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Ford F-150 Lightning has found a unique niche of consumers

Credit: Ford

It appears that the Ford F-150 Lightning is providing the veteran Detroit-based automaker with a fresh clientele. As per new customer data collected by Ford, F-150 Lightning owners are using their pickup trucks quite differently compared to owners of combustion-powered F-150s. 

The all-electric pickup truck market is arguably the next big frontier for electric vehicles. And while EV maker Rivian was the first company to offer a pickup truck in the form of the R1T, Ford was able to sell larger volumes of the F-150 Lightning, thanks in part to its vast experience in building cars

Even before it decided to compete in the modern EV sector, Ford had been collecting customer data, even from shoppers who opted to purchase a vehicle from a competitor. In a statement to the Detroit Free Press, Jason Mase of Royal Oak, Ford marketing general manager for electrified trucks, stated that the surveys are a good way to gain insight into the company’s customers. 

Between September 2021 and October 2022, over 3,500 customers submitted surveys to the company. Among the respondents to the survey were F-150 Lightning customers, some of whom took delivery of their vehicles after April 2022. The responses from the F-150 Lightning owners were quite insightful. 

As it turned out, Lightning owners use their pickup truck bed more frequently than buyers of combustion-powered F-150s. About 74% of Lightning owners use their vehicles once a month for home projects. This was only true for about 51% of ICE F-150 owners. Around 48% of Lightning owners also noted that they camp once a month, and they haul bikes, tents, cooking stoves, and kayaks. For ICE-powered F-150 owners, this number is only at 40%. 

Mase, for his part, noted that this is likely because Lightning owners may be excited about their all-electric pickup trucks. “These people finally get their first pickup, and they’re excited. They use it like crazy. They have the freedom to have wet and dirty storage in the bed and use dry storage up front (in the front trunk), which is massive. I coach baseball and throw dirty gear in the box and groceries and nice things in the frunk,” he said. 

There are other observed differences between owners of the Lightning and regular F-150 pickup trucks. For one, over 60% of Lightning buyers are Millennials or Gen-X-ers. About 70% of Lightning owners also have a bachelor’s degree, while only 42% of traditional F-150 owners have one. Around 90% of Lightning buyers are also coming from a non-electric, non-hybrid, or non-plug-in vehicle. 

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Ford F-150 Lightning has found a unique niche of consumers
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