American automotive giant Ford has reportedly doubled its production target for the much-anticipated F-150 Lightning electric ute/pickup truck ahead of its launch in 2022.
According to “several people and suppliers familiar with the plans” speaking to Reuters, Ford is planning to spend an additional $US850 million to boost its annual production from a previous target of 40,000 to 80,000.
One of the sources told Reuters that the company was “pleasantly surprised by the demand for the Lightning.” So “surprised” was Ford, in fact, that the ramp to a new production target for the F-150 Lightning includes plans to build around 15,000 in 2022 after the vehicle’s launch in the first quarter of the year, ramping up to 55,000 in 2023.
A second-generation lightning expected to be launched in 2025 will push annual production to just shy of 160,000.
“We are excited with customer demand for the F-150 Lightning and already have 120,000 customer reservations, and we will continue to look for ways to break constraints and meet customer demand,” Ford said in a statement to Reuters, though declining to comment further on the leaks.
Ford officially launched the F-150 Lightning electric ute/pickup truck back in May to significant fanfare and immediate popularity, with almost 50,000 reservations being made within the first 48 hours of its launch.
Set to revive the ‘Lightning’ badge – news announced in early-May, as the company had not used the name since the early 2000s – the F-150 Lightning has continued to push Ford’s revenue and growth.
Looking more conventional than the competing Tesla Cybertruck, the popularity around both vehicles is quickly putting to rest any concerns that tradies and commercial buyers will be scared away by having to give up their gas-powered trucks for electric models.
It will a driving range of 370-kilometres for the base level F-150 Lightning, and 480-kilometres for the extended range option, and the ute’s power output will target 318kW and 420kW respectively, and deliver acceleration of 0-100km/h in around 4.5 seconds (give or take the conversion from miles to kilometres).
With a considerable 1,050 maximum torque, the F-150 Lightning will be able to tow up to 4.5 tonnes, or 3.5 tonnes for the standard-range model, allowing Ford CEO Jim Farley to boast during the vehicle’s launch that “It hauls ass and tows like a beast.”
Add to this a payload capacity of between 800kg and 900kg depending on the model, as well as the vehicle’s ability to power tools and even your house, any concerns and misconceptions that tradies and commercial drivers will be put-out by swapping to electric should now be eternally put to rest.