EV utes are so hot right now. Not hot like old Samsung phone’s Lithium Batteries catching fire on a plane hot. Legitimately, everybody wants one, and every manufacturer wants to make them, hot. From the ones that make sense; like the insanely practical Rivian. To the ridiculous utes aimed to do nothing more than hype up stock prices like the infamous Tesla Cyber Truck, they’re everywhere.
But Ford beat them all to it. A road legal, mass market, full battery electric EV Ranger can be yours right now if you’ve got the cash. Of course, there’s always a catch. If you’re lusting after a 300hp 2021 model Ranger with a 1000km range you’re going to be sorely disappointed. The EV Rangers you can buy have 90hp. They’ll get you 100km before needing to be charged again, for another eight hours. And you’ll be able to haul the impressive sum of 3187kg before going over your GVM. In case you think Ford have lost their minds here, it’s not the current Ranger that’s copped the EV treatment. But a lead-acid dinosaur the U.S. mark built back in the late 90s for fleet vehicles.
Around 1400 of them were manufactured with 200 finding their way into private owners hands and they’re one of the strangest things we’ve ever seen. Powered by a three phase AC motor pushing out just 200Nm the Ranger Electric had the powertrain bolted to a live axle rear end suspended in place on carbon fibre leaf springs. Sporting 870kg worth of lead acid batteries, a 0-100km/h time of over 10 seconds, a near useless tray, and a price tag equivalent to $114,000 in 2021 money it’s no surprise the original EV Ranger went nowhere.
20 years later and Ford is back on the EV train again and hard. powerhouses like the F150 Lightning put out over 560hp with a range of over 500kms. They’re a far cry from the original dull units produced. With the recent announcement for investment in Australian EV infrastructure; we’re hoping the next EV Ranger you see will be a whole lot faster and a whole lot newer.