'Down Here, It's Pickup Truck Country'

The following is an excerpt from an article in RE Magazine that featured Wendy Youngren, chief operating officer of Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association, a Basin Electric Class A member.

electric pickup truck
Photo courtesy Ford.

Wendy Youngren understands the potential boost in sales that electric vehicles could bring to her Minnesota electric cooperative. But on a personal level, the chief operating officer of Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association has little use for cars—electric or otherwise.

Youngren, like many of the co-op members she serves, is an outdoor enthusiast and self-described “truck person.” She drives a Ford F-150 pickup, which is powerful enough to haul her boat, her ice-fishing house, a trailer full of ATVs and more. No EV could ever do that, she thought. But then Ford announced its new F-150 Lightning, an all-electric version of the best-selling vehicle in America.

“My mindset has been changed about what EVs can offer,” says Youngren, who has ordered an F-150 Lightning for both her Rockford-based co-op and herself. “I’m on board.”

Electric co-ops throughout the nation are betting that their consumer-members will feel the same way now that Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge and upstart manufacturer Rivian have announced plans to roll out electric pickup trucks in 2022 and 2023. As of October, Ford had received more than 150,000 reservations for the EV F-150.

NRECA's monthly podcast also featured Wright-Hennepin COO, Wendy Youngren. In it, she talk about the relationship between EVs and rural America.

List to this episode of NRECA's Along Those Lines podcast.

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