As the battle to bring electric pickup trucks to market heats up, Ford revealed that pre-production of the F-150 Lightning has begun. There is now a race to bring electric pickup trucks to the US market, which will necessitate them speeding up EV adoption given that pickup trucks are the most popular passenger car on the market. Rivian was given the greatest odds to be the first to market by MyBookie, a sportsbook website, which started taking bets on the electric pickup race.
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Rivian delivered its first R1T electric pickup, which it wants to sell to consumers, earlier this week, putting it in the lead in the race to deliver the first electric pickup to a client.
Most people would agree, however, that it is not the most significant race.
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The most significant race is to get electric pickup trucks into mass manufacturing in the United States. Rivian appears to be the frontrunner in this area, but businesses like Tesla and Ford, which have experience with mass production — the former with electric vehicles and the latter with pickup trucks — should not be overlooked.
Ford announced today the start of pre-production at their Rouge Electric Vehicle manufacturing in Dearborn, Michigan, as a first critical step in that direction:
“One year after Ford confirmed construction of the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Mich., the first Ford F-150 Lightning pre-production units begin leaving the factory; the all-electric F-150 Lightning goes on sale next spring.”
The manufacturer has announced an N103 billion increase in its investment in the factory. Its annual production capacity will be increased to 80,000 F-150 Lighting electrified pickups:
“Ford is investing an additional $250 million and adding 450 more direct jobs across the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center and Rawsonville Components Plant. The investment and added jobs will help increase production capacity to 80,000 trucks a year.”
Ford announced last month that it would ramp up manufacturing of the F-150 electrified to 15,000 vehicles in 2022, 55,000 in 2023, and 80,000 in 2024. Higher volumes would be required in the next generation of electric pickup trucks, which would be released in 2025.
To date, Ford has “accepted more than 150,000 bookings” for the F-150 Lightning, according to the company. This is an increase from the 130,000 reservations made a few weeks ago.