Ford Extends Shutdown of Electric F-150 Plant

Ford F-150 Lightning all-electric trucks
Ford F-150 Lightning all-electric trucks. (Emily Elconin/Bloomberg News)

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Ford Motor Co. is extending the shutdown of its F-150 Lightning pickup plant for a fourth week as it works to resolve a problem that caused a battery fire in one of the electric trucks.

The automaker said the Dearborn, Mich., factory will remain closed at least until the end of next week while its battery supplier, South Korea’s SK On, changes how it produces the power cells at a plant in Georgia. Ford’s factory producing the popular plug-in pickup has been shut since Feb. 5 after a truck’s battery caught fire in a Dearborn holding lot and spread to two other pickups nearby.

“It will take SK time to ensure they are back to building high-quality cells and to deliver them to the Lightning production line,” Ford said in an emailed statement Feb. 24. SK On didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Lightning is Ford’s signature plug-in vehicle as it moves to electrify its lineup by investing $50 billion to develop and build 2 million battery-powered models a year by the 2026. The factory had been running seven days a week as it boosts production to 150,000 vehicles a year by this fall.

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