NEW YORK (AP) — The world’s largest equipment rental company will buy 500 Ford F-150 Lightning electric trucks and 30 of the automaker’s E-Transit electric vans.
United Rental expects 120 of the trucks and all 30 of the vans to be delivered and deployed this year as part of its goal to reduce its fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions 35% by 2030, the company said Tuesday. The vehicles will be used by customers on construction and industrial sites and by its own sales, service and delivery personnel, the Connecticut company said.
Like other old-guard automakers, Ford has invested billions of dollars to rapidly develop and produce its electric vehicle lineup. Ford announced in March that it was splitting its electric vehicle and internal combustion operations into two independent wings to accelerate its adaptation of new technology.
Earlier this year, the Detroit automaker said it would nearly double the annual production of the F-150 Lightning to 150,000 per year based on a high number of reservations.
Ford’s heavy investment in electric vehicles — its own and others — has come at a cost. The company reported two weeks ago that it lost $3.1 billion in the first quarter, weighed down by its investment in the electric-vehicle startup Rivian. Sales were also dinged as a shortage of chips limited the supply of pickups and SUVs in North America.
Shares in Ford rose 2% Tuesday, but have lost almost half their value since January highs of around $25 per share.