The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning has been in pre-production since last fall, but on April 26 the first customer examples of the full-size electric pickup truck will start rolling off the line.
Pre-production vehicles are typically used for final testing as well as certification and registration purposes. They also provide plant workers with an opportunity to iron out any snags before the first customer examples are built.
Production of the F-150 Lightning is taking place at Ford's Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan, which has been churning out Ford pickups since 1948. It's also where Henry Ford refined the moving assembly line and scaled the Model T.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning pre-production
The batteries for the F-150 Lightning are sourced from the Rawsonville Components Plant, and the electric drive units from the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center. Both sites are also located in Michigan.
Note, Ford isn't the first to start production of electric pickup trucks. EV startup Rivian started production of the 2022 R1T last fall, and General Motors followed slightly after with the start of production of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV.
One major advantage the F-150 Lightning has over the R1T (and the Hummer EV) is a starting price of $39,974. The R1T currently starts at almost $80,000, though lower priced versions are due in 2024, and the GMC is even more expensive.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro
The Ford's price shock has seen reservations fly. The automaker has over 200,000 for the F-150 Lighting, and as a result has invested millions more and added hundreds of extra jobs at the Rouge plant to boost capacity to 150,000 units a year, which is almost four times the original target.
The F-150 Lightning has been launched with standard four-wheel drive. Two electric motors, one on each axle, are powered by a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack for a combined output of 426 hp with a standard-range battery or 563 hp with a long-range unit. In both cases peak torque is 775 lb-ft. Trucks with the standard-range battery have an EPA-estimated range target of 230 miles. The extended-range battery ups the estimate to 320 miles. A rear-wheel-drive model will arrive at a later date and could potentially see the starting price lowered.
Four grades are currently available including a commercial-oriented work truck, as well as the regular XLT, Lariat, and Platinum grades. The base price of $39,974 is for the work truck while XLT grades start at $52,974. Lightnings are only available with 5-foot-5-inch beds and full four-door crew cab configurations at present.