Ford Motor Co., which has halted production of electric F-150 Lightning pickup due to a possible battery issue, could take a few weeks to restart the production, reports said.
The auto major on Wednesday had confirmed that production of the EV had been suspended at the beginning of last week due to a potential battery issue that resulted in a vehicle fire.
The company now expects the vehicle production to be down through at least the end of next week as it needs to address the issue.
CNN quoted Ford spokesperson Emma Berg as saying, “We believe we have identified the root cause of this issue. By the end of next week, we expect to conclude our investigation and apply what we learn to the truck’s battery production process. This could take a few weeks.”
The potential battery issue was discovered during the company’s pre-delivery vehicle inspections.
Meanwhile, Ford’s trucks that are already at dealerships or already with customers are not affected by the issue, Berg said.
Since F-150 Lightning was introduced in May, Ford has sold 18,000 pickups.
The electric F-150 Lightning in December was honored as both the North American Truck of the Year, as well as the 2023 MotorTrend Truck of the Year.
Amid surging demand, Ford in December had stated that it was boosting the production of electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck with the addition of a third production shift to its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan.
The company’s initial plan was to build around 40,000 Lightnings per year, but with strong demand for its pickup truck, the target was raised aiming to deliver 150,000 pickups per year by the end of next year.
Ford recently said it was working to deliver an annual run rate of 600,000 electric vehicles globally by the end of this year and 2 million globally by the end of 2026 as part of its Ford+ plan.
The company also has been investing billions in electric battery production. Since 2019, Ford and its battery tech collaborators have announced $17.6 billion in investment in EV and battery production in the United States. It is part of the company’s commitment to invest over $50 billion in electric vehicles globally through 2026.
Earlier this week, Ford announced a $3.5 billion investment in a new electric battery plant in Michigan that is supposed to begin production in 2026. The project, called BlueOval Battery Park Michigan, will be fully-owned by a Ford unit, but will use technology licensed from Chinese battery company Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd.
Amid the speedy transition by automakers to electric vehicles, Ford CEO Jim Farley earlier warned that EVs’ production would result in significant job losses, but producing more parts in-house would help to mitigate this impact.
In response to growing competition in electric vehicles, Ford in Europe recently announced plans to cut around 3,800 jobs over the next three years.
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