Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck begins preproduction in Michigan

From CNET: Mass-production electric pickup trucks are slowly moving from marketing blitzes to actual vehicles. Rivian recently announced that production has begun on its R1T and now Ford's taking the next step in bringing its own electric truck to consumers.

Ford announced on Thursday that preproduction models of the Ford F-150 Lightning have started rolling off the line at the automaker's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in southeast Michigan. Preproduction vehicles are used for real-world testing to smooth out any kinks ahead of proper mass production. Ford estimates that the Lightning will be available to the public next spring, and this step brings the OEM one step closer to that eventuality.

Since its unveiling, the F-150 Lightning has garnered a significant amount of attention. The automaker claims some 150,000 reservations for its first electric pickup. Because of the significant demand, Ford also announced on Thursday that it will invest an additional $250 million in the Rouge EV Center (vehicle assembly), Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center (electric motor assembly) and Rawsonville Components plant (battery assembly).

Big Blue Oval expects this investment will add 450 direct jobs and allow the company to boost production capacity to approximately 80,000 trucks per year.

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