Ford's new factory could build 500,000 next-gen electric pickups per year
Ford has announced it's making progress on construction of its factory complex for its next-generation electric pickup truck, upfitting and associated batteries. The factory, called BlueOval City, is due to start production of vehicles in 2025. It's located in West Tennessee and Ford estimates it will provide around 6,000 people and cost $5.6 billion.
The first vehicle Ford announced for the plant is called Project T3, with the latter part being short for "Trust the Truck," a motto from the development team. The company didn't specify any other details about it besides being a new-generation truck. It should be using one of the company's new EV platforms that has been known as TE1. It's a full-size truck platform designed from the outset to be electric, rather than adapted for an existing truck like the current F-150 Lightning. The platform is expected to be used for the replacement Lightning, as well as the eventual electric Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.
Some reports have suggested it might also be used for another pickup truck different from the F-150 Lightning. It might be dramatically different in design and target market. So it's possible the truck built at this Tennessee location could be either the next Lightning, or this reported mystery truck. Or perhaps the more unusual design actually is going to be used for the new Lightning. Backing up the report of radical looks is Jim Farley's description:
"PJ O’Rourke once described American pickups as ‘a back porch with an engine attached.’ Well, this new truck is going to be like the Millennium Falcon – with a back porch attached."
The target production start of 2025 does line up with the expected launch of a second-generation Lightning, though. Plus, you can almost always justify manufacturing investments for the Ford F-150, historically part of the best-selling line of vehicles in America. Plus, Ford says the factory will be capable of building up to 500,000 vehicles a year. That's a lot of vehicles, which would be ideal for supplying the huge demand for F-Series pickup trucks.
In keeping with the ideals of electric vehicles, the factory will be carbon-neutral in operation. Various systems are in place to help with this such as geothermal heating. Ford is also aiming to avoid use of additional fresh water for operations by taking advantage of stormwater and reducing evaporation from cooling towers.
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