How much of a hit? Well, Ford is bumping up production by 50 percent vs. the original plan.
By the time Ford launches its first pure-electric pickup truck, the F-150 Electric, the segment will be flush with viable competitors. Over the next few years, battery-electric pickups from GMC, Tesla, Lordstown Motors, Rivian, and a few other brands are set to launch. The Ford F-150 isn't accustomed to finishing second, but the electric variant will certainly have its work cut out for it.
Of course, Ford is starting from an advantageous position, as the F-Series name has tremendous cache; it's been the best-selling vehicle in the US for nearly the last four decades, after all. That fame might already be playing to Ford's favor, it turns out, as the automaker says interest in the F-150 Electric has been huge.
In fact, Ford revealed this week that due to "strong interest," it will produce 50 percent more electric F-150s right out of the gate than it had originally planned. The move sends a particularly strong signal about Ford's faith in the product and the level of customer interest at a time before Ford has even so much as unveiled the truck, let alone begun taking deposits from buyers. Producing those trucks will require an extra 200 new jobs on top of the 300 already announced.
It's hard to get a sense of just how big a bet that is without knowing how many electric F-150s Ford had originally planned on producing to start, but the automaker employs some 8,600 people to build, on average, around 900,000 gas and diesel F-150s per year. That's about 100 cars per worker, per year, and at the same rate, we might expect to see 50,000 electric F-150s hit the road annually.
The Ford F-150 Electric is set to be built at Ford's historic River Rouge factory in Dearborn, Michigan, which is one of two F-150 plants in the US. Separately, a $150-million investment is coming to Ford's Van Dyke Transmission Plant as that facility gears up to start building electric motors and transaxles starting next year, just as Ford Mustang Mach-E production ramps up.
The Ford F-150 Electric will launch some time in mid-2022.