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The F-150 Lightning is finally shipping — is Ford ready?

The first light of the Ford F-150 is coming out of the transmission lines for customers today, after almost a year of anticipation. The second company EV after the successful Mustang Mach-E is in part this season – the only full electric car available right now. (Rivian has sold about 2,000 well-inspected R1Ts but is somewhere between Toyota Tacoma and larger trucks like the F-150.) Lightning will hit the market for at least a year, and Ford CEO Jim Farleys to take advantage of that lead to steal customers from its competitors.

“We have to send everyone a customer who has never bought a Ford before,” Farley told me in a short interview last week. “My idea is to go.”

After exports all 200,000 bids, of course. Demand for lightning was so strong that Ford’s invested $ 950 million in factory expansion, added 750 jobs, and doubled production, but some preliminary customers will still have to wait until 2023 to get their cars, the website said. Ford says lightning will no longer be available in 2022. .

The factory built around 1,800 lightning bolts when we talked about it, Farley said that while Ford would be a “plan” for its potential goals, he simply laughed and said “no” when asked if the production would meet the time requirement. near. There simply are not enough batteries to build Ford’s target of 150,000 lightning a year. But even then, Farley said he was confident that the Georgia Ford battery manufacturer in partnership with SK Battery would be able to upgrade. “I think I’m good at batteries, and that seems to be the biggest issue with 150,000 units,” he said.

And the rest is well, Hillaacku is largely based on the existing F-150, so there is a lot of production power. “Chairs and equipment board, that’s something we’ve built for two years now,” Farley reminded me. This is true even of chips, which have been in short supply worldwide since the onset of the disease. Ford produces nearly one million F-series cars a year, which means it buys more chips, and Farley has made it a priority to make sure Lightning gets the pieces it needs. “I don’t see the fragments as a hindrance to lightning,” Farley said. “I really see it as a challenge for our company. But we will not produce 20 percent less lightning because we got 20 smaller fragments for the F. series.”

Farley said Ford will have to focus on preliminary orders for six months to a year, but wants to focus more on lightning buyers in other types of cars. Car owners are quite honest, of course, but Farley thinks having a real EV car that people can buy will attract buyers. “If you pay and it could be boughtThat is a huge advantage, “he said.” And if you have one year in the market yourself, you have to pursue it. “

If all goes well, Farley predicts that Ford will end up with $ 125,000 in $ 7500 EV tax credits by the end of this year or early next year. He is campaigning a lot. “I spend a large part of my day talking to lawmakers and leaders about the importance of helping our clients – every customer – transition. [EV] technique. China did. Europe did it. Not even a Ford thing. If we want to compete as a country, if we want to attract EV investment from foreign companies here in the United States, if we want to make it a supply chain for raw materials, we have to get customer motivation. “

Ford’s first EV, the Mustang Mach-E, has been praised by critics and buyers alike, but the driving experience of the Mach-E has been severely hampered by the promotion network, behind Tesla’s supercharger network. . “We have a lot of scars to show,” when it comes to billing, Farley said. Ford claims to have the largest promotion network, “but it is not effective that it is the largest if half of the promoters do not work,” Farley said. “Or if you come out, and you need emergency landers, and not an emergency donkey – that won’t work.”

The lightning will come with a new charger-seeker map that indicates rapid winds and allows users to report broken or faulty promotion stations. “We’ve done a lot to measure our competitors’ algorithms to find developers and there are others that are better than us,” Farley said. “It was amazing to see what Hyundai did for the Ioniq 5.”

Ford’s biggest measure of the quality of its promotional network – introduced by new EV head Doug Field – is “successful money,” which simply measures how often drivers pull an umbrella, complete a fee, and drive. It can be easily measured, and does not require drivers to comment. The data reveals that much work remains to be done.

“I would give ourselves a C-plus,” she said successfully, Farley said. “The number of fasteners will take time. This will be the same as brushing our teeth – it will never be done.”

The new import interface will finally come with the Mustang Mach-E, which is due to a major software update later this year that will update all the interface displayed on the car screens. Farley is similar to the iPhone update, saying “all UX will change.” Farley has set ambitious goals for future OTA software upgrades, part of Farley’s push to rethink cars as “digital vehicles,” but it is moving slowly. “We have not yet delivered enough software for the car,” he said. Field, from Apple and Tesla, has begun to improve things.

“We had problems with BlueCruise when Doug came here,” Farley said, referring to Ford’s Level 2 driver assistance system, which was released as a software update for cars with the right equipment. “We designed the BlueCruise spacecraft for three different versions, and that just doesn’t work. So we’ve simplified it. We’re now getting a lot of BlueCruise downloads.”

Of course, the biggest software change of all will come when Ford partnered with Google on a new Android-based infotainment infotainment package that includes Google Maps and other services coming next year. Ford said “millions” of cars will run the new Sync by 2023, but Farley said it will be delayed by “months.”

“We are making a lot of progress. “I really like the team that Google put in place,” Farley said. We want, like, a line lock to make a burn. But it is a little late, so that will be the end of autumn.

The current Ford lineup will not be updated with the new Android-based Sync – meaning these first off-line flashlights will have the existing Ford system Sync 4, while 2023 ship lightning will have next year New Android-based Sync, money possible. insulation for buyers who have not already ordered.

Lightning F-150

Image courtesy of FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images

Farley recently redesigned Ford in two parts: Ford Blue, a traditional car maker, and Ford Model e, led by Field, which will make EVs. Farley said Lightning is the first portfolio of trucks, and that Field and his team are free to create new cars to compete with Tesla and others. “We will not serve the entire market with one product,” Farley said. “Our strategy is to power our brand” like the Mustang and the F-150. “But just because we choose our brand does not mean we will be the type that fits that.” So don’t expect Ranger Lightning or Maverick Lightning – even if EV Maverick looks like a great idea.

The goal, in the end, is to allow the Model e team to build new models of EVs that compete directly with Ford’s existing cars and allow chips to fall where possible. Asked if he was willing to mediate the dispute between Ford’s traditional car business and his previous EV division, Farley laughed.

“I think I think if we do our job right, I will worry about that for the rest of my career.”