Ford announced the name of its upcoming electric pickup truck: the F-150 Lightning. The new electric vehicle is set to debut on May 19th at an event held at the automaker’s Dearborn, Michigan, headquarters. It will also be live-streamed.
The Ford F-150 has been the bestselling truck (and vehicle) in the US for more than 40 years, so its imminent electrification is a big deal. As such, Ford is treating the reveal as a major event, with dozens of ways to tune in across multiple platforms. The company is also hosting 18 in-person events around the country, including in Times Square and Las Vegas.
The Lightning branding had leaked prior to today’s announcement, and as Car & Driver noted, it’s a somewhat familiar name for Ford, having appeared on the automaker’s SVT F-150 street trucks from the early 1990s.
But while we’re set to get a closer look at the truck in the weeks to come, the F-150 Lightning won’t actually go on sale until 2022. Ford recently broke ground on a new $700 million manufacturing plant in Michigan where the F-150 Lightning’s production line will be built.
Ford has let a few details about the F-150 Lightning slip, including dual-motor configurations, mobile power generation, “hands-free” driver assist options, and over-the-air software updates. The 2021 F-150 PowerBoost is the company’s first plug-in hybrid version of the popular F series, with an EPA-estimated rating of 25 mpg on the 4×2 models.
Like all automakers, Ford is currently engaged in a costly project to boost its high-tech offerings, including EVs, partial and fully autonomous vehicles, connected-car services, and shared vehicles like electric scooters. The company has said it will spend $22 billion to produce over a dozen electrified models (including EVs and gas-electric hybrids) by 2025.
The electric and hybrid F-150s are just one piece of Ford’s push into electric vehicles. The Mustang Mach-E electric SUV is currently being delivered to the first customers despite some early delays. Ford has also invested more than $500 million into electric truck startup Rivian and is working with the company on an electric vehicle for Lincoln. And the company has also entered into a partnership with Volkswagen that will see the US automaker use the German giant’s battery tech in an electric car slated for the European market in 2023.