Ford F-150 Lightning
The rumors of the Ford F-150 Lightning being vaporware were squashed as Ford showed preproduction units being assembled at the Rouge Electric Vehicle center on Wednesday.
“We knew the F-150 Lightning was special, but the interest from the public has surpassed our highest expectations and changed the conversation around electric vehicles. So we are doubling down, adding jobs and investment to increase production,” said Bill Ford, executive chair, Ford Motor Company. “This truck and the Ford-UAW workers who are assembling it in Michigan have a chance to make history and lead the electric vehicle movement in America.”
The F-150 Lightning, with a starting MSRP of $40,000 and targeted EPA-estimated driving range of 300 miles with the extended range battery1, is aimed at the heart of the U.S. auto market. Ford has taken more than 150,000 reservations for the trucks to date.
“Electrifying the F-Series – America’s best-selling truck for 44 years – and assembling it at this high-tech facility in Michigan – represents a significant step toward mass adoption of electric vehicles in America,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of The Americas and International Markets Group. “F-150 Lightning is intended to be more than a no-compromise zero tailpipe-emissions truck. It’s packed with ingenious features and technology that will improve over time, it’s exhilarating to drive and it can power your home and worksite.”
Ford confirmed construction of the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center a year ago as part of an initial $700 million investment in the historic Ford Rouge Center, creating a manufacturing home for the F-150 Lightning. Now Ford’s pre-production F-150 Lightning trucks are leaving the factory for real-world testing, with the truck available to customers next spring.
Ford’s $250 million additional investment will create 450 additional hourly direct jobs, with most of those workers assembling the F-150 Lightning at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. Workers at Rawsonville Components Plant will assemble the batteries and Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center will increase its capacity to supply electric motors and electric transaxles for the F-150 Lightning.
Another electric pickup, the Rivian R1T, has also made news this week as the first production models started rolling off the company’s assembly line in Normal, Illinois.
The Launch Edition trucks are claimed to be able to stretch 314 miles out of a charge. This first production model followed hundreds of others that have been subjected to testing of all sorts that automakers used to validate what their computers tell them.
These Launch Edition trucks start at $73,000 and sport a 135 kWh battery. The payload for these models is 1,760 pounds. For those who wish to go further, especially if towing is in your future, models with a larger battery that have a promised 400 miles of range are coming soon.
There will also be a sport utility version of the truck dubbed R1S soon.
Like every other automaker, Rivian has been saddled by chip shortages and delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Rivian truck is slated to fall between traditional full-sized trucks and smaller mid-sized trucks with much of the capability normally associated with a half-ton full-size truck.
More Ford news – Maverick
The smallest of all the newly announced pickups is the Maverick, which is almost as much car as it is truck. But that hasn’t stopped Ford from unleashing a slew of gadgets and gizmos for the model.
Recently, Ford’s accessories website was updated with a number of add-ons for the little pickup with a great preview into the types of accessories Ford has in mind.
Of most interest to us RV and travel enthusiasts might be the Yakima rack system which can carry things like kayaks and even a two-person tent!
Also available will be bed caps and camper shells. Additionally, items reported to improve aerodynamics are also there, including various wings and that sort of thing.
But the most interesting item on the list is the slots fitted to the petite pickup dubbed Ford Integrated Tether System (FITS), which can serve as mounting points for accessories that one might design and print in one’s garage with a 3D printer.
We had a friend 3D print some reproduction lamp shades for our vintage 1970 Aristocrat trailer and another 3D printed reproduction badging for the old rig. So it’s intriguing to think what creative types with 3D printers can do and what will come of this idea.