Fordis in a mad rush to get more of its all-electric
F-150 Lightningpickups to dealerships to collect its share of the electric truck market. The Ford F-150 Lighting is poised to be one of the premier electric trucks, but like other automakers, Ford has struggled to bring it to market. Sensing an opportunity, Ford is focusing the bulk of its production powers to get the electric F-150 to dealerships as fast as possible.
Ford and other electric car producers are in a difficult position
Other competing EV makers like Rivian and Lucid have pulled back their vehicle output targets for 2022 due to
supply chain issues. Ford is not immune to these issues; a semiconductor shortage recently interrupted production at Ford’s U.S. plants that produced its traditional gas engine trucks.
There’s also a cut-throat battle for precious
battery components, while experts warn a battery shortage is a lot closer than we think. So is this a smart move by Ford to go all-in on an electric truck that, given the current manufacturing environment, prove unsustainable in the long-term?
Will Ford’s gamble on the F-150 Lightning pay off?
If Ford can overcome the hurdles of parts and chip shortages, it’s a move that can pay off for the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker if it can attain its production target of 150,000 F-150 Lightning units annually.
The demand is certainly there; Ford notes 200,000 reservations for its
all-electricpickup truck, which boasts 230 miles of range for its standard-range model, with up to 320 miles with its extended-range battery.
These are impressive specs for an all-electric truck that can hit 0-60 in the mid-four-second range and a targeted towing capacity of 10,000 lbs.
It can also serve as a mobile generator, capable of powering tools on the job site or a home for up to three days with an extended-range battery on full charge. Attempting to use a Tesla for that can damage its electric powertrain, which is a definite red flag for something intended to be as utilitarian as a truck.
Saturating the market with its relatively affordable (with a sub-$40,000 starting MSRP) electric truck could help it overcome competitors like Tesla, which is planning to release its own
Cybertruckin 2023. That’s especially true if Ford can secure already scarce battery components before that supply starts dwindling.
Competition is growing in the electric truck industry
Chevrolet could face similar problems, which is why it has cut deals with mining conglomerates for access to precious cobalt in the past. Cobalt is a crucial battery component, made even more necessary by the announcement of GM’s first all-electric Silverado.
Chevy’s Lightning competitor will launch late in 2023 with an MSRP starting at $39,900; the automaker has started taking reservations as well. It’s to be seen if supply chain issues overseas will hamper production once it takes off.
Wait and see which electric pickup truck reigns supreme
Time will tell which automaker will win the electric truck war, but practicality—and availability—will have a major role in consumers’ decisions. That’s assuming dealer markups won’t make these electric pickups even less obtainable.
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