By Staff

DEARBORN, Mich. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Ford says it will nearly double the annual production of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup based on a high number of advance reservations.

The company said it will be able to build at a rate of 150,000 pickups per year at its electric vehicle factory in Michigan, by the middle of next year.

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Previously Ford had expected to build 80,000 per year at the new factory, which likely will have to be expanded to handle the increased output.

An all-electric F-150 Lightning on display at the Motor Bella event in Pontiac, Michigan on September 21, 2021. (credit: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images)

During the February 2021 winter storms in Texas some Ford F-150 hybrid pickup owners used their trucks to power their homes, after winter weather left millions without electricity and heat.

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The company says nearly 200,000 people have put down $100 refundable deposits on the trucks. It’s now sending out emails asking customers to convert their reservations to actual orders by picking a dealer and agreeing on a price.

Workers are now making pre-production versions of the trucks that will be used for testing. Versions that will be sent to consumers are expected in the spring. The truck has a starting price of just under $40,000 before any federal or state tax credits.

In December, Ford announced that it would triple production of the electric Mustang Mach-E built in Mexico. It plans to have the ability to make more than 200,000 per year by 2023.

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(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) Staff