The Ford Motor Co. is dealing with a massive production backlog for an all-electric version of its iconic F-150 pickup, says the company’s CEO.
The 2022 F-150 Lightning has a backlog of almost three years with nearly 200,000 reservations, reported CNBC.
Ford CEO, Jim Farley, told the news channel that the automaker is doing whatever it can to meet the enormous demand for the vehicle which will soon be launched.
“Our [production] capacity is about half of what the demand is,” Farley said. “We have a dedicated team right now just doing one thing: finding a way to double our capacity by finding batteries, whatever it takes, to double our capacity of Lightning.”
With the F-150 Lightning’s launch, the Dearborn, Michigan-based company aims to become the second-biggest global electric vehicle manufacturer by 2024 with an annual production capacity of nearly 600,000.
CNBC reported that the F-Series has been America’s best-selling vehicle for 40 consecutive years and top-selling truck for the last 45 years, outselling General Motors’ Chevrolet Silverado and Stellantis’ Ram pickup.
Now the company is busy hiring new recruits in its three Michigan facilities to meet delivery targets for the electric version.
Farley told CNBC that demand for Mustang Mach-E, the modern electric iteration of the Ford classic, is also twice the company’s current production capacity.
“That’s why we’re committing in the next 24 months to get 600,000 units of capacity, but it’s going to take a lot of work by our team,” he said.
According to Lisa Drake, chief operating officer of Ford North America, the automaker is planning on more “vertical integrations” for its EV components.
Drake told Reuters that Ford was working with five global battery manufacturers for its vehicles, including South Korea’s SK On and LG, China-based BYD and CATL, and Japan’s Panasonic. The company estimates to build 240 gigawatt-hours of production capacity globally.
Ford is experimenting with different battery types such as cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate and cell-to-pack structural batteries in a bid to lower costs.
There are also plans on developing solid state batteries through a partnership with Colorado-based startup Solid Power.
Based on a survey of over 400 Lightning reservation holders, 25 percent were considering replacing their existing F-150 trucks, 40 percent had owned an electric vehicle previously and 11 percent are Tesla owners, reported electrek.com.