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Forward-looking: Ford's all-electric F-150 Lightning is still a hot commodity in the EV world but that isn't stopping the Blue Oval from discussing its successor. Project T3, short for "Trust The Truck," is the codename for the automaker's "epic sequel" to the Lightning.
The automaker said its single guiding principle for T3 is to create a truck people can trust in the digital age – that is, one that is fully updatable and is constantly improving. The pickup also needs to be sleek, aerodynamic, quick, resourceful, and flexible, Ford said, adding that it additionally must be fast to charge, have a long range, feature exportable power, and be "tough as hell." Oh, and its towing and hauling capabilities must be up to snuff.
Ford CEO Jim Farley said Project T3 represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revolutionize America's truck. "PJ O'Rourke once described American pickups as 'a back porch with an engine attached.' Well, this new truck is going to be like the Millennium Falcon – with a back porch attached," he added.
Ford is developing the truck alongside its all-new assembly plant in Stanton, Tennessee, about 45 minutes northeast of Memphis.
The $5.6 billion campus, dubbed Blue Oval City, was announced in late 2021 and will feature both a vehicle manufacturing facility and a battery production plant. The mega campus is expected to create around 6,000 jobs.
According to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, the project is the single largest investment in the state's history. Once fully operational, the facility will be able to produce half a million EV trucks annually.
Just last week, Ford said it expects its EV division, called Model e, to lose about $3 billion in 2023. In a call with reporters, Ford CFO John Lawler described Model e as an EV startup within Ford. "As everyone knows, EV startups lose money while they invest in capabilities, develop knowledge, build volume, and gain share," the executive added.
The F-150 Lightning was a hit with consumers but production issues have slowed the rollout. Last month, the automaker pressed pause on production and shipments over a potential battery issue that has since been rectified.
Not much else is known about Project T3 at this time, but it's unlikely that name will carry over from the design phase. With any luck, we'll hear more about this new truck ahead of production scheduled for 2025.