The US Forest Service Rolls Ford F-150 Lightnings into the Fleet

ford f150 lightning
The Ford F-150 Lightning Joins the Forest ServiceFord
  • Three Ford F-150 Lightnings will be part of a US Forest Service pilot program.

  • The pilot program will test these trucks in its Eastern Region, which spans 20 states.

  • This test will help further the US Forest Service's efforts to meet the 2027 zero-emission vehicle mission.

The United States Forest Service has a long history of rolling with technological punches. From patrolling and protecting forests on horseback to adopting the Ford Model T, the US Forest Service is jumping into the future of mobility with an electric vehicle pilot program. Starting with three Ford F-150 Lightning pickups, this small pilot program is part of a push to the 2027 goal for all light-duty vehicles to be zero-emission vehicles.

This three-vehicle test is a drop in the bucket in the overall scope of the Forest Service’s 18,000-vehicle fleet. It’s worth noting that the fleet is spread across 700 sites, and these vehicles are responsible for helping the folks at the US Forest Services maintain over 193 million acres of land that fall under the national forest system. The Forest Service is looking at this EV adoption as a study to see how these battery-electric vehicles will manage the rigors of remote forest work.

These three Ford F-150 Lightnings will be sequestered in the Eastern Region of the Forest Service, which covers 20 states before all is said and done. Initial testing sites will be in the Allegheny National Forest, Huron-Manistee National Forest, and White Mountain National Forest. The electric trucks will help the Forest Service learn the new requirements for EVs inside of its fleet and how better to accommodate them when EVs join the fleet en masse.

The F-150 Lightnings all share the same spec sheet and are standard-range models, which means they can travel 230 miles per charge. The extended-range batteries would probably make life easier, but the shorter range could help show the need for more charging stations.

Obviously, these won’t be the only battery-electric vehicles that make it into the US Forest Services fleet—especially if the current requirement for ZEV adoption stays on the books. With a flood of more battery-electric vehicles making their way to market, there might be more than just F-150 Lightning trucks heading to work in your local national forest.

How do you think these F-150 Lightning trucks will adapt to forestry work? Let us know your thoughts below.