A friend of mine who works in powertrain at Ford told me recently the company has just one more new engine coming. And that's it. Ford, like most other automakers, is shifting its powertrain lineup from gasoline and diesel engines to electric motors in the coming years. Ford has greatly reduced the number of engineers assigned to create new engines and improve existing ones.
"I'm the last man standing," my friend said with a semi-serious laugh.
But automakers' move away from further development of the internal combustion engine doesn't mean we can put an end date on the classic workhorse. There are some vehicles whose duty cycles are not — yet — compatible with battery-electric powertrains. Consider the heavy-duty versions of pickups used as work vehicles on farms and ranches and for hauling heavy loads long distances, such as delivering classic cars.
Electric motors can easily deliver more torque than the powerful diesel V-8s in the Duramax, Power Stroke and Cummins engines in the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra, Ford Super Duty and Ram Heavy Duty pickups. But battery technology has not advanced enough to enable these behemoths to travel as far on a single charge as they can drive today on a single tank of fuel. And charging times have to come down — way, down.