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Welcome to Electric Ladies Podcast!

Insights and tips from remarkable women leaders and innovators - from business, policy, science, the arts - who are transforming our world - Energy and sustainability - Career advice too.

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Dec 20, 2022

How Ford Built The F-150 EV - Linda Zhang, Ford F-150 EV Chief Engineer

“We talked to all customers. So we talked to truck customers, because part of it is, this is such a big population of customers that we want to evolve into an electric…We also talked to customers who weren't truck owners, but may have wanted to be and didn't go there for whatever reason that might be. And those would be pain points that then we'd have to try address right. And actually what came out of this is, really the building blocks for how we came up on this truck.” Linda Zhang at MOVE 2022

Converting the best-selling truck in America into an electric vehicle is a huge risk. The Ford F-150 has a macho image, which is not the typical EV buyer, to put it gently. So the massive success of the F-150 Lightning really shows the evolution of the electric vehicle and of the market for them.

How did they do it? Listen to this fascinating interview with the woman who literally made it happen, Linda Zhang, Chief Engineer of the F-150 Lightning. It was conducted at a huge conference known as MOVE 2022, Reimagining Mobility, in front of an audience of hundreds of people, re-airing here on Electric Ladies Podcast.

You’ll hear:

  • How Linda and her team at Ford started the design process and decisions they made
  • What new innovations they put in this truck, besides converting it to an EV, that were gamechangers
  • Who is buying this truck, unexpectedly so, and what it tells us about the future of electric vehicles.
  • How they are managing the supply chain issues while reducing their carbon footprint.

Here’s insightful career advice from Linda’s colleague Suzy Deering, Chief Marketing Officer of Ford ….

““Number one, go learn something from scratch and get really, really get dirty. Like get in there and understand from a scrappy standpoint. You're going to fail and you're going to learn things and then some things are going to work, some things aren't….if you're not uncomfortable, then you're not growing. And if you're not growing, you're not learning. If you're not learning, you're not per, you're not progressing….and Don't chase the title.”

Suzy Deering on Electric Ladies podcast


You’ll also want to listen to: (some might be recorded under our previous name, Green Connections Radio)

  • Suzy Deering, Chief Marketing Officer of Ford – on bringing change to a legacy industry as an outsider.
  • Genevieve Cullen, President, Electric Drive Transportation Assn. – on financial benefits for buying EVs in the new legislation, and EVs coming to market soon
  • Telva McGruder, Chief Diversity Officer of General Motors – on pivoting that 100+ year old company from gas-powered cars to electric cars
  • Kristen Siemen, Chief Sustainability Officer of General Motors
  • Neha Palmer, Founder/CEO of TeraWatt Infrastructure on charging for EV trucks
  • Jackie Birdsall, Toyota, Senior Engineer, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

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