Ford announced plans this week to double production of the F-150 Lightning to 150,000 vehicles per year to meet high demand for the first all-electric version of America’s best-selling vehicle.
Starting Thursday, the first group of reservation holders will be invited to begin placing orders for the F-150 Lightning.
“With nearly 200,000 reservations, our teams are working hard and creatively to break production constraints in order to get more F-150 Lightning trucks into the hands of our customers,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of The Americans & International Markets Group, Ford Motor Company. “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.”
Seven months after revealing the first all-electric Ford F-Series pickup, Ford is now inviting the first wave of retail reservation holders to place orders for the all-new 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning. Due to unprecedented customer interest, Ford is implementing a wave-by-wave reservation process, and reservation holders are asked to watch for an invitation by email from Ford, or by logging into their Ford.com account. For those who don’t receive invitations to convert for the 2022 model year, there will be an opportunity later to order for future model years.
To deliver this latest planned production increase, a small task force of Ford employees from manufacturing, purchasing, strategy, product development, and capacity planning are finding ways to quickly adapt and expand production of the F-150 Lightning. Ford is working with key suppliers as well as its own manufacturing facilities at Rawsonville Components Plant and Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center to find ways to increase capacity of electric vehicle parts, including battery cells, battery trays and electric drive systems.
“The pride and quality UAW members are putting into building the iconic Ford F-150 Lightning is evident in the high pre-production demand for the new F-150 Lightning Electric vehicle,” said Chuck Browning, UAW vice president. “UAW members are leading the way in doubling the amount of vehicles Ford is producing for this game-changing model of our legendary union-built vehicle.”
F-150 Lightning production entered the final pre-production phase this week. Both F-150 Lightning and the commercial version, F-150 Lightning Pro, are expected to roll out this spring. These production-level trucks will be used for testing in real-world customer conditions collectively accumulating 1 million miles.
According to Ford, Lightning is drawing interest from customers of competitor brands at a record rate in North America with more than 75 percent of reservation holders new to the Ford brand. Starting MSRP of the F-150 Lightning is $39,974 before any tax incentives.
Part of the attraction for fleets will undoubtedly be the lower total cost of ownership for Lightning. According to a Ford, scheduled maintenance costs for the F-150 BEV are estimated to be more than 40 percent less than the average scheduled maintenance costs for a gas-powered F-150 over 8 years/100,000 miles (whichever comes first).
Ford reports that it is “committed to leading the electric vehicle revolution” and is investing more than $30 billion in electric vehicles through 2025. Over the next two years, Ford aims to emerge as the clear No. 2 EV manufacturer in North America and then challenge the No. 1 spot as huge investments in battery and EV manufacturing come onstream. Within two years, Ford expects to have the global capacity to produce 600,000 battery electric vehicles annually.
Electric truck, SUV and commercial van manufacturer Rivian also recently announced plans to step up EV production to 600,000 units annually thanks in large part to a new plant that the company plans on opening near Atlanta in 2024. Ford, which remains heavily invested in Rivian, will be competing with the California-based start-up though it’s pulled sharply ahead. Last month, Rivian reported having 71,000 reservations for its R1T pickup, a far cry from Ford’s 200,000 reservations for the Lightning F-150.
In addition to scaling Lightning production, Ford recently announced the tripling of production for the Mustang Mach-E and expects to reach 200,000-plus units per year by 2023. Ford’s all-electric van, the E-Transit, goes on sale early this year.
Ford is building the largest, most advanced, most efficient auto production facility in its 118-year history in Tennessee, where it will build next-generation F-series electric pickups. Together with SK Innovation, Ford is also building three new BlueOval SK battery plants – one in Tennessee and two in Kentucky – to produce advanced lithium-ion batteries to power next-generation Ford and Lincoln vehicles.
This $11.4 billion investment will create nearly 11,000 new jobs at BlueOval City and BlueOvalSK Battery Park in Tennessee and Kentucky and build on Ford’s position as America’s leading employer of hourly autoworkers.