According to Bloomberg, a rural Michigan guy became the first individual in the country to acquire a Ford F-150 Lightning. Nicholas Schmidt, the chief technology officer of a grid optimization business, picked up a silver electric truck from Richardson Ford in the small town of Standish, Michigan, on Thursday.
Schmidt owns a Tesla Model 3 and has placed a deposit down on one of the company’s Cybertrucks, according to Bloomberg. He has also explored buying a Rivian R1T truck. When it became evident that the F-150 Lightning would be the first to arrive, he said his wife was relieved. (Schmidt has since tweeted that his reservation for the Cybertruck is “no longer required.”)
Ford is relying on its decades of manufacturing and delivery experience, as well as its extensive dealer network, to gain an advantage over its competitors in the race to provide electric trucks to as many people as possible. Trucks are among the most popular vehicles in the United States, with the Ford F-150 serving as the best-selling vehicle for the past 40 years.
While Rivian was the first to market with an electric truck, Ford’s electrified F-series is likely to encourage more people to switch to electric vehicles. Despite being unveiled in 2019, the Tesla Cybertruck has been continuously postponed, with production not anticipated to begin until 2023 at the earliest.
The EV truck war will be intense, but Ford may have given itself some breathing room by bringing the F-150 Lightning to market so quickly
The premium Hummer EV vehicle from General Motors began shipping to customers earlier this year, but at nearly three times the price of the F-150 Lightning, it can’t be considered in the same category. The Chevy Silverado EV is projected to be significantly cheaper, although production isn’t expected to begin until 2023. Meanwhile, Stellantis hasn’t revealed a release date for their electric Ram 1500 pickup.
Ford, on the other hand, will be bound by its own set of restraints. Ford’s aim for the number of electrified F-150s it will produce in its first few years of manufacturing has been a moving target. Initially, the business only planned to produce 40,000 vehicles per year, but it finally told suppliers that capacity would increase to 80,000 by early 2023. By the middle of 2023, that number will have climbed to 150,000 trucks, though it’s unclear how many will reach customers this year.
Customers will be notified when they may go online to specify their flashes of Lightning utilizing a “wave-by-wave reservation approach,” according to the business. Ford ceased taking bookings for the Lightning earlier this year, after collecting 200,000 refundable $100 deposits since its introduction in May 2020. (As of the publication of this article, reservations were still closed.) Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center has set a production goal of 160,000 units per year.
Schmidt told Bloomberg that he intends to use his F-150 Lightning for trucking tasks such as wood hauling and towing. Ford will decide how many more customers will be able to do truck stuff with their F-150 flashes of Lightning this year.