In 2018, by the time you were making a bowl of two-minute pasta, Ford would have sold four Ford F-150 pickup trucks. In addition, the F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for over 35 years.
But there is a saying that goes, “All good things have to end at some point,” and with the electric car revolution gaining ground, Ford may have thought the F-150 lived on borrowed time. That is, until the Blue Oval decided to jump into battle with an all-electric version of the F150 pickup.
Despite a promotional clip showing the towability of the electric F-150, which pulls a number of freight cars weighing over 1 million pounds, it’s not entirely clear how the loyal yet conservative F-150 market will take on the Lightning. At the reveal, CEO Jim Farley told reporters that the F-150 Lightning will be a test of whether mainstream Americans really want electric vehicles.
Well, if pre-orders are available, the Ford F-150 Lightning will prove that electric pickup trucks will be popular. Less than 12 hours after the truck was officially unveiled, more than 20,000 potential buyers set aside $ 100 each to reserve an electric lightning. Orders rose to 70,000 by May 26, before reaching 100,000 by June 10.
How do F-150 Lightning pre-orders compare against others in the industry?
The trend popularized by Tesla of paying upfront to put your name on a list has been adopted by several other electric vehicle manufacturers. VW took orders for the ID.3, Porsche for the Taycan and GM for the Hummer.
The pre-order is not only a measure of the market acceptance of the as yet untested offer, but also a barometer of the potential popularity of the vehicle.
When Elon Musk unveiled the Radicle Cybertruck, the auto world was amazed at the 250,000 reservations Tesla received in the five days following its eventful unveiling in November 2019. A rolling, unofficial crowd-sourcing census administered by Tesla fans estimates that over a million people had deposited $ 100 on the cybertruck on refundable bail by the end of May 2021.
This is an impressive backlog based on the Texas Giga factory’s installed manufacturing capacity of 250,000 to 300,000.
While the pre-orders of the futuristic Cybertruck are remarkable, they seem almost too good to be true, so a more relevant comparison would likely be Ford’s Mach-E.
According to the online publication Electrek, the Mach-E Forum tracked around 20,000 vehicle reservations in the first week after Ford began taking orders, with that number growing to over 41,000 by the end of February 2020. The “first edition” model was sold out within the first week.
With production of 50,000 in the first year, that means Ford already has reservations for about 82% of total production in 2021. When it comes to the electric F-150, an entirely new line of products for Ford, initial production will likely be limited. Nevertheless, the analyst from Wolfe Research, Rod Lache, reckons based on the capacity data of the parts plants that supply the truck, at 80,000 per year for the first year.
With over 100,000 pre-orders and full production in the first year, the Ford F-150 Lightning is proof that electric pickups will be popular. At some point it will probably even put the Legacy F-150 in the shade.
This is why Ford’s F-150 Lightning Electric Pickup Truck is so popular
While the company hasn’t released many details about the Lightning’s powertrain, Ford says the electric F-150 will offer more horsepower and torque than any F-150 currently on the market.
That means it has more than 450 horsepower and goes from zero to 60 mph in less than 5.0 seconds, with an expected range of more than 300 miles. This estimate is based on the long-haul Mustang Mach-E with an EPA rating of 305 miles.
However, this isn’t the only reason the pickup truck is popular. In contrast to the Cybertruck, Rivian and even the Hummer, the Lightning is intended as a work vehicle for fleets and companies.
To address this segment, Ford developed the F-150 Lightning Pro specifically for the needs of commercial customers.
Starting at $ 39,974 for a version with an estimated range of 230 miles, Ford expects to see sales from fleets looking to switch to electric vehicles. In this way, Ford fleets could reduce maintenance costs over eight years and 100,000 miles by up to 40% compared to a 2.7 liter EcoBoost F-150.
To further improve the versatility of the pickup, the Lightning Pro will be equipped with on-board sockets in which power tools and accessories can be operated. The truck also houses a number of electrical outlets in the massive, 14.1 cubic foot, watertight front trunk.
The extended range option comes with an 80 amp charging station that can charge a traction battery overnight, while Ford has also patented a detachable range extender that fits into the truck bed.
The right product at the right time at the right price should be enough to seal the popularity of the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning.
NEXT: 10 surprising facts about the Ford F-150 Lightning
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About the author
(25 articles published)
As an engineer with over 40 years of experience in the automotive industry, Peter Els can be summed up in one sentence: “Automotive engineer by profession, transmission of your choice.” Working from his home on the east coast of South Africa, Peter spends most of his time analyzing and writing cars and the exciting technologies that are driving the future of mobility. He shares his insights, opinions and experiences in several online publications, including a monthly column on the highly regarded Automotive IQ portal, articles on FutureCar, Robotics Business Review and product reviews in the Car Fix Book. When he’s not writing about cars, Peter is an avid motorsport fan. After driving motorcycle races for 10 years, he still enjoys track time – but now on four instead of two wheels.
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