Ford is going to nearly double production of its wildly popular F-150 Lightning to nearly 150,000 trucks per-year in the face of rising demand.
News of the leap in production sent Ford's stock price soaring roughly 12% on the stock market, to near historic highs for the once-beleaguered stock.
Increasing electric F-150 production isn't just good news for the company, it's a pretty good signal for the planet. Vehicle emissions account for about 29% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and about 60% of those emissions come from light duty cars and trucks.
As the best-selling car or truck in America for a ridiculous 45 years in a row, it's not an exaggeration to say that the Ford F-150 is a bellwether for the auto industry.
For observers worried what demand would look like for new electric vehicles from American consumers, the answer is in the booming sales for Ford and higher end vehicles coming to market like Rivian's trucks and sport utility vehicles.k
“With nearly 200,000 reservations, our teams are working hard and creatively to break production constraints to get more F-150 Lightning trucks into the hands of our customers,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of The Americas & International Markets Group, Ford Motor Company, in a statement. “The reality is clear: People are ready for an all-electric F-150 and Ford is pulling out all the stops to scale our operations and increase production capacity.”
Taking a page from the Tesla playbook, Ford is using a reservation process and invitations to buyers on a rolling basis. The real test for demand for the Lightning will be in how many would-be buyers convert their reservations into becoming true owners of the new EV.
Not only is the new F-150 Lightning in high demand, but that demand is coming from customers who're new to Ford, the company said in a statement.
It's not hard to see why with a starting MSRP of $39,974 before tax incentives.
Ford sees electric vehicles as the future and is betting $30 billion to build out a new electric fleet through 2025. Over the next two years, the company said it's going to be aiming to leapfrog to become the second most popular electric vehicle in North America -- with plans to overtake Tesla on the horizon.
The doubling of F-150 Lightning production comes on the heels of an announced tripling of production for Ford's electric Mustang Mach-E, which could reach 200,000 units by 2023.
These numbers are huge, but are dwarfed by Tesla. The leading electric vehicle manufacturer in the US managed to sell a whopping 936,172 cars and SUVs.
Still, Ford is pouring money into the opportunity to catch up. And that means investing in battery infrastructure as well. Together with the battery manufacturer SK Innovation Ford is building three BlueOval SK battery plants across the southeast to boost manufacturing.
The company estimates that the $11.4 billion investment across Tennessee and Kentucky will create 11,000 new jobs.