Ford will begin taking purchase orders for its F-150 Lightning pickup truck on Jan. 6, marking a major milestone in the electric vehicle industry: For the first time, U.S. consumers will be able to purchase an all-electric pickup for under $50,000.
"The F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the U.S.," said Daniel Bresette, who is the executive director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute. "The top 3 best-selling vehicles in the U.S. are pickup trucks. The ability to electrify pickup trucks is going to attract a lot of people who previously haven't been able to enter the market."
Ford announced the F-150 Lightning in May 2021. By December, the company had almost 200,000 people signed up on a waitlist for the truck.
"A lot of people are excited for the F-150 Lightning," said Bresette. "It's very splashy, in a very positive way."
The first customers on the waitlist are expected to get their trucks in spring 2022. People on the waitlist will receive a notification via email. Others will have to wait until at least 2023. That's when Ford expects to produce 150,000 Lightnings per year.
Bresette said the company has been an early adopter of EV technology among U.S. automakers.
"The Mustang Mach-E was a really exciting entry into the sports car market," he said. "Different automakers have prioritized electrifying their lineups differently. Ford took a big bet and it seems to be paying off."
The F-150 Lightning is one of several all-electric pickups set to hit the market in the next five years.
An all-electric Chevrolet Silverado will be unveiled at CES 2022. The company is expected to start taking reservations shortly after the launch event.
Ram is planning an electric truck by 2024. GMC is taking reservations for its Hummer EV Pickup and SUV.
"Automakers are responding to customer demands," said Bresette. "The thing that really sticks out to me is the responsiveness of the acceleration. It's pretty entrancing when you're in an electric vehicle for the first time and you realize all of that horsepower is right there."