Ford investing $250 million in Michigan, creating 450 jobs to make electric trucks

First election F-150 Lightning pickup trucks finish preproduction and begin real world testing
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer checks out production of the F-150 Lightning pickup truck.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer checks out production of the F-150 Lightning pickup truck.(source: State of Michigan)
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 4:07 PM EDT
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DEARBORN, Mich. (WJRT) - Ford has completed preproduction on its first electric F-150 Lightning pickup trucks to begin real world testing.

The automaker announced the development Thursday, along with an additional $250 million investment and 450 new jobs at plants in Dearborn, Ypsilanti and Sterling Heights to support production of the Lightning trucks.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Congressman Dan Kildee and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell took part in the announcement at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn.

“We’re standing on the edge of an era of electrification that will be built in factories like this one by hardworking UAW members and the innovative minds at Ford,” Whitmer said.

Ford says the new electric F-150 model is a big step toward mass adoption of electric vehicles across the United States.

“F-150 Lightning is intended to be more than a no-compromise zero tailpipe-emissions truck. It’s packed with ingenious features and technology that will improve over time‚” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of The Americas and International Markets Group. “It’s exhilarating to drive and it can power your home and worksite.”

The United Auto Workers says the 450 new jobs will be represented by the union.

“Today’s announcement is a great example of the right way to navigate the transition to tomorrow’s vehicles by ensuring good-paying jobs of the future – investing in building vehicles in the United States, with the hard-working men and women of the UAW,” said Laura Dickerson, UAW Region 1A Director. “Investments like this can pave the way to a future that protects our families, our communities and our middle class.”

The U.S. House Ways and Committee approved legislation on Wednesday that would expand tax credits for electric vehicles. Consumers would be eligible for a $7,500 tax credit for buying an electric vehicle, an additional $4,500 if it was made in the U.S. and $500 more of the battery was made in America.

After five years, only American-made electric vehicles would be eligible for a tax credit. New limits in the bill place a $400,000 annual income limit on households claiming the tax credit and limit the sales price to exclude luxury vehicles from the tax credit program.

The bill, which is part of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better budget, still has to pass the full House and Senate before he can sign it into law.

“As a country, we either let China continue to dominate the production of electric vehicles, or we can make strategic investments now that will result in American workers and union labor making these vehicles here in the United States,” Kildee said in a press release issued Wednesday.

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