Ford F-150 Lightning pre-production model is shown at Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. Photo courtesy of Ford
Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Ford announced Thursday 450 new jobs across three southeast Michigan facilities to boost F-150 Lightning electric truck production.
The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker is also investing an additional $250 million across the same facilities as demand soars for the all-electric truck with 150,000 reservations to date.
The goal is to increase production capacity to 80,000 trucks a year across the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center in Sterling Heights, Mich., and Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Mich.
"We knew the F-150 Lightning was special, but the interest from the public has surpassed our highest expectations and changed the conversation around electric vehicles," Bill Ford, executive chair, Ford Motor Company, said in a statement. "So we are doubling down, adding jobs and investment to increase production."
"This truck and the Ford-UAW workers who are assembling it in Michigan have a chance to make history and lead the electric vehicle movement in America," Ford added.
Most of the new workers will assemble the all-electric pickup truck at the center in Dearborn, according to Ford. Workers will assemble the batteries at the plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., and will ramp up production of electric motors and transaxles at the center in Sterling Heights.
The F-150 Lightning pickup truck, which debuted in May during President Joe Biden's visit to the assembly plant in Dearborn, has a starting price of $40,000 and targeted EPA-estimated driving range of 300 miles with the extended-range battery, according to Ford.
In May, Ford also announced plans to raise electric vehicle spending to over $30 billion within five years and make 40% of its vehicles all-electric by 2030.
The automaker announced a year ago it was building the Dearborn-based Rouge Electric Vehicle Center as part of a $700 million investment in its historic Rouge Complex as the main manufacturing home for the all-new F-150 lineup, which will arrive by mid-2022.