Ford provided an update Friday on 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 “megacampus” with a vehicle manufacturing facility for Ford’s F-Series pickups and a battery assembly facility. 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 Ford Explorer available only in Europe, as well as the automaker’s Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning and E-Transit van as the family of electric vehicles from Ford begins to fill out towards the middle of the decade.
“Project T3 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revolutionize the American trucking industry,” said Ford CEO and president Jim Farley in a statement. “We combine 100 years of Ford truck expertise with world-class electric vehicle, software and aerodynamics talent. It will be a platform for endless innovation and possibilities.”
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 in terms of 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 unique opportunity to revolutionize the American truck”
Improved efficiency will likely translate into greater range. The F-150 Lightning can travel up to 320 miles, while the Project T3 truck can travel up to 400 miles on a single charge.
“PJ O’Rourke once described American pickups as ‘a porch with an engine attached’. Well, this new truck will look like the Millennium Falcon — with a back porch attached to it,” 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 to start within “30 months,” Farley said. The company recently began ramping up production of Mustang Mach-Es, doubling assembly per hour in a bid to bring its annual production run to a target of 210,000 units by the end of 2023. Ford also announced it would cut prices on the Mustang Mach-E after the No. 1 EV seller, Tesla, also lowered its prices.
Meanwhile, production of the F-150 Lightning is on track to triple this year, with Ford aiming for annual production of 150,000 by the end of 2023. The company is investing $2 billion in three Michigan plants to increase production of the electric truck.
In Tennessee, as well as Kentucky, the company is spending billions of dollars to expand its EV production capacity. All told, Ford has said it would spend $11.4 billion on SK Innovation, the South Korean battery supplier, to build a network of factories in the South.