All-New Electric Truck Codenamed Project T3
Ford’s F-150 Lightning is inarguably one of the most important, and most exciting, electric vehicles to launch in America over the last few years. Following the company’s strategy of electrifying its icons, the Lightning added electric power, and significant capability, to the F-150 pickup, already the most popular vehicle on the planet. Since its introduction, the Lightning has been flying off dealership lots, with a substantial wait-list forming for prospective customers.
But Ford isn’t stopping there. After raising drivers’ expectations for capability, driving enjoyment, and features, it’s already working on its next electric pickup. And that truck, code-named Project T3, aims to further grow and reinvent Ford’s truck franchise. Indeed, the company claims it’s so revolutionary that it needs an all-new assembly plant, which will be located in Stanton, Tennessee.
The T3 in Project T3 stands for “Trust The Truck” – a phrase that stuck after the development team made it their rallying cry. Its guiding principle is to be a truck that people can trust in the digital age – one that’s fully updatable, constantly improving, and supports towing, hauling, exportable power and the endless new innovations owners will want.
More importantly, unlike the F-150 Lightning, which was adapted from the gasoline F-150, Project T3 has been engineered from the ground up to be electric. Ford says that it while it will deliver even more capability and exciting features, that it will be radically more simple, with a fraction of the complexity of a traditional pickup’s architecture.
New EV Assembly Plant
The all-new assembly plant, which Ford is currently building, has also been designed for electric from the start. Ford says that Project T3’s radically simple design means that the new plant will incorporate efficiencies never before possible, and that the footprint of the site is 30 percent smaller than a traditional factory, while delivering a higher production capacity.
Called BlueOval City, the mega-campus will serve as the blueprint for Ford’s future electric strategy – building high-tech EVs at advanced manufacturing sites that incorporate sustainable practices while driving business growth. Ford and its partner SK On have invested $5.6 billion in the new campus, which will create approximately 6,000 new jobs when it opens in 2025.
The new assembly plant will use carbon-free electricity from the day it opens. For the first time in 120 years, Ford will also use recovered energy from the site’s utility infrastructure and geothermal system to provide carbon-free heat for the assembly plant – saving about 300 million cubic feet of natural gas typically needed each year to heat similarly sized vehicle assembly plants.
Ford says that its campus’ new utility system will save 50 million gallons of water each year by reducing evaporation from the site’s cooling towers. Plus, a zero-waste-to-landfill site is designed to use no fresh water for its assembly processes. Ford also intends to develop a holistic storm-water management system separate from the water table to help protect the local environment.
It’s all part of Ford’s plan to power all of its factories globally with renewable and carbon-free electricity by 2035.
The BlueOval City campus, which spans 3,600 acres, also has a fully integrated BlueOval SK battery manufacturing site on its premises. Battery cells, arrays, and battery packs will thus be able to join the production line in less than 30 minutes. An on-site supplier park and up-fit center will be capable of adding in dozens of popular features, such as robotically sprayed-in bedliners, integrated tool boxes, and other accessories, before the pickups are shipped to dealers and customers. There’s even an on-site Lowe’s store to serve the site’s construction needs.
Ford is also working hard to integrate the massive new facility with the local community. Ford EV designers, marketers and land development leaders are collaborating with the University of Memphis to create a student-led art installation to serve as a landmark for BlueOval City. The piece – which is the focus of a University sculpture art course – will be installed this summer.
Native Tennessee grasses are going to be planted on about 500 acres of the site to support local wildlife, while local farmers are also being invited to continue planting and harvesting crops on 380 acres, saved for future expansion as EV adoption grows.
Plus, Ford has implemented a capital grants program to strengthen local communities’ infrastructure in west Tennessee. Local non-profits and municipalities in the area have been selected as grant recipients, receiving a total of nearly $1.2 million to help build capacity and infrastructure to better serve the community’s needs for generations to come.
Production Begins 2025
Ford’s all-new electric vehicle and battery manufacturing campus will be up and running in 2025. Project T3 will be the first vehicle to emerge from it, but BlueOval City is capable of producing 500,000 vehicles a year when running at full capacity. It’s a key component of Ford’s plan to massively ramp up EV production to make electric cars more accessible to consumers; together with other facilities, it’s targeting a production rate of 2 million electric cars annually by late 2026.