Ford used the "Lightning" moniker in the past for a couple of street-oriented F-150 performance trucks and now it's repurposing the name for an all-electric version. The wraps are coming off 19 May, but US President Biden will have the opportunity to see the zero-emissions pickup a day earlier during a visit to the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn.
Ford spokeswoman Melissa Miller made the announcement on Twitter: "We're honoured to host President Biden at Ford Motor Company and excited to preview him the new F-150 Lightning and the exciting technologies that made it possible. Electrifying America's best-selling vehicle is a milestone in our country's transition to cleaner transportation. The F-150 Lightning will be built by UAW workers at an innovative, green plant on the historic Rouge complex in Dearborn, Michigan."
The electric F-150 has been a long time coming considering Ford has been talking about it every now and then for the last three years. The first step towards making the current generation of the truck greener was taken last year with the launch of a hybrid, and now the Blue Oval is about to remove the combustion engine altogether.
Deciding to revive the Lightning nameplate for an EV is a move many saw coming, a move that could be just as controversial as using Mustang for an electric SUV. Enthusiasts might not be too happy with Ford's decision, but the silver lining is a potent V8-powered derivative is coming next year as the F-150 Raptor R.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden will get a sneak preview of the zero-emissions F-150 Lightning on Tuesday and he'll likely speak publicly during the visit, according to the Detroit Free Press. Following the electric truck's world premiere next week, it will enter production next spring and go on sale for the 2023 model year.