One Ford F-150 Pickup Driver Profile--Why He Likes Electric Cars
As we noted in our roundup of most popular stories last year, the topic of covering pickup trucks turned controversial on Green Car Reports this year.
It started with a story on how what technologies we expect to be used for the 2015 Ford F-150 to boost its fuel economy from the current 18 mpg combined to 22 mpg combined or higher.
That drew enough negative comments that we wrote another piece, explaining why we cover pickup trucks on the site--which drew even more comments, more than 380 as of today.
Faithful reader and commenter John C. Briggs of Boston chimed in to ask what possessed U.S. drivers to buy full-size pickup trucks if they're mostly going to be used for single-person commuting, and rarely actually carry anything in the bed.
2011 Chevrolet Volt plugged into Coulomb Technologies 240V wall charging unit
And he offered up as an example a colleague who commutes in a Ford F-150 every day, as a single occupant with nothing in tow, costing him $4,000 to $5,000 a year in fuel.
This fellow uses the truck to its full capacity only once a month, if that--clearly an expensive choice of commuter vehicle.
We suggest that Briggs actually interview him, to ask why he drives an F-150 and not something more fuel-efficient--and Briggs did exactly that.
As he wrote, "I discovered that our thoughts, like most things humans do, are complex. I was too fixated on his F-150 pickup to realize that in his heart, he is really an environmentalist who loves the outdoors and doing outdoor activities."
Let's be clear; this is a profile of a single person among the many millions who drive pickup trucks daily. As such, he can hardly represent the whole owner body.
But as Briggs discovered, even those who love their pickups for what they offer may turn out to be fascinated by the idea of driving an electric car--if still remarkably uninformed about the options for actually buying one of the 15 plug-in vehicles now on the market.
Here's what Briggs wrote after interviewing his F-150-owning colleague (we've edited and condensed his text slightly):
2014 Ford F-150 Tremor
The short answer is that he loves his truck: He likes the feel of the big vehicle, the highly adjustable seating position, and the fact that it can tow his boat (which he doesn't actually own) and his snowmobiles (which he is selling).