DETROIT – Ford Motor’s upcoming all-electric F-150 pickup truck will be called Lightning, a name last used by the automaker for street performance trucks in the 1990s.
Ford released the name Monday along with plans to unveil the truck at 9:30 p.m. EDT on May 19. The reveal will take place at the company’s world headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. It will be broadcast across social media platforms as well as 18 high-profile public spaces such as Times Square in New York City and Las Vegas Boulevard, the company said.
All-electric pickups are expected to be important growth areas for automakers in the coming years, particularly for commercial business to rental fleets, companies and governments. Ford has promised its pickup will be a true work truck in an attempt to differentiate it from other competitors such as the Tesla Cybertruck or GMC Hummer EV.
Ford CEO Jim Farley gave a nod to Tesla as well as Toyota Motor for their contributions to electrification in a press release on Monday announcing the company’s plans.
“Every so often, a new vehicle comes along that disrupts the status quo and changes the game … Model T, Mustang, Prius, Model 3. Now comes the F-150 Lightning,” Farley said in a statement. “America’s favorite vehicle for nearly half a century is going digital and fully electric.”
Farley said the F-150 Lightning will be able to “power your home during an outage; it’s even quicker than the original F-150 Lightning performance truck; and it will constantly improve through over-the-air updates.”
Production of the pickup is scheduled to begin next spring at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan, Ford said. It’s expected to arrive in dealerships by mid-2022.
The F-150 Lightning is due out months after other electric pickups such as the GMC Hummer EV, Tesla Cybertruck and start-ups such as Rivian and, potentially, Lordstown Motors. All of the vehicles aside from Lordstown’s Endurance pickup, which is targeted at fleet customers rather than individual consumers, are expected to be “lifestyle” vehicles rather than work trucks. General Motors also has confirmed plans for an electric Chevrolet pickup that’s expected to be focused more on traditional truck customers than lifestyle buyers.