The all-electric Ford F-150 will wear the storied Lightning name and will debut May 19 in a livestream event from Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., the automaker announced Monday afternoon.
The Ford F-150 Lightning will go into production next spring at a new EV facility at the historic Rouge complex in Dearborn, and the truck will launch in mid-2022.
The Lightning badge is familiar to enthusiasts and was used on high-powered V8 F-150s from 1993-95 and 1999-2004. Car and Driver first reported the Lightning’s return last week. Though news of the Lightning name’s return is a pleasant surprise, Ford has already said a fair amount about the truck. It will run dual electric motors that will produce more horsepower and torque than any existing F-150 and have the quickest acceleration. The Lightning will be able to serve as a mobile generator, tow heavy trailers and be capable of receiving over-the-air updates. Ford said the electric vehicle will also have a frunk with space for hauling sizable objects.
While the Lightning will be all-electric, Ford is noting it will be a capable work truck and an extension of its growth strategy for the F Series, which is Ford’s most lucrative product line. The Blue Oval said last fall that the F Series brings in more revenue on its own than Fortune 500 companies like Nike and Coca Cola, though it doesn’t break out specific finances by model.
The all-electric F-150 is one of the industry’s worst-kept secrets and most-anticipated vehicles. We’ve spied the F-150 EV using what appears to be the Mustang Mach-E’s infotainment system in April and in production body work in March.
Ford’s confirmation of the Lightning name comes after Chevy announced production of an all-electric Silverado in April. Production will begin late next year and the Silverado EV will arrive in 2023. Ford and Chevy are adding electric variants to their rugged pickup truck lineups as the federal government is increasingly looking to speed adoption of EVs and reduce American dependence on fossil fuels. Detroit also faces increasing pressure in the truck segment from startups like Rivian, Workhorse and Lordstown Motors, as well as the much-hyped Tesla Cybertruck. Ford sold 11,172 EVs in the first quarter of 2021 on the strength of the Mach-E, F-150 PowerBoost hybrid and Escape hybrid.
The F-150 Lightning will debut at 9:30 p.m. ET May 19 on Ford social channels, as well as at Times Square in New York and on the strip in Las Vegas.
“Every so often, a new vehicle comes along that disrupts the status quo and changes the game … Model T, Mustang, Prius, Model 3. Now comes the F-150 Lightning,” CEO Jim Farley said in a statement. “America’s favorite vehicle for nearly half a century is going digital and fully electric. F-150 Lightning can power your home during an outage; it’s even quicker than the original F-150 Lightning performance truck; and it will constantly improve through over-the-air updates.”