Yesterday, marked the official launch of Ford’s new electric F-150 Lightning pickup. This is important because the Ford F-Series has been America’s best-selling truck for 45 years in a row, second only to the Apple iPhone in revenue among all American consumer products, and signifies the start of the big shift from the internal combustion engine (ICE) to electric vehicles (EVs).
Bill Ford, Ford Executive Chair, said: “We celebrate the Model T moment for the 21st Century at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. The Rouge is where Ford perfected the moving assembly line, making it a fitting backdrop as we make history again.
“The stunning anticipation for F-150 Lightning is a credit to the work of our Ford engineers and designers, and the UAW team members who are building these trucks with pride.”
The shift in powertrains can be seen in demand for the F-150 Lightning with 200,000 reservations already. As a result, Ford is expanding the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center to ramp up production to a planned annual run rate of 150,000 in 2023. The company has invested a total of $950 million and created 750 jobs at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center.
Ford’s investment in Michigan for F-150 Lightning alone now totals more than $1 billion. It has recently created 1,700 jobs spread among five Ford plants in the state, including Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center, where Lightning electric motors and electric transaxles are assembled, and Rawsonville Components Plant, where Lightning batteries are assembled.
Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO, said: “America’s real transition to electric vehicles starts now. 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 US, 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.”
Ford is on track to deliver more than two million electric vehicles annually by 2026, equal to about one-third of the company’s global volume, on the way to 50 percent by 2030.
An interesting fact about those who have made reservations for the new F-150 Lightning is that three-quarters of reservation holders do not currently own or lease a Ford vehicle.
The F-150 Lightning is converting many of them because Ford are offering an electric equivalent of a useful and practical electric pickup that’s not currently available anywhere else. While other electric trucks are available, they don’t have a starting price of less than $40,000, which makes them highly attractive.
Another interesting fact about the F-150 Lightning, which is built at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, is that it’s a zero-waste-to-landfill site. This means none of the material generated as a by-product of the manufacturing process will go to landfills. The plant was built on the former Dearborn Assembly Plant site using materials from the prior plant in the foundation.
Ford says it’s committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and to using 100 percent local, renewable electricity in all of its manufacturing operations by 2035. The smartest and most innovative F-150 that Ford has ever built, America’s favourite vehicle for 36 years straight is revolutionising what it means to go electric.
Linda Zhang, F-150 Lightning chief program engineer, said: “It’s not every day that you get to launch a truck that will change the way Americans feel about electric vehicles.
“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.”