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Ford to revive Lightning badge with new electric F-150

The Detroit automaker plans to show off the new truck later this month.

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In an attempt to drum up some nostalgic buzz for the impending unveiling of its new all-electric F-150 pickup truck, Detroit automaker Ford Motor Company (F) will be resurrecting the Lightning badge. The lightning moniker was previously used to denote specific F-150 models that were built as street rods directly from the factory. The new electric F-150 Lightning is expected to make its debut on May 19.

Ford will be kicking off a national and social media blitz at 6:30 pm. PT (9:30 p.m. ET) on May 19 to take the wraps off the new pickup truck. The event will be hosted from the company’s Dearborn, Michigan headquarters and simulcast in places such as Times Square and Las Vegas Boulevard.

The F-150 Lighting will be marketed as a true work truck and targeted at rental and contractor fleets, much like the internal combustion F-150 models. Prospective rivals such as the Tesla Cybertruck and GMC Hummer EV have aimed their marketing more towards luxury vehicle customers.

The first F-150 to carry the SVT Lightning badge arrived in 1193.
The first F-150 to carry the SVT Lightning badge arrived in 1993.

Ford CEO Jim Farley mentioned in a press release that the F-150 Lightning will be able to “power your home during an outage; it’s even quicker than the original F-150 Lightning performance truck, and it will constantly improve through over-the-air updates.” It is scheduled to be assembled at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan and is expected to drive on dealer lots sometime in 2022.

The F-150 Lighting all-electric truck will make use of a dual-motor setup to facilitate all-wheel-drive operation. While the original two generations of F-150 models carrying the SVT Lightning badge were known for being fast off the line, the high-torque nature of electric drivetrains ensures that the new model will accelerate much faster.

How the electric F-150 Lightning sells once it becomes available is still a mystery and it will likely arrive later than its direct rivals. That said, the F-150 nameplate has been the best-selling vehicle of any type in the United States for more nearly forty years. Its built-in brand loyalty is something that none of its competitors have.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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