Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center on the Grow | Daily News Byte


Ford is expanding the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center where the company’s battery-electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning, is built.

The automaker is building a 335,000-sq.-ft. (31,120-sq.-m) addition on both the north and south ends of the original 500,000-sq.-ft. (46,450-sq.-m) building, said Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker. The expansion is meant to increase the center’s annual capacity to 150,000 units when it is completed. The plant employs 750 workers in three shifts to build the Lightning. Felker said operations are continuing during construction.

Ford started the Rouge EV Center in 2020 and began building its first all-electric pickup truck for sales to customers earlier this year.

The center is part of Ford’s historic Rouge Complex in Dearborn, MI, and is located between the Dearborn Truck Plant‘s body shop and assembly building. Dearborn Truck is a relatively new factory built in the 1990s to replace the original Rouge complex, which began operating during World War I.

The bodies used for the Lightning BEV go through the same body shop and welding lines used for the internal-combustion F-150. The bodies were painted at Dearborn Truck’s paint shop, then moved to the Rouge EV Center where they were assembled into the Lightning’s frame and battery electric powertrain. (pictured, below)Felker said.

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Both the body shop and paint shop inside Dearborn Truck can accommodate the additional volume needed to build the Lightning, according to Felker.

The Rouge EV Center is part of Ford’s $700 million investment in F-150 manufacturing infrastructure, which was made before the current expansion.

The Lightning has been sold out since Ford started taking orders for the BEV. Sales of the Lightning this year have helped make it the No.2 maker and seller of electric vehicles after Tesla, according to Ford sales executives. Along with the Mustang Mach-E CUV and E-Transit light-commercial vehicle, Ford said its BEV sales in November more than doubled from a year earlier.

Sales of the F-150 Lightning totaled 2,062 in November and deliveries totaled 13,258 since the pickup went on the market at the end of May, according to Ford sales reports. The automaker also said it sold 654 E-Transits in November and 5,811 year-to-date, good for an 80% share of the commercial-EV market. Mustang Mach-E sales of 3,539 in November were up 14.6% year-over-year, and global Mach-E production topped more than 150,000 units.


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