If the statistics are to be believed, Ford’s F-150 Lighting is making history. In fact, it’s so popular and spectacular that it’s already been named 2023’s Motor Trend Truck of the Year.
And yet, all production and delivery on these trucks have suddenly been stopped.
Yep, the popular truck of the year is no longer being produced or delivered to dealers.
Well, according to the company and spokeswoman Emma Bergg, there’s a problem with the battery. But just what that problem is not known just yet. or they aren’t saying.
Bergg says that the problem was recently discovered during pre-delivery inspections. And it’s apparently a big enough one to stop all production the what is supposed to be the best truck on the market.
Now, to be clear, both Ford and Bergg say that no known issues, battery related or otherwise, are known for F-150 Lightnings already on the road and at dealerships. So, if you already have one, don’t fret.
Then again, if you already have one, you likely know firsthand that there is definitely a problem with the battery.
For starters, being in cold weather drains it. Towing anything drains it. Traveling on less-than-flat roads drains it. Hell, Ford itself has even come out with a statement advising drivers not to use the truck’s heater during cold weather because, yep, you guessed it, it will drain the battery.
Talk about buyer’s remorse, huh?
I mean, what kind of truck, or any vehicle for that matter, can claim not to have any problems when you really shouldn’t be using the heater?
This would lead some to believe that the problem with these newer and not yet delivered trucks is somehow different, although clearly involving the battery. But we just don’t yet.
And according to Bergg, it may be some time before we know what the problem is, get it fixed, and get production back up and running.
“It depends on how long it will take to conduct the root cause analysis.”
According to The Detroit Free Press, all of this is happening at the same time that the motor company has announced intentions to build a new $3.5 billion battery plant in Marshall, Michigan.
Once complete, the hope is that this battery plant will help reduce some of the outrageous costs associated with the Lightning and all other EVs from the company.
If you didn’t know, Lightnings are pretty pricey. Initially, one of the least expensive models went for $41,769 MSRP. However, those prices just keep going up. Thanks to the latest price boost, that same Lightning model now runs a full $16,000 or 38.5 percent higher.
And should that not-so-reliable battery go out on you or start to have problems, a new one could run you as much as $35,000. Yes, that’s $35,000 for a battery.
But apparently, there’s still a waiting list for the truck. And its demand is only expected to grow, according to Ford’s CEO Jim Farley. In the last quarter of 2022, Ford EV sales came in at around 12,000 units sold. The goal is to have 50,000 cars sold monthly here in the US and 600,00 internationally by the end of 2023.
Then again, if the Lightning does not go back into production and delivery sooner rather than later, this might hamper that goal considerably.
At this point, I think we’d all be much better off to back to the simple, sturdy, and reliable characteristics Ford was founded on. But I don’t really see that happening any time soon, at least as long as EVs are considered to be the future of automobiles.