Ford (F) gears to reveal its first all-electric truck, while quickening a shift to electric vehicles as rivals race to bring the first electric pickup to market. Ford stock rose.
The F-150 Lightning will combine technological innovation with the power and performance that Ford trucks are known for, the company says. The company will unveil the truck Wednesday in a livestreamed event starting at 9:30 p.m. ET.
But production won’t start until next spring, with sales at dealerships due to begin in mid-2022.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden is visiting the Dearborn, Mich. factory where Ford will make the electric F-150 starting next spring. He is likely to push his $174 billion EV spending plan while autoworkers worry that electric vehicles could take a toll on jobs. Investors in EV stocks will watch for any new spending details.
The existing F-150 is both Ford’s and America’s top-selling vehicle. An electric version of the pickup truck underpins the 118-year-old automaker’s hope to dominate a growing market for electric vehicles. But the F-150 Lightning is set to hit the road after electric-truck rivals.
Analysts expect it arrive at dealerships in mid-2022. By comparison, the R1T from Rivian, the EV startup backed by Amazon (AMZN), is supposed to go on sale in June. General Motors‘ (GM) Hummer “supertruck” will follow this fall, and Tesla‘s (TSLA) Cybertruck sometime this year.
Ford is likely to reveal F-150 Lightning pricing and detailed specs at the Wednesday event. For context, the Hummer electric truck will sell starting at $112,600 and will offer fast charging of up to 100 miles of range in 10 minutes, GM has said. The Tesla Cybertruck promises up to 500 miles of driving range and a price starting under $40,000.
Shares added 1.3% to 12.31 on the stock market today. Ford stock is working on a 13.72 cup-shaped buy point and is back above the 50-day line, according to MarketSmith chart analysis. The relative strength line is near highs.
GM stock gained 1% Tuesday, and was trading below the 50-day line. Tesla rose 1.6%.
It’s taken years for automakers to put an electric truck on the road. Batteries have cost and range limitations, while pickup trucks are typically used to carry heavy loads for long distances.
However, trucks are in hot demand and electric trucks are a potential game-changer for automakers like Ford, GM and Tesla.
Year over year, Ford’s U.S. sales rose just 1% in Q1, but retail sales of Ford’s F-series pickup trucks jumped 25%.
F-150 Lightning Taps Coveted Segment
“Trucks continue to be Ford’s saving grace throughout this entire pandemic,” Edmunds analyst Jessica Caldwell said. “F-150 remains one of the most coveted trucks in the industry, and although Ford’s first quarter sales were flat, the company has sustained increases in average transaction prices which should help drive profitability.”
However, “the chipset shortage has thrown a wrench into what should have been a particularly lucrative year for Ford,” as it ramps up recent and upcoming launches including the Mustang Mach-E, Bronco Sport and F-150 Lightning, she added.
In March, Ford said it would only partially build the number it previously estimated of its flagship, highly profitable F-150 pickup trucks and Edge SUVs. It blamed the semiconductor shortage, which has idled certain factories for parts of this year.
Find Aparna Narayanan on Twitter at @IBD_Aparna.
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