As Ford enters its final phase of pre-production on its highly anticipated F-150 Lightning pickup, it has announced another doubling of its production capacity on the new EV. The US automaker expects to scale Michigan production to 150,000 Lightning EVs by mid-2023, adding to massive overall BEV outputs.
In May 2021, Ford unveiled the an all-electric version of its long-running, best-selling F-Series pickup, with the F-150 Lightning.
Since the initial launch, Ford has been taking F-150 Lightning reservations with a $100 refundable deposit, initially revealing that the truck had received 20,000 reservations on the first day and 44,000 reservations for the F-150 Lightning within 48 hours.
Demand for the F-150 Lightning reservations carried steadily through 2021, topping over 200,000 as of early December. We also learned that those reservations did not account for future fleet customers. Based on previous production timelines shared by Ford, we determined that every F-150 Lightning had been spoken for into 2024, depending on how many people follow through on their reservations.
To combat this demand, Ford has already doubled its Lightning production once, in August. That new timeline consisted of 15,000 Lightning EVs in 2022, 55,000 in 2023, and 80,000 in 2024. At the time, Ford was targeting 160,000 trucks in 2025 when the second-generation F-150 Lightning debuts.
Even then, based on Ford’s reservations, we predicted that would not be enough of a production capacity to meet the tremendous demand for the new electric pickup. Ford appears to have felt the same way, and is once again nearly doubling its Lightning production capacity.
Ford increases Lightning production, chasing Tesla in overall capacity
Ford announced its additional increased to F-150 Lightning production via a press release early this morning. According to the US automaker, it will increase capacity of its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, beginning with a target of approximately 80,000 units for the 2023 model year Lightning.
According to a recent forum post from f150gen14.com, invitations to order the model year 2023 Lightning’s will begin rolling out this summer. We also have our first glimpse at potential MSRPs of all the 2022 Lightning trims, which Ford has since confirmed.
Ford has also shared a revised planned run rate of about 150,000 annual units by mid-2023. Not to be outdone, Ford has previously announced a tripling of production for its ever-popular Mustang Mach-E, expecting to reach over 200,000 units annually by 2023. That, combined with Ford’s upcoming all-electric E-Transit van, provides a lot of optimism for future EV production.
In fact, Ford’s anticipates its combined global BEV production will surpass 600,000 units per year in the next 24 months. It already has its sights set on becoming the clear No. 2 EV maker in North America, and has been as bold as sharing goals to challenge the No. 1 spot currently held by Tesla. For comparison, Tesla reported delivering over 935,000 EVs globally in 2021.
With over $30 billion invested in EVs through 2025, including $11.4 billion in multiple US EV battery plants, Ford is about 2.5 years behind Tesla and gaining speed. There’s more room for optimism from Ford, too. According to the automaker, over 75% of its North American Lightning reservation holders are new to the blue oval brand, representing huge potential gains in a competitive market.
Beginning this Thursday, the first group of current F-150 Lightning reservation holders will be invited to begin placing orders for their new electric pickup. Due to extremely high demand, Ford is implementing a wave-by-wave reservation process.
Those who don’t receive invitations to purchase a 2022 model year Lightning will have an opportunity to order future model years moving forward. Regardless, be wary of those dealership markups!