The Ford F-150 Lightning is a step closer to hitting the road next year. Pre-production of the new all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup is now underway in Michigan. The first pre-production models rolled off the assembly line of Ford’s new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center last week. The models will leave the factory for real-world testing, with the truck available to customers next spring.
Ford says it's received more than 15,000 reservations for the pickup to date. To meet demand, Ford also announced it will invest an additional $250 million and add 450 more direct jobs across the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center and Rawsonville Components Plant.
Workers at Rawsonville Components Plant will assemble the batteries and Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center will increase its capacity to supply electric motors and electric transaxles for the F-150 Lightning.
The plan is to increase production capacity to 80,000 trucks a 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. So we are doubling down, adding jobs and investment to increase production,” said Bill Ford, executive chair, Ford Motor Company. “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.”
The Ford F-150 Lightning starts from 40,000. It has a targeted EPA-estimated driving range of 300 miles with the extended range battery. Final EPA-estimated ratings available in 2022 calendar year.
“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,” said 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.”
Ford says this is the latest in its continuing investment in Michigan, which has been home to Ford since its founding in 1903. Since 2016, Ford has invested $7.7 billion in the state and created and retained 7,000 Michigan jobs, including bringing the new Bronco SUV and Ranger pickup production to Michigan, refurbishing Michigan Central Station, developing a new Ford Research and Engineering Campus in Dearborn, creating Ford’s Ion Park in Romulus and more. Ford says these sites represent a growing network across southeast Michigan that will support the next generation of the company's battery electric, connected and autonomous vehicles.
“Today’s announcement is a great example of the right way to navigate the transition to tomorrow's vehicles by ensuring good-paying jobs of the future – investing in building vehicles in the United States, with the hard-working men and women of the UAW,” said Laura Dickerson, UAW Region 1A Director. “Investments like this can pave the way to a future that protects our families, our communities and our middle class. Ford is doing this the right way with the F-150 Lightning – creating 450 additional UAW-represented jobs. Ford is investing in this all-electric F-150 Lightning, as well as hybrid and gas F-150 versions, as consumer demands shift. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.”
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell were on hand to celebrate Ford’s commitment to Michigan and assembling electric vehicles in Michigan as the first pre-production F-150 Lightning trucks start to leave the factory.
“We’re standing on the edge of an era of electrification that will be built in factories like this one by hardworking UAW members and the innovative minds at Ford,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I am proud of Ford for committing to invest $30 billion in electrification through 2025, including this additional $250 million today to create 450 jobs in Dearborn, Ypsilanti and Sterling Heights supporting the production of the new F-150 Lightning. I will stay laser-focused at the state level on making investments in the future of mobility and electrification too, and together, we can create good-paying, high-skill union jobs and lead the world in electric vehicle development and manufacturing.”
DEARBORN, MI. SEPT. 16, 2021 – Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks at the completed Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Mich. Photo Credit: Ford.
“Michigan is the heart of the auto industry and we need to work across all sectors every single day to keep it that way,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell. “Building the vehicles of the future here at home while maintaining good-paying, union jobs will help the United States lead on mobility technology and innovation and stay ahead of our global competitors. I’ve been working day in and day out in legislative markups and discussions to ensure strong support for domestic manufacturing and electric vehicle infrastructure. I’m thankful for Ford’s partnership in this goal as we work together to protect jobs and keep the supply chain here in the United States, while also combatting the climate crisis and strengthening our economy.”
The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is in the Ford Rouge Center, which Ford says sets the benchmark for sustainable automotive assembly. Ford says the new center supports its vision of sustainable production as a zero waste-to-landfill site.
The center uses natural lighting, as well as LED lighting and the primary forklift fleet will use hydrogen fuel cells with a zero-emission profile. The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is built on the site of the old Dearborn Assembly Plant, using its recycled foundation and construction materials.