American automotive megalith Ford Motor Company has begun pre-production of its long-awaited all-electric F-150 Lightning utility vehicle at the company’s new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan.
Ford announced last week that the first of its F1-50 Lightning pre-production units had begun leaving its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, one year after the company confirmed construction of the facility.
The F-150 Lightning will not only boast a base level all-electric range of 370-kilometres and 480-kilometres for the extended range option, but will also be able to power a tradie’s onsite tools thanks to its vehicle-to-load, or V2L, technology, and even power a home, thanks to its vehicle-to-home, or V2H, technology.
As Ford declared during the vehicle’s debut presentation, the Ford F-150 “can help you build your house and if need be power that house.”
To meet the phenomenal demand for the Ford F-150 Lightning – highlighting once again the increasing and sustained demand for electric vehicles of all stripes and from all manufacturers – Ford is investing an additional $US250 million and adding 450 more direct jobs across its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center, and Rawsonville Components Plant. Ford’s goal is to increase its production capacity up to 80,000 trucks per year.
“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,” said Bill Ford, executive chair of Ford Motor Company.
“So we are doubling down, adding jobs and investment to increase production. 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.”
“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,” added 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, it’s exhilarating to drive and it can power your home and worksite.”
Many of the 450 new direct jobs will be assembling the F-150 Lightning at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. Meanwhile, workers at the Rawsonville Components Plant will be assembling the batteries and the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center will increase its capacity to supply electric motors and electric transaxles for the F-150 Lightning.
Ford was inundated with orders for the F-150 Lightning the moment pre-orders were made available, accruing nearly 50,000 $US100 ($A130) orders within 48-hours. Unsurprisingly, Ford moved quickly to double its production target from 40,000 to 80,000.