The electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup hasn't even gone on sale yet, but demand is so hot that the company is already expanding production.
Driving the news: The first Lightning prototypes are leaving Ford's Dearborn, Mich., factory for real-world testing, with the truck available to customers next spring.
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But with 150,000 "pre-orders" in hand, Ford said today it will invest an additional $250 million and add 450 more jobs to boost production at the EV assembly plant and two nearby component factories.
The moves will help increase production capacity to 80,000 trucks a year.
Why it matters: Many have questioned whether truck buyers would trade their gas-powered workhorse for an electric pickup that needs to be plugged in every day. Ford's decision to expand production capacity shows that the company is increasingly confident the answer is yes.
What they're saying: “We knew the F-150 Lightning was special, but the interest from the public has surpassed our highest expectations and changed the conversation around electric vehicles. So we are doubling down, adding jobs and investment to increase production,” said executive chairman Bill Ford.
Details: The new $250 million investment follows $700 million invested last year to prepare Ford's historic Rouge manufacturing plant for electric vehicle production.
What to watch: The F-150 Lightning, which starts at $40,000 and aims to provide up to 300 miles of driving range, goes on sale next spring.
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