Ford plans to restart production of the electric F-150 Lightning on March 13


Ford employees will produce the electric F-150 Lightning pickup on December 13, 2022 at the automaker’s Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center (REVC).

Michael Wayland | CNBC

DETROIT – Ford engine plans to resume production of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup on March 13 — more than a month after one of the vehicles caught fire due to a battery problem.

The automaker told CNBC Thursday that the production timeline will allow its battery supplier, SK On, to build production and supply battery packs to the Michigan plant where the truck is produced.

The fire occurred on February 4 in a parking lot during a pre-delivery quality check while the vehicle was charging. Ford suspended production of the vehicles and issued a halt to dealerships. Ford declined to disclose details about the problem that caused the vehicle to catch fire or the solution implemented. The company previously said engineers determined there was no evidence of a charging error.

“In the coming weeks we will continue to apply our learnings and work with the team at SK On to ensure we continue to deliver high quality battery packs – right down to the battery cells. As REVC ramps up production, we will retain vehicles already produced while we are working on technical and parts updates,” Ford said in a statement to CNBC.

Ford announced last week that SK had started building battery cells again at a facility in Georgia, but said the automaker said the downtime at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center (REVC), where the F-150 Lightning is being built, is at least this week would extend.

The F-150 Lightning is being closely watched by investors as it is the first mainstream electric pickup on the market and a major launch for Ford. The battery issue adds to the ongoing “execution problems” described to investors by Ford CEO Jim Farley last month that crippled the automaker’s fourth-quarter earnings.

Ford initially opened customer reservations for the F-150 Lightning when it was unveiled in May 2021. More than 200,000 reservations were placed before Ford temporarily halted the process to try to match production with expected demand.

Many reservation owners are still waiting for their vehicles, as Ford said earlier Thursday that it has sold fewer than 20,000 of its all-electric trucks since they went on sale last year.

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