We hyped the F-150 Lightning so much that Ford's doubling production
Lightning units Ford expects to produce annually by 2023.
As far as forthcoming all-electric vehicles go, Ford’s F-150 Lightning is about as aspirational as it gets. It’s just the kind of EV to actually capture the attention of the gas-guzzling American public — just as rugged and powerful as its predecessors but without all the climate destruction.
And, just as predicted, Ford’s first all-electric pickup is already a hit. So much so, in fact, that it’s now expecting to produce up to 150,000 Lightning units annually by mid-2023 — a truly remarkable increase from early estimates. A Ford spokesperson told The Verge it’ll release specific first-year production statistics soon.
We do know that more than 200,000 Lightning units have already been reserved. The reservation system has now been closed while Ford prepares for post-release orders.
Ramping all the way up — When Ford first announced the F-150 Lightning, its production estimates were fairly conservative. Just 40,000 units per year, the company said, hedging its bets. But a memo to suppliers last month — seen by Auto News — said Ford expected to produce 80,000 per year. Now those estimates have doubled again.
Ford’s other major all-electric release, the Mach-E, is also ramping up production, despite early issues that sent some units’ roofs flying off. Ford hopes to be making 200,000 or so Mach-E units by 2023, too.
Shipping soon — F-150 production has reportedly begun its final pre-build stage and is on track to ship out some time in the spring… though it’s quite possible not everyone will receive their 2022 model this year. Ford says it will send out official order invites — which will include the ability to choose trim and other options — in waves, beginning this month. Invitations will go out until all reservations have been fulfilled, even if that takes Ford more than 2022 to complete.
Ford isn’t the only automaker working on releasing all-electric pickups this year; Rivian’s R1T is already shipping and targets a similar audience as the F-150. It’s consistently impressed us so far, though we’ve yet to actually try one out ourselves. (And few customers have yet, either.)
But Ford already has a leg up in this game. It’s Ford. The F-150 is a go-to, a tried and true pickup that’s sold millions. These sky-high reservations for the Lightning prove it’s going to be really tough to beat. And now it looks like Ford is realizing just how true that is, too.