Ford has invested $700 million in the historic Rouge Factory, which is tasked with producing both the gasoline-powered F-150, as well as the 2022 F-150 Lightning coming soon. With over 150,000 reservations on order for the all-electric truck. Ford has decided to invest another $250 million along with adding 450 jobs across the freshly-built Rouge Electric Vehicle Center located in Dearborn, MI to build up to 80,000 electric pickup trucks a year.
The F-Series has been America’s best-selling truck for 44 years. By making it electric, the Ford F-150 Lightning takes the sturdy reputation that Ford is known for with its trucks, and applies it to a new energy market space that’s appealing to commercial fleet operators.
Pre-production Ford F-150 Lightning trucks are leaving their center for real-world testing, and customer products are expected to be available by spring 2022 through 2,300 participating dealers.
The Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center
Ford Motor Company says that the newly created 450 hourly jobs at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center will assemble the F-150 Lightning. In addition, workers at Rawsonville Components Plant assemble the batteries, and Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center will increase its capacity to supply electric motors and electric transaxles for the F-150 Lightning. Ford has previously invested $7.7 billion into Michigan and created and retained 7,000 jobs since 2016.
Built on the old Dearborn Assembly Plant, where the foundation of the original facility was repurposed, the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is a zero-waste-to-landfill site, and cuts its carbon footprint in a few clever ways. Using LED and natural lighting helps reduce energy consumption, for example, while the plant’s forklift fleet is powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center will not use a fixed traditional assembly line to build the Ford F-150 Lightning. Which is ironic coming from the very company that invented the assembly line. Instead, autonomous electric buggies (pictured) will ferry vehicle parts through the facility as the trucks get built.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Electric Pickup Truck
the Ford F-150 Lightning features a dual-motor setup that provides 4×4 capabilities. The automaker has noted that there will be two battery packs available, including a standard range and long range option. The capacity for either pack has yet to be disclosed, but we do know approximately how much horsepower each will provide. Opt for the standard range battery and your Ford F-150 Lightning will lay down a targeted 426 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque. Step up to the larger battery and output jumps up to 563 horsepower, while torque stays fixed at 775 lb-ft. That makes this new truck the most powerful F-150 model yet, making it worthy of its muscle truck-inspired nameplate. Ford claims that with the larger battery pack the Lightning will be able to go from 0-60 mph in the mid four-second range, although official figures aren’t available quite yet. For comparison, an F-150 Raptor needs 5.5 seconds to do 0-60 mph.
Ford says the truck should be able to do an EPA-estimated 230 miles with the smaller battery, while the larger unit bumps that figure up to 300 miles. That said, Ford has thought about how to make charging less of an issue for their buyers. Every Ford F-150 Lightning will come with an 80-amp charge station as standard equipment, which is an industry first. Using this charger, the automaker says that customers will be able to gain 30 miles of range per charging hour. This means the truck will be able to go from 15 percent battery to fully juiced in just about eight hours. On a 150-kilowatt DC fast charger, an extended-range F-150 Lightning is targeted to get 54 miles of range in about 10 minutes. That cuts the 15 percent to full charge time down to approximately 41 minutes.
Buyers who spec the standard range battery will receive a maximum payload capacity of 2,000 pounds, as well as a maximum tow rating of 7,700 pounds. The big battery truck has a lower payload capacity rating of 1,800 pounds, but can tow up to 10,000 pounds. That said, those towing figures are related to the Maximum Trailer Tow Package, and we don’t have standard ratings at this time. Since there’s no engine up front, the truck actually has another bonus storage area located under the hood. Measuring in at 400 liters of volume, the frunk brings its own maximum payload capacity of 400 pounds. Ford says the space accommodates two carry-on bags and a checked bag, or two golf bags.