After we told you about Ecotuned, we have found out another company that tries to make the Ford F-150 be more friendly to the environment and to the pocket of the pickup truck owners. It comes from XL Fleet and, although the company does not inform the cost of conversion on its website, PickupTrucks.com has driven one of these F-150 and states XL Fleet charges around $9,000 for the job.
It consists of placing an electric motor on a shorter driveshaft and a 15 kWh battery pack on the bed of the pickup truck. Charging is made by a socket placed on the rear bumper, not exactly a safe area for it to be.
But this is not the only concern we had when watching the video above. At around 2:15, you can have a look at the conversion from beneath the pickup truck. And the high voltage orange cable that goes to the electric motor seems dangerously close to the driveshaft.
XL Fleet probably chose this solution so that it could be less invasive to the original pickup truck. The company claims none of the changes it performs affects the F-150 warranty in any aspect. But that makes us wonder.
Is the shorter driveshaft supplied by Ford? If it is not, the carmaker certainly does not assure it will last for as much as the F-150. What about the electric systems of the original pickup truck?
XL Fleet says its clients have driven more than 100 million mi with their products with no problems whatsoever and that “the Ford powertrain and warranty remain completely intact”.
This is a sort of business that may be in danger with the arrival of totally electric pickup trucks, such as the Rivian R1T, the Bollinger B2, the Tesla pickup truck, and even the future Ford F-150 Electric. Not to mention plug-in pickup trucks that may soon be put for sale.
Anyway, while there is room for EV conversion, isn’t Ecotuned’s strategy of retrofitting pickup trucks that are already out of warranty a safer bet? Wouldn’t a more invasive but safer installation be preferable to one that seems to place high voltage wiring so close to moving parts? More than that, does the money saved on fuel pay the price of the conversion? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.