It feels like a lifetime has passed since Ford unveiled the F-150 Lightning. In fact, it was less than a year ago, but eager buyers waiting to take delivery of the new electric truck won't have to wait much longer. Production officially begins on April 26, and Ford wants everyone to know about it.
Wait a minute, you might be thinking. Didn't production already begin? That was pre-production and yes, it started last year. Pre-production is the process used for dialing in the assembly line, making sure all the components come together from start to finish without dire consequences. Pre-production vehicles generally don't make it into public hands, but Ford apparently has everything ready for primetime. And to celebrate the occasion, the automaker is throwing a party.
Ford will have company executives, employees, UAW leaders, and customers on hand to literally get the electric truck rolling. It will be manufactured at Ford's historic Rouge Complex in Dearborn, in a special part of the factory devoted to the all-electric Lightning. One up and running, Ford is hoping to produce 150,000 Lightnings per year in response to nearly 200,000 reservations received.
Order books opened in January, and around that time Ford also sent a communication to dealerships advising them of possible consequences should "negative" customer interactions occur. Much attention fell to dealer markups on the extremely popular Ford Bronco after it debuted, with some sending the off-roader well past $100,000. It seems Ford is keen to get the Lightning to buyers at or near the company's suggested retail price, and could take Lightning allocations away from dealers who step out of line.
The 2022 F-150 Lightning starts just under $40,000 before destination charges. However, that figure applies to the fleet-focused Lightning Pro with the standard-range battery good for 230 miles. One must step up to the $54,669 Lightning XLT before the 320-mile range battery is available, but it's a pricey option that takes the least expensive long-range F-150 to $75,000.
With series production about to begin, time will tell if those 200,000 reservations ultimately convert to sales.