors (some of whom were actually allowed to buy the vehicle under terms of their lease arrangements by the dealer’s use of a non-specific lease form (that would include me)) were allowed to purchase their vehicles for one dollar. While most of the 1,500 vehicles produced have since been destroyed, a number of Ranger EVs have been parted out for spares and the remaining several hundred units have been refurbished (using selected used and new old stock batteries) and other salvage components (both with lead-acid and NiMH batteries) by a third party company (Blue Sky Motors of Sacramento, California).”

    Me again: The point being that it didn’t take that much effort to put on the market an albeit smaller truck that would meet most, but not all, of your fondest desires. The early lead acid versions could garner 60 miles, but the NiMH versions were rated at 80+ miles (no idea who did the rating back them).

    Yes, I was lucky to lease a 2000 NiMH model in February 2000, then buy it (for $1!) after my extended lease ran out in 2004, and after Ford re-possessed it from my driveway.
    And yes, I drove it daily (admittedly short 20 mile r/t commute) and weekends did most of what you wish for: trips to the dump (including a 1,500 lb. load of 80 ft. eucalyptus tree, which fell one windy winter in our back yard); trips to improvement centers for drywall, 16 ft. molding and baseboard material, everyone’s bicycles, cement, you name it. Some harrowing trips beyond its range, counting on Avcon EVSEs at select Costco and BART stations. You don’t know what range anxiety is like until you pulled up to a bank of Avcon Conductive, Small Paddle Inductive or Large Paddle Inductive EVSEs with not enough range to get home, and most of them out of order. The Ranger EVs did not have the capability of using 110v at all, so it was 240v or nothing. I was able to carry an extra Avcon unit in the truck with a 14-50 plug if I could find an RV park or friendly outlet, but in over 17 years I have never been stranded. I did have to coast off the 280 freeway into the Colma BART station before the turtle mode kicked in once, but never stranded.

    There are still a few of these practical beauties hanging around, and there are those who have managed to replace the NiMH batteries with LiFePO4 models to boost the range, but I am still happy with my original NiMH pack.

    Back in 2000, the USPS bought 500 of the Ranger EV gliders (chassis’s with the motor and battery pack) and bolted on their Grumman bodies. They were deployed in California, but unfortunately they could only get the lead acid models, which did not meet their “long life” requirement. Ford took them back within a year, and replaced them with their ICE versions. While in service, they filled the bill, as postal routes averaged about 15 miles, with many starts and stops. From an environmental standpoint, they offset tons of emissions, as most vehicle pollution occurs from cold starts and short trips.

    So again, I do not see why it seems impossible to build a F-150 size version that could do 100+ miles nowadays, with all the advanced technology available. With fast charging available (wasn’t back then) you could easily do 200 mile round trips, probably much more than local contractors needs to do.

    My guess is the manufacturers really don’t want to make them, as with the ICE F150, you’re killing the golden goose. Imagine the reduction dealer maintenance:
    No more:
    Tune ups
    Oil change
    Muffler repair
    Transmission repair
    Starter/generator/alternator repair
    Radiator repair
    Smog checks
    Gas stations

    Even though William Ford drove a Ford Ranger EV himself, he had to answer to shareholders! By the way, Chevy made an all electric S-10 around the same time, but they weren’t as successful.

    The truth is that the manufacturers only produced EVs due to CARB regulations in California, which required the largest manufacturers to produce a number of ZEVs. While most of the major companies chose to “convert” passenger cars, Ford chose to electrify their Ranger trucks. Two decades later, you would think they could do it again…

    1. Warren says:

      The difference is the size of the truck. A Ranger, or S-10 would work for most pickup owners and could have a reasonable size battery. But nobody would be caught dead in a pick smaller than an SUV today.

    2. speculawyer says:

      Yeah, I think the reduced maintenance/repair factor is heavily undervalued with regard to EVs. Probably because it is hard to quantify and we haven’t had solid data to work from.

      And with the first crop of EVs, you get the inevitable problems due to the “bathtub curve” such that early EVs had significant bugs & recalls (like the LEAF battery that overheated, Tesla fires, Fiat 500e everything, etc.)

      Now that we are hitting 2nd & 3rd generation EVs, the reliability and reduced maintenance issues should start paying off.

      Personally, my EV has been pretty trouble free except 1 recall and a weird blown fuse issue. Everything else is just standard dull car stuff like worn tires, wiper blades, flat tires, etc. Well engineered and tested EVs just run trouble-free for long periods of time. So few moving parts!

  8. Bill Howland says:

    Looks good! Since they didn’t go overboard with this design, and kept everything reasonably sized, I’m wondering what they would sell such a vehicle for in the States?

  9. speculawyer says:

    I just can’t see an outside conversion market anymore. If anything they make actually gets traction, the OEMs will then quickly make a factory version and squash them like a bug.

  10. Roger Morris says:

    I not ready for an electric pickup. To many bugs that needs to be worked out before I buy one. I am buying a new F-150 this summer. It’s going to be the 2.7 W/2 turbochargers on it. I’m driving a 2014 F-150 3.5 W/2 turbochargers on it I’m very satisfied with it.

    1. Roger Morris says:

      The length of the charge is not long enough for my driving habit.

    2. Skeeter says:

      Hey Roger, this here is Skeeter

      Im not about those electric doo hickeys in my F-150. Boy my neighborhood got one of them Tesler’s and that thing just drives on down the road without making a sound.

      I love my F-150 because it scares away all the snakes and the hispanics on my front porch. And the F-150 came with a lukewarm liberal towel I get to wrap myself in every night after I get from the town meeting.

      Does your fancy Tesler come with a towel? huh boy?

  11. Djoni says:

    Some owner just loves the noise (sound) of their specially tuned pickup.
    Some tall guy, because it’s the only practical thing they can get into.
    Many use them to work, haul, carry, and pull almost daily.
    But too many buy them because they’re cool, big, awesome, higher set and dominant and show how much wealth they accumulate.
    As a contractor I have a commercial van and it’s the most practical thing to use for work.
    But it’s no pleasure riding it, because of all the noise it makes shaking all things in it and the average handling it have.
    Above all, I like to listen softly to the music, and it’s impossible in this truck.
    But I would love to use one of those ecotuned.

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