Ford F-150 Lightning production and deliveries are on schedule; that almost feels weird to say after the past year of supply chain mayhem. The Blue Oval automaker followed through on its promised manufacturing timeline with a spring kickoff, and now we're seeing customers with their new electric pickups before June begins. Some folks still have a while to wait, but I talked with the owner of what could possibly be the first F-150 Lightning in the general public's hands.
Just over one year ago, on May 20, 2021, Nicholas Schmidt placed his reservation. He followed that up with a Jan. 7 order on a Platinum trim truck, which might have helped him land at the top of Ford's list. He explained to me over the phone that there weren't any special arrangements with Ford—he just happened to get his quicker than everyone else, apparently.
Better yet, he was able to buy it with no dealer markup from Richardson Ford in Standish, Michigan. The fact that they're located just over two hours from the F-150 Lightning plant in Dearborn might've helped with the speedy delivery.
"I think it's the first; the CEO [Jim Farley] has weighed in now," Schmidt explained. "I got a call from the dealership last night and they said, 'Hey, it's on the lot.' I went on the website and it said it was still in shipping, so I wasn't sure if there was a mistake. I showed up [Thursday] morning and it was there," he added.
"The guys here in town—it's a small community, so they take care of folks. I think they were just as excited as I was to pick it up."
Since this truck is a Platinum, it comes standard with the Extended Range battery that makes 580 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque. Its full-time four-wheel-drive system is driven by electric motors at the front and rear, and the EPA claims it's capable of driving 300 miles on a charge. That might be the case if the wow factor ever wears off.
Schmidt exclaimed, "I drove it home. It's fast!"
The Lightning is replacing Schmidt's 2017 F-150, and he says it'll be used around his property hauling wood, as well as pulling their Airstream. It's plenty capable of doing exactly that as the Platinum maxes out at 8,400 pounds of towing; other models with the ER battery cap out at 10,000 pounds. Once public charging infrastructure improves, EVs shouldn't have any problems putting in work over long distances. The potential is there, and Ford plans on building 150,000 of them a year.
Surely, there are many more to come after this one.
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