Despite its sales dominance, Ford will enter the electric pickup space with plenty of challenges.
For starters, the F-150 Lightning won’t be the first full-size battery-powered pickup on the market. By the time the first Lightnings reach dealerships in the spring of 2022, the Rivian R1T, Lordstown Endurance, GMC Hummer EV and Tesla Cybertruck could all be on sale.
And despite the company’s hopes that buyers will be wowed by the Lightning’s performance capabilities, Ford is likely to face a harder time converting longtime truck owners than startups Rivian and Lordstown may with a younger, tech-focused customer base.
Still, Brauer said Ford can combat any hesitancy by continuing to produce high volumes of gasoline-powered trucks. The company has not released any volume targets, but the Lightning will be built at one facility in Michigan while Ford’s two existing F-150 plants will continue to build internal combustion models.
“That vehicle is the foundation of the company, and you don’t shift the foundation lightly,” Brauer said. “They’ll let the market dictate the pace at which that transition happens.”