You could see a Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup on your block soon, as first buyers have already taken delivery of their 2022 Lightning trucks.
Production began exactly one month ago, on the same day Ford announced it had sold out of the 2022 edition. Now, the first Lightnings have begun arriving in customer driveways.
Nick Schmidt of Michigan received the first delivery Thursday. His was a Platinum — the top-of-the-line Lightning with 580 horsepower, 300 miles of range, and luxury touches like heated and cooled Nappa leather seats. Schmidt didn’t get his Ford Pro charger at the same time as the truck but was told it would be coming soon.
Bloomberg reports Schmidt will also get a refund — from Tesla. He reserved Tesla’s upcoming electric Cybertruck more than two years ago and has canceled the order now that the Lightning arrived first.
The Platinum Lightning is pricey, starting at $90,874. Shoppers can buy the Lightning for as little as $39,974 in its more stripped-down Pro form.
Or rather, could have bought. Ford has sold out of the truck for 2022 and sold enough reservations to last into the 2025 model year. But the company plans to expand its production capacity to speed its way through the order backlog.
Not the First Electric Truck
You may have already seen an electric pickup on your block. Startup Rivian began deliveries of its R1T electric truck last fall.
The arrival of electric trucks is a pivotal moment for the auto industry and American drivers. Electric vehicles (EVs) are now established as the province of luxury buyers. But America is the world’s leading consumer of pickups. The automotive industry wants to go electric for reasons ranging from gas prices to climate change. But if they hope to convert the public, they’ll need to convince drivers that battery-powered trucks can meet all their needs.
Rivian’s effort is a hyper-capable off-roader with a separate electric motor for each wheel, enabling it to get out of situations that would leave other trucks stuck on the trail. But it’s fairly expensive, with a $67,500 starting price — and Rivian doesn’t have the established reputation of 119-year-old Ford.
Far From the Last Electric Truck
The Ford F-150 has been America’s best-selling vehicle for more than four uninterrupted decades, so an F-150 that fuels from a plug in the wall is a huge deal. But Ford and Rivian won’t have the market to themselves for long.
Chevrolet plans to bring an electric Silverado to market for the 2024 model year. After repeated delays, Tesla says the Cybertruck will deliver in 2023. Ram will also follow with its own electric pickup a year later, possibly called the Ram Revolution.
Ford has dropped hints that it is working on a second electric truck — possibly derived from the midsize Ranger.
A handful of startups with names like Bollinger, Canoo, and Lordstown Motors are planning their own electric trucks. However, starting a new automaker is exceptionally hard, and it’s unlikely all of them will survive to put trucks in driveways.