Ford Motor Co said on Thursday it would boost its F-150 Lightning production capacity to 80,000 per year due to strong demand for the electric pickup truck, adding that the vehicle would go on sale next spring.
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The U.S. automaker, at an event attended by Michigan's Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, said it would invest US$250 million and add 450 hourly jobs across three of the state's facilities to lift the vehicle's production.
Ford's move, confirming a Reuters report last month, comes even as Industry observers question whether individual buyers will give up their gas-powered pickups for electric models.
The Lightning, which has over 150,000 reservations to date, is an electric version of Ford's best-selling gas-powered F-150 truck, whose popularity has made it the subject of some songs.
"The interest from the public has surpassed our highest expectations," Executive Chairman Bill Ford said in a statement.
Reuters had reported the automaker was targeting annual production of more than 80,000 Lightning pickup trucks in 2024, up from its prior target of more than 40,000.
Ford and other global automakers are racing to shift their gasoline-powered lineups to all-electric power under pressure from regions like Europe and China to cut vehicle emissions.