Ford Claims 20K Lightning Reservations Already

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

The Ford F-150 Lightning has been the hot topic of the day in the auto world since its unveiling last night, and we here at TTAC HQ are no exception.

Just this morning, our Slack discussion was about the truck’s sales potential. We came to the not-at-all surprising conclusion that yes, it will sell.

Early data seems to suggest that we’re right about that. Ford opened up reservations last night, at $100 a pop, and the company claims that during the first 12 hours, 20,000 folks have already raised their hands to plunk down a Benjamin to get a spot in line.

Those who plan to put more of their money where their, uh, money already is will have to actually order their truck later this year. Ford is also saying that first-year production may be limited but didn’t toss out a number.

If you’re wondering, Tesla also put a $100 price tag on reservations for its futuristic-looking Cybertruck and claimed to get 250,000 reservations within five days of its unveiling. Of course, that truck was first shown in November 2019 and doesn’t appear close to production, while Ford plans to have the first Lightnings on lots about a year from now.

Regardless of whether the Ford is on sale before or after the Tesla, one thing seems certain — Ford will move Lightnings a plenty.

[Image: Ford]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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6 of 37 comments
  • Deanst Deanst on May 21, 2021

    As I said yesterday, Ford will make less on these than a comparable ICE pickup. They will sell enough to be competitive, but can’t afford to sell in huge volumes and thus kill their profitability.

  • Bunkie Bunkie on May 21, 2021

    I’m particularly excited by the prospect of much hand-wringing by the usual suspects when they realize that Ford, with one stroke will have turned many opponents of the EV tax incentives into consumers of said incentives.

    • Golden2husky Golden2husky on May 22, 2021

      Indeed. You won't see them turn those incentives down, either. Much like those who scream "socialism" are more than willing take their social security and Medicare - arguably the most socialist of all US government programs...

  • Lichtronamo Lichtronamo on May 22, 2021

    The F-150 IS the Ford Motor Company. Smart move to offer both a PHEV and full EV model along side a full range of ICE. Can only help Ford in the long run transition to full EV. That the F-150 can be adapted to full EV in this manner is impressive. Have to assume as battery tech improves, so does the F-150. The version offered initially (crew cab/5.5ft. box) points to people using the vehicle as a family car, not a work truck. Also smart on FoMoCo’s part. People can hate on this all they want, but it’s a foot hold in the market and the start of moving to full EV. Ford is doing well out of the gate with the Mach-E and F-150 and will do more with the access to the VW MEB platform.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on May 22, 2021

    To quote Shania Twain: "That don't impress me much." Tesla had 115k reservations for the Model 3 in the hour *before* it was revealed, and those were $1000 each. I was one of them, and I and many others eventually canceled - up to 40% I think. That number went over 500k, and that's for a sedan. 20k reservations in the largest vehicle segment may have Ford worried.

    • DenverMike DenverMike on May 23, 2021

      Whatever but Shenia was most impressed by a dude they called Mutt. The marriage ended after the dog cheated on her by the way. The Lightning is just an other F-150 motor choice, not a lifestyle. Tech geeks aren't impressed either. Teslas are the ultimate geewiz gadget on wheels. Even though the F-150 is a top seller, the pickup segment is relatively small by volume and the majority of US drivers could never pilot, park or stomach such a big beast.