Close to 200,000 customers have already place reservations for Ford’s new F-150 Lightning electric pick-up trucks, according to Ford CEO Jim Farley.
Speaking with Automotive News, Mr Farley explained that the number of reservations received was “approaching 200,000 units”, surpassing the 160,000 reservations Ford confirmed it had already received by early November and despite pre-production having only started in mid-September. “North of 80 per cent” of these reservations are expected to translate into sales, similarly impressive given a recent collaborative study by the Ford Motor Company and Google that suggests up to (if not more than), half of these could be first-time Ford buyers.
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. Pre-production model shown. F-150 Lightning available starting spring 2022.
This figure comes shortly after a report that Ford is already aiming to double the production capacity of its electric vehicle lineup to 600,000 by the end of 2023 following positive feedback. Only 20,000 units of the Lightning, for example, were originally intended for production per year, with that figure later ballooning into 55,000 for 2023 and 80,000 for 2024.
Though stylistically similar to its internal-combustion alter-ego, the Lightning, which debuted back in May this year, features subtle exterior tweaks such as a re-sculpted hood, new running boards, and a revised front grille to reduce drag, plus a new 15.5-inch infotainment “interface” in the cabin. The biggest changes though are, of course, the Dual eMotors that power the front and rear axles, and, when mated with the ‘Extended-Range Battery’, produces “a targeted” 563 horsepower and 775 lb-ft, the highest torque output yet for an F-150.
Ford’s other notable selling point of the Lightning is the cavernous, 400-litre front truck (or frunk, if you will) that effectively replaces the front-mounted V8 or V6s offered on the F-150 (the Lightning’s electric motors are incorporated within its new architecture). Featuring a rubberized floor for easy-maintenance, and specifically designed to hold two golf bags comfortably, the Lightning’s front truck actually started life in February 2018 as a simple cardboard cut-out with a hinged roof, and was pitched as such to Ford executives.
Ford truck and fleet owners and customers guided decision-making for the innovative design of the F-150 Lightning pickup’s Mega Power Frunk, leading to multiple power sources and enough space to house two golf bags
“The F-150 Lightning pickup’s Mega Power Frunk is one of those features that reshape what vehicles can provide for customers,” F-150 Lightning chief program engineer Linda Zhang explained in an official statement. “It’s sheer size, ample power supply, drainable floor and open and close system that opens with the touch of a button make it frunking awesome!”