Ford says it’s aiming to restart production of the F-150 Lightning on March 13th, several weeks after it put the EV on hold. It paused production and sent a stop-shipment order to dealers after a battery issue caused one of the trucks to catch fire in a holding lot on February 4th. It’s unclear what exactly led to the fire or how Ford has resolved the problem, though the company has said there’s no indication a charging fault was to blame.
The automaker told CNBC that setting a March 13th target gives supplier SK On more time to ramp up battery production at its Georgia factory and deliver the packs to the F-150 Lightning plant in Michigan. “In the weeks ahead, we will continue to apply our learnings and work with SK On’s team to ensure we continue delivering high-quality battery packs – down to the battery cells,” Ford said. “As REVC [Rouge Electric Vehicle Center] ramps up production, we will continue holding already-produced vehicles while we work through engineering and parts updates.”
Since it initially started F-150 Lightning production last April, Ford has sold fewer than 20,000 of the EVs. Still, the F-150 Lightning is very much in demand. Ford initially capped reservations at 200,000 in 2021 before reopening them last August. The early popularity of the truck is hardly a surprise, though — the F-Series has been America’s best-selling vehicle for 41 years.
Ford had hoped to scale up F-150 Lightning production to 150,000 trucks per annum this year. Last year, the company said that new battery tech would help it hit a global production rate of 600,000 EVs per year by the end of 2023. However, it’s unclear how much the downtime has affected those plans.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/ford-will-restart-f-150-lightning-production-on-march-13th-200550043.html?src=rss