Despite the excitement surrounding Tesla’s Cybertruck, it has remained unclear how American truck owners would react to a pickup that is all-electric. That audience, based on the growing number of bookings for Ford’s impending all-electric F-150 Lightning, is sizable. The overall number of bookings for the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning has surpassed 160,000, up from 150,000 stated during a preproduction release in mid-September. A Ford official verified the number to Roadshow, which was initially published by EV enthusiast site Electrek on Wednesday.
The 10,000-plus rise suggests that Lightning reservation speeds are slowing. However, given several considerations, including the fact that fewer and fewer clients are likely to prefer to queue at the close of such a long line, this is maybe to be expected. That’s especially true because Ford hasn’t said the number F-150 Lightnings it expects to make per year until production reaches full capacity. The Dearborn, Michigan-centered automaker has stated it will add 450 positions in the near future to expand output to 80,000 trucks per year. Other reasons, such as long-term concern about the global semiconductor scarcity, could be contributing to the current reservation rates.
It’s vital to understand that these bookings aren’t orders; they’re $100 100% refundable deposits, not dead certs for future Blue Oval sales. That so, they’re strong hand-raising expressions of interest, and $16 million in near-term windfall reservation money isn’t a bad deal. Even if only half of the reservation holders convert to formal orders, Ford seems to also have a year’s supply of Lightning manufacturing already reserved, if not more. Ford previously announced that it will contact reservation holders in the fall to book their orders, with first deliveries scheduled for next spring.
The F-150 Lightning’s demand levels have been being monitored by industry analysts and other manufacturers, as the truck is being considered as a harbinger for EV interest among mainstream consumers. The Lightning’s conventional look and cheap starting MSRP ($39,974 including a to-be-determined destination fee) strike at the core of the market, especially given the model is still eligible for a maximum of $7,500 in the federal tax credits, among additional incentives.
The Lightning isn’t the first battery-propelled pickup truck to hit the market. Rivian, a startup manufacturer-sponsored by Amazon and Ford, has announced the start of initial sales of the R1T electric truck. This smaller, more expensive vehicle, on the other hand, appears to be aimed at a whole other market niche. The Lightning will have more traditional competition in the near future: GM has promised to unveil the electric Chevy Silverado at the CES in the month of January, and the manufacturer’s first GMC Hummer pickups are due to hit the market soon.
In other words, Tesla and Elon Musk may have unlocked the floodgates for battery-fueled pickups, but considering the Cybertruck’s production problems, it appears like a variety of the all-electric vehicles may beat Tesla to market.