Ford (F 3.12%) is all set to start deliveries of its electric pickup truck F-150 Lightning in spring of this year. It announced completion of final EPA testing of the vehicle recently. The basic version of the truck offers an EPA-estimated range of 230 miles, while the XLT and Lariat trims offer a range of up to 320 miles. Ford had to stop taking reservations for the truck after they reached 200,000.
Let's discuss why Ford finds such an overwhelming demand for its truck and what to expect from the company in the coming years.
Ford is the top auto brand in the U.S.
There are a couple of factors driving the demand for Ford's F-150 Lightning. The first one obviously is customers' loyalty for Ford. This allows Ford to capture the highest share in the U.S. car market.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, Ford captured the highest -- 15.45% -- share of the U.S. car market. Its share well exceeded that of Toyota Motor and General Motors. Ford loyalists jumped in to buy when the company announced an electric version of its F-Series truck, which is the best-selling truck in America for 45 straight years.
The second reason for the high interest is the absence of options for buyers. F-150 Lightning would be the second electric pickup truck to be delivered after Rivian's R1T. General Motors is expected to start volume deliveries of its Hummer truck in 2023. Tesla has also postponed production of its Cybertruck to 2023.
Ford's focus on electric vehicles
Though Ford leads in overall market share, it lags significantly behind other players when it comes to electric vehicle (EV) sales, as seen in the chart.
Apart from Tesla, legacy automakers including Volkswagen, BYD, and General Motors are ahead of Ford in terms of EV sales. Notably, General Motors' numbers include that of Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV that the company sells under a joint venture with China's SAIC.
Ford has announced mega plans to catch up with the EV leaders. The automaker has divided its business in two distinct units, with the Model e division focusing on EVs. Ford targets to produce more than 2 million EVs annually by 2026. That would represent roughly a third of the company's global volume. It expects to increase the portion of EVs to half by 2030.
In short, Ford is going all-in to transform itself into a leading EV player in the next five years.