Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup could win first-mover advantage

A Ford F-150 Lightning on show at the New York Auto Clearly show, April 13, 2022.

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

DETROIT – Ford Motor is set to be the initially automaker to bring a mainstream, entire-dimension electric powered pickup to the U.S. current market, poised to capitalize on a to start with-mover advantage in what is actually expected to be a hotly contested segment in the a long time to occur.

Ford CEO Jim Farley claimed the enterprise designs to scale output of its electrical F-150 Lightning pickup more rapidly than its competitors, with ideas to enhance production of the Lightning at a plant in Dearborn, Michigan, to 150,000 units in the next calendar year or so, up from an preliminary focus on of 40,000 cars.

That would dwarf ideas of Rivian Automotive and Basic Motors, which are expected to be in the tens of hundreds. Each are already producing and marketing pricier electric powered pickups in scaled-down and bigger truck segments.

Other companies, precisely EV begin-ups, have beforehand touted the electric powered pickup as a substantial possibility, but have so considerably failed to execute on a substantial scale.

“In this current market, becoming a initially mover is a incredibly, really crucial transfer,” Farley told CNBC. “We did not know we would be 1st, but we worked quick in circumstance we had been, and it can be labored out that way. I consider it could be just one of the most critical strengths we have.”

Ford is “confident” it can hit its 150,000 manufacturing target, in accordance to Farley. He mentioned the business has secured the lithium-ion batteries desired for that amount of generation – a major problem of buyers and Wall Avenue analysts. Ford also will prioritize materials of semiconductor chips, which have been a important provide chain issue for much more than a 12 months, for the Lightning, Farley mentioned.

“We’re not joking. We assume this is as large a products as when the Model T came out for us,” Farley explained, referring to Ford’s flagship product or service that is credited with becoming the catalyst for mass adoption of automobiles from horse and buggies starting in 1908.

Delivery imminent

Some believe that the F-150 Lightning could be the to start with correct take a look at of regardless of whether Us citizens are completely ready to undertake electric vehicles that are not Teslas. The pickup is also important to Ford’s $42 billion truck franchise and retaining its decadeslong income dominance as America’s bestselling truck and automobile with its F-Sequence pickups.

Ford has started out original pre-manufacturing of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck at a new plant in Dearborn, Mich.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

Whilst Rivian’s R1T electric pickup was the to start with to market past calendar year, it really is a lesser vehicle than the Lightning and priced commencing at $67,500. GM also commenced shipping and delivery its GMC Hummer EV pickups at the conclude of last year, but they’re larger sized than the F-150 Lightning and in the beginning priced at about $110,000.

The F-150 Lightning starts off at about $40,000 for a function-oriented variation and $53,000 – only 1000’s of dollars in excess of the normal price tag compensated for a new motor vehicle – for a client pickup.

Ford has commenced saleable creation of the F-150 Lightning. The automaker is expected to start off shipping the new electric vans to dealers inside times.


Initially to get the F-150 Lightning will be pick business, or fleet, customers and the 200,000 reservation holders who have placed $100 refundable deposits for the car or truck given that it was unveiled past May. It could get Ford more than a year to satisfy these orders, according to Farley.

That time frame is extended than historical direct instances for these cars but is however expected to be faster than other EVs. New orders for the Hummer EV aren’t anticipated to be fulfilled until 2024, and Rivian only expects to deliver 25,000 autos this 12 months.

Ford has began original pre-creation of its electric powered F-150 Lightning pickup truck at a new plant in Dearborn, Mich.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

Farley explained the business is sharing the F-150 internal combustion engine plant, which ought to help it hit concerning 150,000 and 200,000 creation models a 12 months.  

“We create a million F-150s a 12 months. We know how to do this. And we have unbelievable scale,” he explained.

Ford’s recipe for profitability with the F-150 Lightning is certainly scale. The Lightning shares components this kind of as seats, doorways and significantly of the vehicle’s inside with its standard gas-run siblings to support with supplier pricing and development.

It is really a different method than GM, Rivian and Tesla, which all have unique electric truck platforms. And it is really a approach that assisted Ford in having the vehicle to marketplace.

The components sharing is also predicted to help with escalating manufacturing, but it can be opened the company up to criticism that a devoted EV platform is favored. Ford sooner or later expects to make a dedicated EV system at a new plant in Tennessee.

Compared with the Hummer and R1T, Ford is building it a huge position to focus on fleet buyers with the F-150 Lightning. About 20% to 30% of initial manufacturing will be for those people customers, nevertheless Farley claimed he believes the demand from customers from firms and function clients could inevitably surpass the consumer market place.

Expanding segment

LMC Automotive expects the U.S. electric powered pickup truck market to raise from about 25,000 autos this calendar year to 1 million or so by 2030. The 5 electric powered pickup designs offered this calendar year are expected to jump to 21 in excess of the next 10 years.

The race to release electric powered pickups was mainly sparked by Tesla and other EV start-ups eyeing the segment, which the Detroit automakers have dominated for decades.

Ford’s F-Sequence, which consists of the F-150 pickup and its larger siblings, has been America’s bestselling car or truck for 40 straight a long time and the industry’s leading-offering truck for 45 many years. Neither are titles Ford would like to relinquish when it will come to electric powered pickups.

“We’re not going to cede the potential to any person,” Farley advised CNBC previous yr. “Our electrical method is quite unique. We’re likely to invest in segments in which we’re the dominant player and we have scale, like the F-150, the Transit van, our Mustang.”

Ford has introduced designs to ramp output capabilities to 2 million EVs by 2026, as it seeks to turn into the 2nd-major vendor of this kind of vehicles, driving Tesla, by that time. Its crosstown rival, GM, has explained it ideas to surpass Tesla in domestic EV product sales by 2025.

Each automakers have a large amount of catching up to do towards Tesla, which accounted for roughly 3 out of 4 electric motor vehicles sold for the duration of the initially quarter of this year.