Electric F-150 spotted with new suspension

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Test mule sightings of Ford’s pre-production electric F-150 will hopefully become more common as time rolls on.

A picture posted this week on Fox News Autos shows one of Ford’s electric F-150 test vehicles with a coil-over suspension in the rear versus leaf-springs found in its conventional 1/2-ton truck. Yes, there’s also a tailpipe showing, but we’re betting that it’s a fake unless Ford changed its plans and is opting for a plug-in hybrid.

The battery pack between the axles is also clearly visible.  An engineer in Arizona that converts F-150s to run on batteries told Hard Working Trucks that having the battery pack between the chassis rails makes for more equal weight distribution which enables better handling and quicker stopping.

“For most people who have a pickup truck, their driving is with a front-heavy vehicle because they design the truck to have a payload or to pull a sizable trailer, but most people aren’t doing that most of the time,” said Torque Trends CEO Mitchell Yow. “So most of the time it’s front-heavy and that effects ABS. It effects your stopping distance. It effects a lot of things, really. What we’ve done here is lower the center of gravity, so it handles better. We better balanced the weight in the truck so that the stopping’s actually better. We’ve got regen braking which helps with the stops, too. We’ve got a better crunch zone; it’s a safer truck that way. It handles better. It’s safer that way.”

During preliminary 60mph-to-zero panic braking tests, Mitchell Yow said his electric F-150 stopped 15 feet shorter than the gasoline version. “Whose kid was in that 15 feet? We’re really happy about that,” he said.