The Ford F-150 Lightning is among the first modern electric pickup trucks to come to market, and it’s an impressive one, if we’re going by what the press is saying.
And if you’re into manufacturing, you’re probably thinking how this thing is built. Tesla fans already know the ins and outs of the EV maker’s assembly lines, but what about Ford, which only recently got into the electric car game?
Everything starts at the roof of the facility, where the truck bodies and beds arrive, already painted, via a conveyor system that carries them from an adjacent building. They are then lowered to the floor of the manufacturing plant and put onto Automated guided vehicles (AGV) that carry them to the next phases of production.
Workers first mount the rubber seals for the doors, firewall insulation, and wiring loom. A host of robots and pneumatic tools assist the assembly line employees to mount the complete dashboard, front armrest, and windshield.
It’s all very impressive, and I find it really interesting to see that the AGVs are used throughout the whole assembly process. Compared to when I visited Ford’s and Dacia’s factories in Romania, these automated machines were at work for just a handful of jobs, like carrying parts to specific posts.
The chassis and electric motors are made in the United States, and all of the undercarriage is assembled on a separate line, before it goes on to the so-called “wedding ceremony,” where the complete body is mated to the complete chassis.
It’s an interesting inside look into how Ford’s electric trucks are made, and I have to say that I’m most impressed by those AGVs. They make the plant floor so much tidier, as opposed to older facilities where there are conveyor systems everywhere.
But what are your thoughts on the Blue Oval’s manufacturing process - do you think it can compete with how Tesla is making its EVs? Let us know in the comments below!