Ford provided an update Friday on the construction of its massive new EV manufacturing complex in western Tennessee, where it says it will build its next electric truck, codenamed “Project T3.”
The so-called BlueOval City campus won’t come online until 2025, but when it does, Ford has said it will be a “mega campus” that houses a vehicle-production facility for Ford’s F-series pickup trucks and a battery assembly division. Now, the company says it will also serve as the main production line for its next electric truck.
Details are still scarce, but the new truck will sit alongside an electric Europe-only Ford Explorer, as well as the automaker’s Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning, and E-Transit van, as Ford’s family of electric vehicles begins to fill out by the mid-point of the decade.
“Project T3 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revolutionize America’s truck,” Ford CEO and president Jim Farley said in a statement. “We are melding 100 years of Ford truck know-how with world-class electric vehicle, software and aerodynamics talent. It will be a platform for endless innovation and capability.”
While the F-150 Lightning is nearly identical to its namesake, the gas-powered F-150, the new truck is expected to be more of a departure for Ford, both with regard to design and performance. Specifically, there will be “active and deployable aero,” according to comments made by Farley in a 2022 podcast interview.
“Project T3 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revolutionize America’s truck”
Improved efficiency will likely translate into longer range. The F-150 Lightning is capable of up to 320 miles, while the Project T3 truck could go as far as 400 miles on a single charge.
“PJ O’Rourke once described American pickups as ‘a back porch with an engine attached.’ Well, this new truck is going to be like the Millennium Falcon — with a back porch attached,” Farley said in a press release this week.
Ford plans to build 500,000 electric trucks a year at the BlueOval City complex, with production set to kick off within “30 months,” according to Farley. The company recently started boosting production of Mustang Mach-Es, doubling hourly assembly in an effort to bring its annual manufacturing run rate to a targeted 210,000 units by the end of 2023. Ford also announced it would slash prices on the Mustang Mach-E after the No. 1 EV seller, Tesla, also reduced its prices.
Meanwhile, production of the F-150 Lightning is on track to triple this year, with Ford targeting an annual production run rate of 150,000 by the end of 2023. The company is investing $2 billion across three plants in Michigan to boost production for the electric truck.
In Tennessee, as well as Kentucky, the company is spending billions of dollars to build out its EV manufacturing capacity. All told, Ford has said it would spend $11.4 billion with SK Innovation, the South Korean battery supplier, to build a network of factories across the South.