Ford said Tuesday it will nearly double production capacity of its upcoming electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck to 150,000 vehicles a year by mid-2023 in response to customer demand.
The F-150 Lightning trucks, which will have a base price of $39,974 before tax incentives are applied and not including the destination fee, will be produced at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan.
The company made the decision after receiving nearly 200,000 reservations — essentially refundable placeholders before buying the vehicle — for the new electric pickup truck. The true test of whether this demand is real will begin later this week when Ford invites the first wave of retail reservation holders to place orders for the truck.
The reservations will be unlocked in waves and more customers should expect to be notified of their chance to place an order in the coming weeks and months, the company said. Invitations will come by email or by logging into their Ford.com account.
More vehicles, of course means more parts. Ford said it is working with key suppliers and its own manufacturing facilities Rawsonville Components Plant and Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center to find ways to increase capacity of parts needed for EVs, including battery cells, battery trays and electric drive systems.
Meanwhile, the F-150 Lightning development is progressing. The company said that this week the Lightning entered the final phase of pre-production before moving into mass production later this year. These production-level trucks will be used for testing in real-world conditions. The first deliveries of the retail F-150 Lightning and F-150 Lightning Pro for commercial customers are expected to begin this spring.
Tuesday’s announcement comes several weeks after CEO Jim Farley said Ford planned to increase production of the all-electric Mustang Mach E in 2022 with the goal of tripling its current capacity by 2023.
Ford said in November that it would increase its production capacity of electric vehicles to 600,000 units globally by 2023 — a goal that would be spread across the Mustang Mach E, F-150 Lightning and commercial E-transit vans. If Ford hits that 600,000 figure it would double the number it had expected to produce over the next two years.
The automaker said it will spend more than $30 billion in electric vehicles through 2025, which includes an $11.4 billion investment to build three new battery plants with SK Innovation. The plants, one in Tennessee and two in Kentucky, will produce lithium-ion batteries to power next-generation Ford and Lincoln vehicles.