Ford’s F-150 has finally made its debut on Australian shores, but, in a move that will disappoint many, this is not the version many were waiting for, the F-150 Lightning.
Ford Australia has announced that the first shipment of nearly 100x Ford F-150 customer vehicles, completed the 15,000km long journey from Baltimore, USA to Melbourne. Here’s the crazy bit, they have to first be converted from left-hand drive to right-hand drive before they go to dealerships across the country.
The vehicles will now head to RMA Automotive’s facility in Mickleham, where they will undergo re-manufacturing. This is a crazy trend with American trucks (aka the new Australian Ute), where the manufacturer isn’t making them in RHD from the factory.
For the past 46 years, the Ford F-150 has been the best-selling truck in America, but knowing the times are changing rapidly, they made the F-150 Lightning, with the first customer deliveries starting in May 2022.
The F-150 Lightning features are compelling, offering a great blend of size, payload, towing, range and a massive, industry-leading frunk, large enough to host a party.
The Lightning is powerful, with up to 563 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque it can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds.
The EPA estimates its range at between 230 and 320 miles, depending on the version and battery size. On the upper end, that’s a healthy 514km. The truck features a modern interior, complete with a 10.1″ touchscreen infotainment system and a centre armrest that folds down to create a work surface, great for completing invoices on a laptop or ordering Uber Eats to site.
For those leveraging the Lightning for a work truck, they can use a Pro Power Onboard system that provides up to 9.6 kW of power for tools and appliances.
Australia really lacks a compelling offering in the electric ute/truck space and with the top-selling vehicle in the country being a Toyota Hi-Lux, there’s an opportunity for Ford to launch the lightning here (RHD from the factory please) and steal that top spot.
Australia’s EV Landscape
Australia currently has a mismatch between supply and demand, there’s a clear appetite for EVs here, but automakers like Ford, need to supply compelling products at the right price into the market and will be handsomely rewarded with results.
According to a 2022 study by the Electric Vehicle Council, one in three Australians plans to buy an EV as their next vehicle.
For the sake of the local market, Ford might need to readjust its strategy to deliver on the expectations and environmental commitments of Australian consumers. The arrival of the wrong F-150 version could be a misstep, but it also provides an opportunity for Ford to recalibrate its approach and embrace the increasing demand for electric vehicles.
While the arrival of the Ford F-150 in Australia is a landmark moment, the absence of the Lightning variant is a glaring omission.
In Q4 2023, Ford will ship their Mustang Mach-E down under. This is an all-electric mid-sized SUV that was first released back in 2019, let’s hope that Ford doesn’t wait 4 years to release the Lightning, as this opportunity to be market leader in the EV Ute space will certainly be taken by the competition by then.