The customers have spoken.
Rival automakers have been watching the public's reaction to the all-new Ford F-150 Lightning very closely to gauge reaction to this all-electric truck. And now consumers have clearly spoken: they want EV trucks. Reuters reports the American automaker is doubling F-150 Lightning production targets due to strong demand. An additional $850 million has been allocated to meet that target.
"They were pleasantly surprised by the demand for the Lightning," said one source familiar with the matter. This increase is on top of the 50 percent production boost ordered last November. A solid amount of that demand is coming from commercial customers who want to replace their existing fleets with emissions-free vehicles to reduce their carbon footprints.
Ford initially planned for production to be fairly limited in the truck's first model year, especially since it's being built at a new facility. The stakes are very high to get everything right the first time. The plan to increase production figures each year still remains. Ford did not directly acknowledge this production increase, but a spokesperson did say there are already 120,000 reservations in place and that the company "will continue to look for ways to break constraints and meet customer demand."
Doubling production is not an easy thing and suppliers have reportedly expressed some concern about meeting expectations. They have to deliver and the pressure has just increased.
"It really puts suppliers in a dicey situation if the volume doesn't come true," one supplier executive said, who understandably wants to remain anonymous.
And then there was this bombshell update: the next-generation F-150 Lightning will debut in late 2025 as a 2026 model. That's right. The existing truck will have a very short lifespan because it rides on a heavily modified version of the combustion-powered F-150's platform. The second-gen model will switch to the Blue Oval's new TE1 architecture, a platform being developed specifically for battery-electric vehicles. Chances are likely this setup will also underpin the all-electric Explorer. The non-electric F-150 will continue to live for the foreseeable future. This will be a gradual transition towards electrification.