VIDEO: Ford’s all-electric F-150 Lightning now in production
By Jenny LescohierApril 27, 2022
America’s shift to electric vehicles hit a milestone this week as Ford’s F-150 Lightning pickup went into production within the company’s historic Rouge Complex in Dearborn, MI. Ford officials compared this achievement to the launch of the Ford Model T in 1908.
Ford says its F-150 Lightning is the fastest-accelerating F-150 yet and the only full-size electric pickup available now with a starting price less than $40,000. It’s said to have a range of up to 320 miles per battery charge.
The ‘Big-Three’ automaker said it’s on track to deliver more than 2 million electric vehicles annually by 2026, equal to about one-third of the company’s global volume, on the way to 50% by 2030.
“Today we celebrate the Model T moment for the 21st Century at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center,” said Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford. “The Rouge is where Ford perfected the moving assembly line, making it a fitting backdrop as we make history again.”
Ford reported it has seen unprecedented demand for F-150 Lightning with 200,000 reservations and is expanding the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center to ramp up production to a planned annual run rate of 150,000 in 2023.
“America’s real transition to electric vehicles starts now,” said Ford President and CEO Jim Farley. “F-150 Lightning is just the beginning of our ambitions for growth and leadership in digital, electric vehicles. We continue to expand our EV manufacturing footprint across the U.S., including the start of site preparation at BlueOval City, which will enable us to meet the ever-increasing customer demand for our exciting EV line-up.”
Speaking of that lineup, Farley hinted there’s another EV Ford truck already in the works.
“We’re already pushing dirt down in Blue Oval City in Tennessee for another electric pickup truck that’s different than this one,” Farley was quoted.
According to a Ford spokesperson, the new EV “will be a next-gen electric truck, different from F-150 Lightning.” Media in the automotive space speculated the new model will be based on the Ranger or Maverick.
F-150 Lightning strikes demand for power and efficiency
With acceleration from zero to 60 mph in the mid-4 second range with the extended-range battery, the freedom of a 10-kilowatt smart power plant on wheels, a starting price less than $40,000 before available tax credits and software updates make it even better over time, F-150 Lightning is attracting new customers to Ford, the company claimed.
A full three-quarters of reservation holders do not currently own or lease a Ford vehicle. F-150 Lightning is also converting many of them to first-time truck or electric vehicle buyers.
For the first time, a full-size pickup provides cavernous lockable storage to store 400 liters of cargo out of sight. This ‘Mega Power Frunk’ doubles as a cooler – washable and drainable – with lighting to see in the dark. It also has 2.4 kW of exportable power. Combined with the power available from the 5.5-foot bed and cab, it brings the truck’s Pro Power Onboard total to up to 9.6 kW from 11 power points.
At home, F-150 Lightning, together with a home integration system, can power a house during an outage for three days and in time will be able to offer power back to the grid. It can charge other electric vehicles so no one is left stranded.
“It’s not every day that you get to launch a truck that will change the way Americans feel about electric vehicles,” said Linda Zhang, F-150 Lightning chief program engineer. “The team has done a phenomenal job ensuring we are offering customers unique features only made possible by the electric power unit. But it’s the drive experience that will blow people’s minds. It is simply effortless.”
F-150 Lightning has the most torque of any F-150 ever (at 775 lbs.-ft.) and because it’s almost instantaneous, offers effortless towing.
The electric truck will stay up to date and constantly improve through over-the-air software updates, called Ford Power-Ups. Lightning customers have access to the BlueOval Charge Network, the largest public charging network in North America offered by automotive manufacturers.