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Ford delivers its first F-150 Lightning while the EV truck war starts in high gear

A rural Michigan man became the first person in the nation to receive a Ford F-150 Lightning, according to Bloomberg. Nicholas Schmidt, chief technology officer for the start-up of web optimization, took delivery of a silver electric truck at Richardson Ford, a dealer in the small town of Standish, Michigan, on Thursday.

According to Bloomberg, Schmidt owns a Tesla Model 3 and put a deposit on one of the company’s Cybertrucks and is also considering buying a Rivian R1T truck as well. He said his wife was relieved when it was clear that the F-150 Lightning would be the first to arrive. (Schmidt has since tweeted that his Cybertruck reservation “is no longer required.”)

Ford reckons with its decades of manufacturing and delivery expertise, as well as the vast network of dealers as they try to vault over their rivals in the battle to get as many electric trucks as possible. Trucks are among the best-selling vehicles in the country, and the F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for the past 40 years.

While Rivian has the distinction of being the first to bring its electric truck to market, Ford’s electrified F-Series is expected to get more customers to consider switching to electric cars. And despite being introduced in 2019, the Tesla Cybertruck has been repeatedly delayed and is now not expected to go into production until 2023 at the earliest.

The EV truck war will be fierce, but Ford may have bought a respite thanks to the speed with which it got the F-150 Lightning on the market. General Motors began delivering its premium Hummer EV truck to customers earlier this year, but at almost three times the price of the F-150 Lightning, it can not really be considered in the same category. The carmaker’s Chevy Silverado EV will probably be much cheaper, but is not expected to start production until 2023. Meanwhile, Stellantis has not said when the electric Ram 1500 truck will debut.

But Ford wants some limitations of its own. The number of electric F-150s that Ford plans to make during the first years of production has been a bit of a shifting target. Initially, the company targeted only 40,000 vehicles annually, and eventually told suppliers that it expected capacity to rise to 80,000 by the beginning of 2023. Now the number has risen to 150,000 trucks by mid-2023 – although it is unclear how many will reach customers this year.

The company uses a “wave-by-wave reservation process” to inform customers when they can go online to specify their Lightnings. Earlier this year, Ford stopped taking reservations after collecting $ 200,000 refundable $ 100 security deposit for Lightning since it debuted in May 2020. (Reservations are still closed as of the publication of this article.) The Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center production target is 160 000 units per year.

Schmidt told Bloomberg that he plans to use his F-150 Lightning to make trucks, such as hauling and towing. How many more customers will be allowed to do cargo billing with F-150 Lightnings this year will be up to Ford.

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