The electric pickup truck war heats up as Ford makes the first delivery of the F-150 Lightning.
The first customer to take delivery of the Ford F-150 Lightning is Nicholas Schmidt, a resident of rural Michigan. Schmidt, who is the chief technology officer for a tech startup, also owns a Tesla Model 3. He got his electric truck painted silver at Richardson Ford dealership in Standish, Michigan.
As reported by Bloomberg, Schmidt considered buying a Rivian R1T and also placed a deposit for the Tesla Cybertruck. However, his wife got her way, as she favored the Ford product.
Schmidt said he would use his brand new Lightning like any other truck, hauling everyday items and towing.
Interestingly, Ford is banking on its many fans like Mrs. Schmidt accumulated over decades of truck production and an extensive network of dealerships to get ahead in the electric truck race. The American company actually stands a fair chance because trucks are among the top-selling vehicle categories in its home country, and its F-150 line has been the best-selling for more than four decades.
Rivian might have beat Ford and the rest of the industry to the market with its own truck, but the real movers are expected to include the likes of Ford and GM. Convincing their deep customer base who has come to trust their brand may not be difficult.
Tesla is also working on its Cybertruck, but delays have kept the truck until 2023 at least, even though it is rumored to have gathered more than a million preorders. That is not surprising as Tesla has managed to build up a loyal fan base in its relatively short time of operation.
GM has also started delivering its resurrected Hummer EV, but at over $100,000, it is not a mass-market product, meaning it won’t move many units. However, the company’s more affordable Chevy Silverado EV, coming next year, will obviously give competition to the Lightning.
Stellantis also plans to electrify its Ram 1500 truck, but there is no timeframe yet.
Ford, however, has its own issues to sort out as it tries to ramp up production. For instance, the automaker has been revising its production target as it tries to balance all the factors of production. It initially said it would make only 40,000 units yearly but increased it to 80,000 and then 150,000.
Ford said it is informing preorder holders in waves to customize their trucks. It had to stop accepting preorders with a refundable deposit of $100 after hitting the 200,000 mark. Reservations are still closed.
The company’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center can produce 160,000 units per year.