Ford on Thursday confirmed that it will restart production of the F-150 Lightning electric truck on March 13 at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan.
The restart, Ford explained in an update statement, allows time for battery cells from supplier SK On “to be built into battery arrays and packs and be delivered to the Lightning production line.”
“In the weeks ahead, we will continue to apply our learnings and work with SK On’s team to ensure we continue delivering high-quality battery packs—down to the battery cells,” said company spokesperson Emma Bergg. “As REVC ramps up production, we will continue holding already-produced vehicles while we work through engineering and parts updates.”
In all, Lightning production will be at a standstill for about a month. Ford confirmed on Feb. 14 that it had suspended both production and shipments of the Lightning due to a potential battery issue.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning pre-production
Later that week, Ford confirmed that the issue was indeed related to the battery. Specifically, an F-150 Lightning caught fire outside during a pre-delivery quality check.
At that time, Ford said that the company had identified the “likely population of vehicles affected by the issue,” and said that there was no reason to believe that trucks already delivered to customers are affected by the issue.
Ford gave no further indication that a recall is in the works, but given the detail regarding engineering and parts updates, it could still be a possibility.
2023 Ford F-150 Lightning
The Lightning plays a key role in proving the technology, on the way to a next-generation full-size electric truck already under development and to be made in larger numbers. Since its original reveal and even before deliveries started last May, Ford boosted production of the Lightning to 150,000 annually, although it only delivered 15,617 Lightnings in 2022. The company in December again raised the price of the F-150 Lightning by thousands—hiking the base version to almost 40% above its original price—and it has continued to report strong demand.