Ford F-150 Lightning Makes It To #1 EV Market In The World — How Will It Do?


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The Ford F-150 Lightning had a surge of sales at the end of 2023, but I have to admit that its production and sales are not ramping up as quickly as I’d hoped. It seems American pickup truck consumers still need some more time to get accustomed to plugin their trucks in at home rather than taking them to a gas station to get robbed.

As you can see above, the F-150 Lightning had just a little more than 24,000 sales in the US in 2023. It had nearly 12,000 in the 4th quarter, which was a nice improvement over the 2023 quarterly average, but that’s still far from the 150,000 or so annual sales the company’s targeting. Much needs to be done to improve awareness and marketing in the US, no doubt.

But there’s another avenue for F-150 Lightning sales growth, though. Exports. There are many countries aching for a good electric pickup truck (or “ute,” as they call them in some parts of the world). The Ford F-150 brand is renowned globally, and surely Ford could find happy customers in many markets that are more mature in the electric vehicle transition than the US. There is no more mature EV market than Norway, and it’s where many automakers are quick to send new electric models. Nearly 94% of new vehicle sales were plugin vehicle sales last month in Norway, and more than 92% were full electrics. And, without a doubt, many Norwegians have been waiting for a great electric truck like the Ford F-150 Lightning!

With the country’s first owners taking delivery of the F-150 Lightning this past week, let’s see how fast sales there ramp up and how many of the electric trucks Ford can sell in Norway!

“Dag Ødegaard from Lier, Norway, fell in love with Ford F-Series trucks while traveling in the U.S. Now, he’s the first Norwegian customer to take home an electric Ford F-150 Lightning,” Ford writes.

“It’s fitting that Ødegaard is the first in Norway with the truck, given his connections to America. His wife is from Texas and he owns a store in Norway that sells American grill and barbecue equipment.”

Well, that is a fitting pair, or trio. The only question I have is: Is this family related in any way to Martin Ødegaard? Or is Ødegaard just a super popular name in Norway?

The Ford F-150 Lightning Lariat Launch Edition model that Ødegaard chose has a rated range of 429 km (267 miles) on a full charge (WLTP rating system). That should be plenty for most normal driving. For longer trips, well, Norway surely has some of the best EV charging infrastructure in the world — maybe the best (though, I think the Netherlands would like a word on that).

“This is a dream vehicle for us especially as we love the USA and Texas so much,” Ødegaard said. “Finally we don’t have to drive two cars to transport two teenage children, my wife and all our luggage to our cabin in [the ski town of] Trysil. In particular, the fact that it has five seats means that we can finally afford to buy ourselves a proper family pickup, which is also fully electric and packed with new technology. It is absolutely outstanding both in terms of comfort, space and driving.”

“This is an important day for Ford in Norway,” said Per Gunnar Berg, CEO of Ford Motor Norway. “As the first country outside America to get F-150 Lightning, we get the opportunity to deliver one of the most talked about electric vehicles in the world in recent years to our customers. We look forward to going full throttle to give even more Norwegians the opportunity to experience an all-electric truck unlike anything else on offer here. It is both bigger, stronger and more capable than most you will find on the Norwegian market, and is just as good as a family car as it is for work.”

Indeed. The F-150 Lightning was actually the 2022 CleanTechnica Car of the Year (never mind that it’s a truck). It’s a superb vehicle and deserves all of the love it will find in Norway, other parts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and other markets where I expect to see it delivered.

CleanTechnica‘s not the only media outlet to heap praise on the F-150 Lightning, though. In fact, recently, Edmunds named the Ford F-150 Lightning the “2024 Edmunds Top Rated Electric Truck.” That’s the second year in a row that the Lightning won the award, too.

“Building on the appeal of the gas-powered F-150, the Lightning combines extra versatility with effortless performance,” said Alistair Weaver, Edmunds editor-in-chief. “With its broad capability and rugged appeal, it feels less like an electric truck and more like a truck that just happens to be electric.” I’m not sure what that last line is supposed to mean. Electric trucks have more instant torque, more power, more capability in many regards than non-electric trucks. But hey, whatever it takes to praise the truck and make it more appealing to buyers hesitant to make the change to an electric model.

Naturally, Norwegian buyers won’t need as much convincing when it comes to the capability or ruggedness of an electric pickup truck. What I’m very curious to see is how the F-150 Lightning, the Tesla Cybertruck, and the Rivian R1T compete when they’re all on the market in Norway and production and exports are ramped up. In a market without nearly the pickup truck history or brand loyalty as the United States, and with buyers who are much more open minded about electric vehicles, which truck and its capabilities will appeal more to Norwegians?

Of course, we won’t see huge volumes of sales in Norway. It’s a relatively small country (in terms of population), its auto market is also thus relatively small, and only a small portion of auto buyers are ever on the market for a pickup truck — electric or otherwise. Though, maybe the efficiency of electric trucks will make trucks a bigger portion of the market in time. We’ll see.

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