Last spring, Ford unveiled its F-150 Lightning electric pickup prototype. Since then, the response has been way more encouraging than Ford anticipated or intended. Ford had to shut down the reservation process — after receiving around 200,000 pre-orders for the truck. Now, the company just announced plans to increase F-150 Lightning production to 150,000 units per year, which is nearly double the expansion to 80,000 units per year announced a few months ago.
It's not hard to see why the F-150 Lightning is proving so popular. Americans love the traditional F-150. It provides buyers a with a wide range of use cases, whether you want a basic job site workhorse, a desert-running off-roader or a supremely cushy, American-made luxury car. The F-150 Lightning is the same vehicle, just with a different power source. Many buyers would have once viewed an electric car as a lifestyle change. The F-150 Lightning proves that going electric can let Americans keep right on trucking, and the orders show tons of them want to do so.
The F-150 Lightning eliminates the fuel economy concern, which is a significant drawback for people who would be intrigued by one. The electric truck's expansive and versatile frunk makes the F-150 an even more viable family car. The Pro Power Onboard system can serve as a backup generator for your house. And Ford, porting over as many of the combustion F-150 Lightning components as it can, has kept the costs down. The F-150 Lightning at least nominally starts around $40,000. It's a package so compelling it appeals to people who had no previous interest in an F-150.
As with the Bronco and the hybrid Maverick , the question is when Ford will have enough supply to meet fervent demand. F-150 Lightning reservations are currently closed, and Ford will be working through current reservation holders in successive waves. Ordering begins this January. Deliveries will start in spring 2022.
Ford has 200,000 potential orders to work through, and the current F-150 Lightning production capacity will be dramatically less than 150,000 units per year. Ford notably did not offer a timeframe for when production would hit that level. If you're the sort of buyer who likes to test drive a vehicle before buying it and wants to avoid outrageous dealer markups, obtaining an F-150 Lightning could take some time.