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Ford: America’s Best-Selling Vehicle Now Electric: Production Begins for F-150 Lightning Trucks

Full production of F-150 Lightning trucks begins at the high-tech Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Ford’s historic Rouge Complex

Today marks the launch of the all-new, electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck — a milestone in America’s shift to electric vehicles.

F-150 Lightning trucks are now being built for customers across America. F-150 Lightning is the fastest-accelerating F-150 yet and the only full-size electric pickup available now with a starting price of less than $40,000.

Built at the state-of-the-art Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Ford’s historic Rouge Complex, the F-150 Lightning is the only electric vehicle built by Ford Tough. Ford F-series has been America’s best-selling truck for 45 years in a row[1] and is second only to the iPhone in sales of all U.S. consumer products, according to a 2020 survey.

“Today we celebrate the Model T moment for the 21st Century at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center,” said Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford. “The Rouge is where Ford perfected the moving assembly line, making it a fitting backdrop as we make history again. The stunning anticipation for F-150 Lightning is a tribute to the work of our Ford engineers and designers, and the UAW team members who proudly build these trucks.”

Ford has unprecedented demand for F-150 Lightning with 200,000 reservations and is expanding its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center to ramp production to a planned annual production of 150,000 by 2023. The company has invested a total of $950 million and created 750 jobs at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. Ford’s investment in Michigan for the F-150 Lightning alone now totals more than $1 billion, with 1,700 recently created jobs across five Ford plants in the state, including Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center, where Lightning electric motors and electric transaxles are assembled, and Rawsonville Components Plant, where Lightning batteries are assembled.

“America’s true transition to electric vehicles begins now,” said Ford President and CEO Jim Farley. “F-150 Lightning is just the beginning of our ambitions for growth and leadership in digital, electric vehicles. We continue to expand our EV manufacturing footprint in the US, including the start of preparation for the BlueOval City site, helping us meet the growing customer demand for our exciting EV range.”

Ford is on track to deliver more than 2 million electric vehicles annually by 2026, equivalent to approximately one-third of the company’s global volume, on a path to 50% by 2030.

With 0 to 60 mph acceleration in the middle of 4 seconds with the extended battery, the freedom of a 10-kilowatt smart power plant on wheels, a starting price of less than $40,000 excluding tax credits, and software updates that make it even better over time, F-150 Lightning attracts new customers to Ford. Three quarters of reservation holders do not currently own or lease a Ford vehicle. The F-150 Lightning also converts many of them to new truck or electric vehicle buyers.

Harnessing a Century of Production Control for an Electric Pickup

Ford announced its intention to build the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in its historic Rouge complex 19 months ago in September 2020 and has since created a state-of-the-art site that leverages more than 118 years of expertise in large-scale manufacturing.

Ford remains the largest automaker in America in terms of US manufacturing, US-made vehicle sales and hourly employment of auto workers.[2]

“For UAW Ford members, the launch of the Lightning F-150 is an example that when the electric vehicle expansion is done right, it can create high-paying union jobs and opportunities,” said UAW President Ray Curry. “Today’s launch demonstrates that we can create a win-win situation for UAW families and communities as we build EV products for decades to come.”

The production technology at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is as innovative as the F-150 Lightning. It is the first Ford factory without traditional in-floor transportation lines and instead uses robotic autonomously guided vehicles to move F-150 Lightning trucks from workstation to station in the factory.

These autonomous guided vehicles create more flexibility in the factory for additional production output, quality checks and product adjustments, among other benefits. And changes can be made quickly without the constraints of a typical line that requires the installation of floor chains, moving mats, conveyor belts and overhead cranes. The factory also uses cobots, or collaborative robots, that work side-by-side with humans without the need for safety cages. These cobots help with tasks that are ergonomically challenging for employees, while also keeping employees safe.

“Today, UAW members embark on a new generation of building the iconic F-150, creating a groundbreaking electric vehicle backed by our UAW craftsmanship and quality assembly,” said Chuck Browning, UAW vice president, director, Ford Department . “Our members are proud of building Ford Tough and are excited to build this new Lightning EV with the same UAW care and legendary performance that Ford customers have come to expect.”

The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is a zero-waste landfill, meaning none of the material generated as a by-product of the manufacturing process goes to landfill. The factory was built on the former site of the Dearborn Assembly Plant, with materials from the earlier factory in the foundation.

Ford aims to be carbon neutral by 2050 and to use 100% local, renewable electricity in all its manufacturing operations by 2035.

The smartest, most innovative F-150 Ford has ever built

America’s favorite vehicle for 36 years is revolutionizing what it means to go electric.

For the first time, a full-size pickup offers a cavernous, lockable storage area to store 400 liters of cargo out of sight. This Mega Power Frunk also doubles as a cool box – washable and drainable – with lighting for seeing in the dark. It also has 2.4 kW of exportable power. Combined with the available power from the bed and cab of 5.5 feet, this brings the truck’s Pro Power Onboard total to 9.6 kW from 11 outlets.

At home, the F-150 Lightning, along with a home integration system, can power a home for three days during a power outage[3] and in the long run be able to supply power to the grid again. It can charge other electric vehicles so no one gets stuck.

“You can’t launch a truck every day that will change the way Americans think about electric vehicles,” said Linda Zhang, chief program engineer of the F-150 Lightning. “The team has done a phenomenal job in ensuring we provide customers with unique features only made possible by the electric drive unit. But it is the driving experience that will amaze people. It’s just effortless.”

The F-150 Lightning accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in the middle of 4 seconds with the extended battery, making it the fastest accelerating F-150 yet. The planned ride provides a ride and driving experience that a truck driver doesn’t normally feel. It also has the most torque of any F-150 ever (at 775 lbs.-ft.) and because it’s almost instantaneous, it can be towed effortlessly.

Ford is offering F-150 Lightning owners an optional BlueCruise hands-free driving experience on more than 130,000 miles of pre-qualified divided highways in the US and Canada. The F-150 Lightning stays up to date and is constantly improved through over-the-air software updates called Ford Power-Ups.

The F-150 Lightning is a zero-emission vehicle with a range of a whopping 320 EPA-estimated miles. Lightning customers have access to the BlueOval Charge Network, the largest public charging network in North America offered by automakers.

Charging at home is easy with installation partner Sunrun. Customers with a long-range battery and an 80 amp Connected Charge Station Pro can be fully charged overnight on AC power with dual built-in chargers. Customers may also have the option to install solar power so they can both power their homes and charge their trucks with clean, renewable energy.

The F-150 Lightning Pro is the first F-series electric truck built specifically for commercial customers. F-150 Lightning Pro is offered through Ford Pro, a one-stop shop for commercial and government customers offering a range of conventional and electric vehicles and a full suite of software, charging, financing, services and support for Ford and non-Ford products . The F-150 Lightning Pro is supported with turnkey solutions for commercial operations, and Ford predicts that cost savings from commercial customers will start from day one.

Click here to learn more about the electric 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pickup.

[1] Based on the total turnover of the calendar year 1977-2021
[2] Ford assembles more vehicles in the US than any other manufacturer based on S&P Global Mobility CYE 2021 US Light Vehicle Production data. Ford is the No. 1 major automaker in America’s assembled percentage of US sales based on Ford’s analysis of S&P Global Mobility CYE 2021 Light Vehicle Production data. High volume manufacturers produce 500,000 units or more in a calendar year. Ford has about 56,000 employees per hour in the US, more than any other automaker, according to data from the Center for Automotive Research.
[3] When the home is properly equipped and the home transfer switch disconnects the home from the mains. Based on 30 kWh consumption per day when using the F-150 Lightning with the extended battery. Results may vary depending on energy consumption.

SOURCE: Ford