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Ford CEO calls out Tesla’s Elon Musk over electric pickup lead

Ford CEO Jim Farley has called out Tesla CEO Elon Musk over the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker’s lead in electric pickup trucks.

Musk responded. Do we have a little friendly competition in the electric pickup market?

In the auto industry, or any competitive industry really, it is rare that CEOs will directly call each other out or even mention the other company in order to avoid highlighting the competition.

Of course, it still happens every now and again.

It actually happens somewhat frequently with Tesla since the automaker has built such an incredible lead when it comes to electric vehicles that it is hard not to acknowledge it.

Ford CEO Jim Farley has had great things to say about Tesla in the past. Last year, Ford’s CEO praised Tesla in an internal meeting where he said “no one does electric better.”

But now he actually has an area where Ford does electric better, and that’s electric pickup trucks.

Farley commented during a press event to announce Ford and DTE Energy’s deal for the largest renewable energy purchase in US history:

We’re really on a mission at Ford to lead an electric and digital revolution for many, not few, And I have to say the shining light for us at Ford is this beautiful Lightning made right down the road in Dearborn, right here in the state of Michigan, already the leader of all EV pickup trucks in our industry in the United States. Take that, Elon Musk.

The comment even prompted a response from Musk on Twitter who said, “Thanks, but I already have one” – seemingly referring to the Tesla Cybertruck.

Farley is not wrong. Ford has quickly built a lead in electric pickup trucks with the F-150 Lightning.

Rivian was actually first to market with the R1T electric pickup, but even though Ford started producing about six months later, the automaker was quickly able to catch up to the startup by using its mighty manufacturing capability.

As for Tesla, Musk might have his own Cybertruck, but it’s a prototype and one of only a few.

Tesla first unveiled the Cybertruck in 2019 and claimed that it would go into production in 2020, which would have made Tesla the first to market with an electric pickup truck.

However, the vehicle program was delayed several times, and now Tesla plans to bring the Cybertruck to market in 2023.

Electrek’s Take

Farley is not wrong. While Tesla still dominates the EV market, especially in the US, Ford certainly has the lead when it comes to electric pickup trucks.

However, he might come to regret his words. You can never count Tesla out in my opinion.

Ford has accelerated its planned production for the Lightning to a rate of 150,000 units to be achieved around mid-2023 when Tesla also plans to be in volume production with the Cybertruck, according to Musk’s most recent comments.

If there’s something Tesla has been incredible at over the last few years is ramping electric vehicles to mass production.

I am not saying it will, but I wouldn’t be completely shocked if Cybertruck ends up catching up to the Lightning in terms of total production by 2025. We will have to wait and see.

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