While there are a few other electric pickup trucks on the US market today – the Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer EV – the Ford F-150 Lightning has arguably been integral in marking a major turning point in the automotive industry. Not only is the best-selling vehicle in the States now available as a fully electric model, but it can be equipped to provide loads of power on the fly, and now it's being used by the US Forest Service.
When Ford first officially decided to create an all-electric version of the exceedingly popular F-150 full-size pickup truck, it was clearly on the fast track. The F-150 Lightning electric truck came to market rather quickly, and it has proven to be very much like the gas-powered F-150, aside from its powertrain.
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With its impressive capability, lack of tailpipe emissions, and ability to power an entire home, there are many reasons the F-150 Lightning could be a welcome addition to most companies and organizations. This may prove especially true for those that put an emphasis on nature, conservation, and the like. Moreover, government organizations should be doing everything they can to adopt EVs and share their successes with the masses.
According to Autoblog, the US Department of Agriculture's US Forest Service has started a new pilot program. It has adopted three Ford F-150 Lightning electric trucks. The EVs will begin their trial in three specific locations so that the Forest Service can learn how well they handle desolate locations with frigid weather: Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, Huron-Manistee National Forest in Michigan, and the White Mountains National Forest in New Hampshire.
US Forest Service spokesman Jason Kirchner shared with Outside magazine via Autoblog:
“The Forest Service is embarking on an exciting study of the first-ever use of electric vehicles in a natural resources field setting. 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.”
Autoblog adds that with 154 national forests and 8,700 light-duty trucks in service, the US Forest Service is already optimistic about its future with electric trucks. The plan is to replace gas-powered versions with EVs once the older trucks are ready to be retired.