Ford only just started delivering the new F-150 Lightning EVs to customers, with tens of thousands of reservations to catch up on, but the automaker is apparently already hard at work prepping for its next all-electric pickup truck(s). The obvious conclusion is that Ford will go smaller, adapting the Ranger nameplate to an electric chassis, and new European trademarks seem to back up that assumption.
Two new trademarks filed yesterday with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) bolster the theory. Ford registered the Ranger Lightning and Maverick Lightning nameplates, as noted by CarBuzz.
As Electrek has discovered, Ford also filed U.S. trademarks for "F-150 Thunder," "Ranger Thunder," and "Maverick Thunder," which could be performance variants, or plug-in hybrid models, or something else entirely.
While this could just be standard asset protection on behalf of Ford, claiming those names before anyone else can, it seems more likely the automaker is actually already in development on multiple new truck variants to come soon.
Ford CEO Jim Farley announced at the F-150 Lightning's launch in April that Ford was already in development and testing its second all-electric pickup model, but declined to offer more details at the time. That's alongside the second-gen F-150 Lightning also said to already be rapidly in development, and the CEO has previously stated interest in expanding the Maverick lineup with its own full EV, too, to compliment the standard combustion engine and hybrid models.
It's possible that a new Ranger Lightning could use a lot of carryover parts from the F-150 Lightning, and will likely be no smaller than the upcoming combustion-powered 2023 Ford Ranger. It will likely be available in a similar range of trims as the F-150 Lightning, including base, XLT, Lariat, and Platinum models, and will likely also get various motor configurations offering both rear- and all-wheel drive. There might even be a work- and fleet-oriented Pro model, with fewer frills. Given its significantly smaller size and platform, an EV Maverick Lightning would likely require more bespoke engineering, but the trademark suggests Ford could go ahead with an entry-level EV truck soon as well.
As for when a new Ranger and/or Maverick Lightning hits the market it still unclear. The next generation F-150 Lightning model is already slated for 2025, and given how much production Ford needs to ramp up for the current generation, we may not see any major new EV trucks introduced until that's cleared up. Considering Ford just introduced the fifth-generation 2023 Ranger model, an EV version likely wouldn't outright replace it. If we don't see a Ranger or Maverick Lightning debut in the next couple of years, it's likely Ford will wait until its new Blue City Oval manufacturing campus is complete closer to 2025.
This article was originally published on July 12, but has been since been updated with more information regarding U.S. trademarks for "Thunder. "