(WXYZ) — Ford announced Wednesday it is investing $250 million in three metro Detroit plants with plans to add 450 jobs involving the production of the all-electric F-150 Lightning.
The automaker also said pre-production of the all-electric truck is underway, and the first pre-production vehicles rolled out of the new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center on Wednesday.
The investment will to the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center and Rawsonville Components Plant. The plan is to increase production capacity to 80,000 trucks a year.
According to Ford, there have been 150,000 reservations for the F-150 Lightning so far, and the truck will have an estimated driving range of 300 miles with the extended range battery.
“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. So we are doubling down, adding jobs and investment to increase production,” Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford said in a release. “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.”
Last year, the automaker announced the construction of the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, a $700 million investment in its historic Ford Rouge Center.
With the pre-production Lightning trucks rolling off the line, the next step is real-world testing before it's available to customers in the spring.
The truck will be assembled at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, while the batteries will be assembled at the Rawsonville Components Plant and the Van Dyke Electric Powertrain Center will supply electric motors and electric transaxles for the truck.
“We’re standing on the edge of an era of electrification that will be built in factories like this one by hardworking UAW members and the innovative minds at Ford,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a release. “I am proud of Ford for committing to invest $30 billion in electrification through 2025, including this additional $250 million today to create 450 jobs in Dearborn, Ypsilanti and Sterling Heights supporting the production of the new F-150 Lightning."
“Michigan is the heart of the auto industry and we need to work across all sectors every single day to keep it that way,” Rep. Debbie Dingell added in a release. “Building the vehicles of the future here at home while maintaining good-paying, union jobs will help the United States lead on mobility technology and innovation and stay ahead of our global competitors."