Ford is looking to boost output of its popular electric F-150 Lightning ute/pickup truck, reportedly adding a third production shift at its Michigan production facility.
During a recent media tour of Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant and Rouge electric vehicle centre, plant manager Corey Williams told reporters that a third production shift had been added in November.
This brings the number of employees at the plant to 750 people. Three rotating crews of workers are working 10-hour shifts seven days a week, all while the build-out of the factory continues around them.
“That’s how we’re doing this fast. We’re building product while building” out the factory, Williams said.
Demand for the Ford F-150 Lightning, an electric ute (or pickup, depending on where in the world you live), quickly outpaced expectations. Ford originally set an annual production target of 40,000, but in the middle of 2021 the company doubled that target to 80,000.
This number was again increased in early 2022, with Ford planning to be producing 150,000 vehicles per year by mid-2023.
Ramp-up will need to increase dramatically, with 13,258 F-150 Lightnings sold through the end of November. We know, though, that Ford had sold 8,760 F-150 Lightnings between its launch in June and the end of September, which means that another 4,498 were built in October and November.
These numbers will only continue to grow, though, with continual demand – both public and corporate – providing Ford enough incentive to double down on transitioning to electric vehicles.
In addition to public demand, Ford is also seeing important corporate interest in the F-150 Lightning.
Late last month, US solar installer SunRun received a number of F-150 Lightnings as part of its larger effort to transition half of its fleet of vehicles to electric or hybrid by the end of 2025.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.