The Ford F-150 Lightning launched mere months ago as the automaker’s first-ever all-electric Ford F-150, but that doesn’t necessarily mean changes aren’t on the horizon. In fact, the EV pickup will soon be one of the first to receive Ford and Google’s new Android-based infotainment system, though an even bigger change is coming soon. Back in May, Ford Authority reported that The Blue Oval was considering switching at least some of its EV batteries from lithium-ion to lithium iron-phosphate (LFP), and now, the automaker has confirmed that LFP batteries are indeed coming for the Ford F-150 Lightning.
The news actually stems from the automaker’s announcement yesterday outlining a major effort to secure the raw materials and battery capacity needed to build 600,000 EVs by the end of 2023, with two million planned for annual global production beginning in 2026. Ford announced that it will begin securing LFP batteries packs for the Ford Mustang Mach-E starting next year and the F-150 Lightning in early 2024 from Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd. (CATL), which is currently scouting locations in the U.S. and Mexico for future plants.
According to FoMoCo, the flexible architecture it employs in its EVs will make this integration relatively seamless, which will help it scale production of both models to its goal of 270,000 units of the Mach-E and 150,000 units of the F-150 Lighting. The move to LFP is nothing new, of course, as Tesla began incorporating that type of battery pack into its standard-range, rear-wheel drive Model 3 in an effort to ramp up production last year.
There are pros and cons to lithium iron-phosphate batteries when compared to lithium-ion units, however. LFP batteries don’t use nickel or cobalt in their construction and are generally cheaper, safer, and can be charged to 100 percent without worrying about speeding up battery degradation, though they’re also not as energy dense as lithium-ion batteries and offer less range as a result.