State News

Scott calls electric F-150 pickup a ‘game changer’

By Kit Norton/VTDigger

Gov. Phil Scott called

Ford Motor Co.’s production of an electric F-150 pickup truck a “game changer” for Vermont as the state aims to drastically reduce carbon emissions in the coming years.

By Glenn Russell/VTDigger
Gov. Phil Scott speaks at a press conference at the statehouse in Montpelier last month.

Scott said during his Tuesday press conference, July 6, that the Ford F-150 Lightning, the name of the new pickup, could also be a watershed moment for the electric vehicle market, as more car companies shift gears away from gas engines.

“It seems as though the majority of Vermonters have pickups, and having the F-150 — which is arguably one of the most popular models in the country — this really is a game changer,” Scott said.

The Ford F-150 is currently not only the best selling truck in the U.S. but the best selling vehicle, an honor it has held for decades.

The Republican governor added that between federal and state incentives, which could make the vehicle and others more affordable, “the trajectory” of electric vehicles on the roads is going to “increase dramatically over the next two to three years.” Scott’s comments come as the Vermont Climate Council is drafting a plan for how the state can reduce greenhouse gas pollution to 26% below 2005 levels by 2025. Act 153 requires Ver- mont to get its emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, and 80% below by 2050.

The governor has long advocated for tax incen- tives for electric vehicles and installing charging infrastructure throughout the state as a major way to combat climate change. He has also pushed to add more electric vehicles to the state fleet and was in office when Vermont joined a multi-state zero emission vehicles plan.

Prices for a standard model truck start at just below $40,000 while trims with more bells and whistles will be north of $52,000 before factoring in the EV tax credit.

Ford is also advertising that the truck will come with two battery pack options — one with a 230 mile range and another with 300 miles. The battery powered F-150 Lightning pickup is expected to go on sale in May 2022, but it has already garnered extreme interest across the country.

Ford has announced that by the beginning of July, it had received 100,000 reservations for the new vehicle. The company had 44,000 people put down the fully refundable $100 for the all-electric F-150 within the first 48 hours after announcing the truck.

Scott, who is well known for his stock car racing at Thunder Road in Barre, said he has not put a deposit down, though at least one member of his cabinet has.

The governor, who does very little of his own driving when he is in office, has sold his Chevy Colorado pickup truck and hinted Tuesday that his next vehicle may well be electric.

“I’m watching the F-150, there’s also the Rivian that’s interesting as well. So we’ll see,” Scott said. “I’m sure an electric vehicle is on the horizon for me,” Scott said.

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