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Ford launches production of F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, says it’s a ‘Model T moment’

Ford has officially started full production of the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center.

The company compares the significance of the moment to the launch of the Ford Model T.

The automaker grabbed a lot of headlines by announcing that the Ford F-150 Lightning would start at $40,000, with a range of up to 300 miles.

It quickly accumulated 200,000 reservations for the electric pickup and realized that the demand was much higher than anticipated.

The company quickly ramped up its production plan and now plans to ramp up to an annual production rate of 150,000 units by the end of next year.

That ramp-up starts now as Ford announced today that production of the F-150 Lightning having officially started:

Full production of F-150 Lightning trucks begins at the high-tech Rouge Electric Vehicle Center within Ford’s historic Rouge Complex.

Ford executive chair Bill Ford called the start of production of the electric pickup truck a “Model T moment”:

Today we celebrate the Model T moment for the 21st Century at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. The Rouge is where Ford perfected the moving assembly line, making it a fitting backdrop as we make history again. The stunning anticipation for F-150 Lightning is a credit to the work of our Ford engineers and designers, and the UAW team members who are building these trucks with pride.

Ford president and CEO Jim Farley added that he believes that “America’s real transition to EVs starts now”:

America’s real transition to electric vehicles starts now. F-150 Lightning is just the beginning of our ambitions for growth and leadership in digital, electric vehicles. We continue to expand our EV manufacturing footprint across the U.S., including the start of site preparation at BlueOval City, which will enable us to meet the ever-increasing customer demand for our exciting EV line-up.

While Tesla would object to that description as it has been delivering high volumes of EVs in the US for years now, Farley is not totally wrong in the sense that the US market needs more electric pickup trucks in order to accelerate the electric transition.

And starting at an impressive $40,000 price point and a range of up to 300 miles, the F-150 Lightning has the potential to make quite an impact.

However, when the company opened up the F-150 Lightning configurator, we got a better idea of how the different options are going to work, and there’s quite a jump in pricing between the base version and that 300-mile range.

The base version at $40,000 gets an estimated range of 230 miles (370 km) on a single charge, but if you want the bigger battery pack with 300 miles of range, Ford makes you get a bunch of other options that bring the price up to $74,000.

Nonetheless, there’s a market for each version of the F-150 Lightning, and now it’s about Ford ramping up production to satisfy that market as fast as possible.

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