Pre-production of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup trucks begins, with the first examples to be used in real-world testing.
Series production of the F-150 Lightning will start next year, with the automaker aiming for a $39,974 starting price before federal and local incentives.
Just days after Rivian began production of the R1T electric pickup, yet another challenger is on the way. Ford has begun pre-production of the F-150 Lightning just a few days ago. The electric pickup was revealed for the first time earlier this summer promising a top range of up to 300 miles with an output up to 563 hp, as well as mid-four-second launches from 0-60 mph.
The F-150 Lightning will start at $39,974 when deliveries begin next spring.
In fact, Ford recently indicated that it intends to double F-150 Lightning production from 40,000 units to 80,000 a year, after reservations for the truck had surpassed 150,000. The automaker plans to add 450 direct jobs to the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center as well as two other supporting facilities to cope with the increase, in addition to a $250 million investment.
“We knew the F-150 Lightning was special, but the interest from the public has surpassed our highest expectations and changed the conversation around electric vehicles. So we are doubling down, adding jobs and investment to increase production,” said Bill Ford, executive chair, Ford Motor Company. “This truck and the Ford-UAW workers who are assembling it in Michigan have a chance to make history and lead the electric vehicle movement in America.”
The pre-production trucks rolling out of the factory are headed for real-world testing ahead of the start of series production in a few months, just as interest in electric pickups appears to be growing.
The standard-battery version of the pickup will offer 426 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque, as well as a range of 230 miles per manufacturer estimate. The longer-range version of the truck will dial that up to 300 miles and 563 hp. Repeat buyers of the F-150 will also be able to count on a 10,000-pound maximum towing rating, along with 2000-pound maximum payload. So it won't be a purely "lifestyle" offering meant for glamping, unlike some competitors aimed at deep-pocketed early adopters.
However, the true potential of the F-150 Lightning perhaps goes beyond pickup trucks, given its status as a best-selling vehicle stateside for decades. The F-150 Lightning could well be the most important electric vehicle launch of this decade in any segment, designed to appeal to truck buyers rather than EV buyers.
"Electrifying the F-Series—America's best-selling truck for 44 years—and assembling it at this high-tech facility in Michigan represents a significant step toward mass adoption of electric vehicles in America," said Kumar Galhotra, Ford's president of The Americas and International Markets Group. "F-150 Lightning is intended to be more than a no-compromise zero tailpipe-emissions truck. It's packed with ingenious features and technology that will improve over time, its exhilarating to drive and it can power your home and worksite."
Will F-150 Lightning sales exceed Mustang Mach-E sales in the first full year of production? Let us know in the comments below.