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The Ford Ranger EV Was Ford's Response to the Electric Chevy S-10

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author photo by Will Kinton November 2016

The other day, I told you about the Chevy S-10 EV, the General's electric pickup truck that (some say) still roams the roads today. But did you know that Ford also released an all-electric Ranger to compete with the S-10 EV? Sure enough, in 1998, you could choose from two electric pickup trucks -- but unlike the S-10 EV, the Ford Ranger EV continued to be produced until 2002.

The Ranger EV was available with either lead-acid or nickel-metal hydride batteries. It managed a maximum range of 65 miles on a single charge and could go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 10 seconds. The electric motor managed to provide 90 horsepower to the Ranger EV, and unlike the S-10 EV, the rear-wheel-drive configuration was maintained.

On the outside, the Ranger EV looked just like a normal Ranger, except for the charging port in the grille. For some reason, the Ranger EV still had a fuel door on the left side of the vehicle. And while the gear selector still had the standard Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive positions, it also featured an Economy mode that reduced the truck's top speed, decreased throttle sensitivity and engaged regenerative braking.

The Ford Ranger EV was produced in greater quantities than the S-10 EV, with about 1,400 total units made. Like the S-10 EV, most of these were leased to fleet customers and crushed after they returned to Ford. However, some owners managed to hang on to them after their lease was terminated, and about 200 Ranger EVs reportedly remain. The trucks now have a dedicated group of owners who maintain them, restore them and continue to drive them on a daily basis. Several companies have sprung up that specialize in restoring the batteries, and the trucks have even managed to gain a following in Norway after a company started importing several of them.

Really though, an electric light-duty pickup truck makes sense. Most people don't really need to haul that much stuff -- and for fleet customers, the ability to eliminate fuel costs could save thousands of dollars each year. If Ford ever brings back the Ranger, I hope a modern electric version would make the cut. It would be interesting, to say the least.

Photo credit: Geoff Shepard

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Used 1998 Ford Ranger 2WD Regular Cab
Used 1998 Ford Ranger
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Ford Ranger EV Was Ford's Response to the Electric Chevy S-10 - Autotrader