After one ride in the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck, I knew it would be a hit. It seems Ford knows that too.
Soon after my September ride in the Lightning, Ford announced it was increasing its planned production of the new electric pickup from 40,000 to 80,000 trucks per year. Now, it’s almost doubling production again, going to a planned 150,000 trucks per year out of the newly rebuilt Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan.
What happened — “The reality is clear: people are ready for an all-electric F-150 and Ford is pulling out all the stops to scale our operations and increase production capacity,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of The Americas & International Markets Group, Ford Motor Company, in a press release.
Galhotra also revealed that the company has taken nearly 200,000 reservations and that the first wave of orders will be taken soon. Reservation holders will be notified via email or through their Ford.com accounts wave-by-wave as their orders are ready to be placed. Because of production constraints, even with the announced increase, there won’t be enough trucks to go around for 2022 and some buyers will be pushed to 2023 (or even later).
Ford is currently building “production-level” trucks at the Rouge facility, which will undergo more than a million miles of real-world customer testing before customer deliveries of the F-150 Lightning begin this Spring.
The power of EV — As if electrifying its flagship truck wasn’t big enough for Ford, it also revealed that more than 75 percent of F-150 Lightning reservation holders are entirely new to the Ford brand. That’s a massive win, as truck buyers are some of the most brand-loyal in the industry.
Ford recently increased production of its Mustang Mach-E electric car, while an electric version of its commercial van, the Ford Transit, will come out later this year. The company expects to have the capacity to make 600,000 electric vehicles per year within the next 24 months. For comparison, Tesla produced 930,422 electric cars in 2021.
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