Ford US will finally reopen orders for its F-150 Lightning electric pickup for the 2023 model year, following an eight-month hiatus due to overwhelming demand.
The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning has had a number of small specification changes, including more range for standard-range battery models.
The Blue Oval says that F-150 Lightning Pro, XLT and Lariat models fitted with the standard-range battery that are built from the Northern Hemisphere autumn (September – December 2022) onwards will offer an estimated range of 386km (240 miles) in EPA testing.
This range figure for standard-range battery models is up 16km (10 miles) from the 2022 F-150 Lightning.
Claimed range for the extended-range battery models remains the same at 482km (300 miles).
Another addition for the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning is the availability of the Pro Trailer Hitch Assist which automatically controls steering, throttle and brake inputs to make hooking up a trailer easier.
This feature is standard in the Tow Technology package, which is available on Pro, XLT and Lariat trims, and standard on certain Lariat trims and the flagship Platinum trim.
There are also two new exterior paint colours called Avalanche Gray and Azure Gray metallic tri-coat.
These colours replace Atlas Blue, Ice Blue Silver and Smoked Quartz Metallic.
As previously detailed, the Ford Pro Special Service Vehicle package is now available on F-150 Lightning Pro models for fleet customers.
This package includes police-grade heavy-duty cloth seats with smaller bolsters to allow officers to enter and exit the vehicle easier, built-in steel intrusion plates in the front seatbacks, an “upfit-friendly” reinforced centre console, vinyl rear seats and vinyl flooring, as well as red/bue or amber/white roof-mounted LED warning lights.
Wrapping up the changes that Ford is introducing with the 2023 F-150 Lightning are higher prices in the US for the next wave of orders.
The average price rise is roughly $US7000 ($A10,069) and is attributed to “significant material costs and other factors”.
Pricing in the US for the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning now starts at $US46,974 ($A67,316) before delivery and government fees and taxes for the entry-level Pro, and extends to $US96,874 ($A139,359) for the flagship Platinum Extended Range.
“Current order holders awaiting delivery are not impacted by these price adjustments,” said Ford Model e chief customer officer Marin Gjaja.
“We’ve announced pricing ahead of re-opening order banks so our reservation holders can make an informed decision around ordering a Lightning.”
Ford has said that existing F-150 Lightning reservation holders who previously have received an invitation to order, but chose to extend their reservation because their vehicle specification was unavailable, will receive a private offer for use in upcoming order waves.
With a total of 200,000 reservations already for the F-150 Lightning, Ford is aiming to ramp up its annual production rate to 150,000 in 2023.
In other words, this means that the Ford F-150 Lightning is sold out until 2023 at least.
As previously detailed, Ford closed reservations for the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning back in December due to this unprecedented high demand. It’s only now reopening orders.
The Blue Oval has now invested more than $US1 billion ($A1.44 billion) in Michigan for the F-150 Lightning alone, with 1700 jobs created among five Ford plants.
It’s unclear if the F-150 Lightning will be coming Down Under, but Ford Australia has previously said it’s bringing at least five electrified vehicles by 2024. It’s also bringing the petrol-powered F-150 to market in 2023.
Given the massive North American demand for the F-150 Lightning, don’t expect it to come here any time soon.