Who says EVs aren’t up to the task? Ford’s electric pickup, the F-150 Lightning, is revolutionizing the truck industry. Lightning owners are challenging the norm, using their EV truck beds for more “truck activities” like home projects, camping, and hauling than gas-powered F-150 owners.

Ford’s electric pickup is changing the game and its players

Ford is no stranger to trucks. The automaker has been building them for over 100 years. Since the release of the Model TT in 1917, Ford has been trailblazing the industry.

This past year, the Ford F-series upheld its position as best-selling truck for 46 consecutive years now.

Using its rich history and expertise in truck-making, Ford revealed its “smartest, most innovative F-150” yet, the F-150 Lightning electric pickup, in 2021. The truck quickly gained the attention of the masses, gathering over 200,000 reservations by the end of the year.

With the first Lightning customers receiving their electric trucks in May 2022, we have learned a lot about its capabilities and how drivers are liking it so far.

Lightning owners have used their electric pickups to provide mobile power after a devastating flood, after a hurricane knocked the lights out, and even to make a movie set deep in the woods.

As you can tell, Ford Lightning owners use their electric pickups differently than gas-powered truck drivers. New data from the Dearborn automaker confirms the Ford Lightning is attracting new types of buyers, and they are using their trucks for more typical truck activities than ICE drivers.

Ford Lightning drivers make more use of the truck

According to recently gathered consumer data (anonymized to ensure confidentiality) by Ford and published by The Detroit Free Press, we are learning some interesting information about F-150 Lightning buyers.

Perhaps most important is how they compare to gas-powered Ford F-150 drivers. The automaker has witnessed a drastic shift in client characteristics and how buyers use their trucks.

The data shows F-150 Lightning owners use the truck bed significantly more than the gas-powered model owners. Lightning owners make use of it by doing more home projects, camping, and hauling activities.

Ford also collected data on customers who decided to go with another brand to learn precisely what buyers are looking for.

Here are a few of the key insights highlighted in the survey data:

  • 74% of Lightning owners use the truck once a month for home projects like landscaping, renovations, and more, compared to just 51% of ICE owners that reported doing the same.
  • 48% of Lightning owners go camping once a month, including storing bikes, camping equipment, kayaks, etc., compared to 40% of gas-powered truck drivers.
  • Over 50% of Lightning buyers are coming from a non-truck vehicle, while that number is around 33% for the F-150.
  • 27% of Lightning buyers use the electric truck for home projects versus 14% of ICE buyers.

Jason Mase, cross-vehicle and electrification marketing strategy lead (US) at Ford, told the Detroit Free Press.

People who may have wanted a pickup in the past seem to feel that having an electric option like the Lightning has given them permission to buy one, so now they haul muddy stuff that could have ruined a sport utility vehicle or something without a big truck bed, which can be hosed down.

The Lightning is attracting people who wouldn’t typically buy a truck otherwise, and perhaps, more importantly, 90% of Lightning buyers came from non-electric, non-hybrid, non-PHEV vehicles.

Electrek’s Take

Ford’s new data dispels the idea that electric trucks are less capable than their gas-powered peers. As Lightning drivers are proving, EVs can do just as much and more as their gas-powered peers, and their owners are putting them up to the task.

Now, Ford needs to produce more Lightnings. The automaker has a massive backlog, and demand continues to grow.

Despite an ongoing production halt from early February that will end on March 13, Ford says it plans to triple Lightning sales this year to reach a 150,000 annual run rate.

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