The Ford F-150 Lightning is bringing a new breed of drivers to the brand and especially the F-150 nameplate, with the automaker saying it has noticed a dramatic shift in the pickup truck buyer profile since it launched the all-electric Lightning.
New customer survey data collected by the Blue Oval and published by Detroit Free Press reveals that traditional pickup owners use their gas-powered trucks differently than the newcomers who have bought the battery-electric version.
More than 3,500 buyers returned their digital survey between September 2021 and October 2022, Jason Mase, Ford marketing general manager for electrified trucks told the publication, noting that F-150 Lightning deliveries started after April 2022.
The findings are really interesting, and some of them quite surprising. For example, Lightning owners use the truck bed way more often than gas-powered F-150 owners, as they are doing more hauling and camping, as well as home projects.
Based on survey data and follow-up phone calls, Ford found that 74 percent of owners are using their Lightning once a month for home projects – hauling things such as dirt, flooring, drywall, and mulch – compared to 51 percent of ICE F-150 owners.
Furthermore, 27 percent of F-150 Lightning buyers are using the truck bed for home project hauling once a week versus 14 percent for ICE F-150 buyers.
Lightning owners also go camping more often, with 48 percent of them saying they do that once a month, hauling tents, kayaks, bikes, and cooking stoves – compared to 40 percent of ICE F-150 owners.
Interestingly, more than half the Lightning buyers are coming from a non-pickup, compared with roughly 33% for gas-powered Ford F-150 buyers. Furthermore, 90 percent of Lightning buyers are coming from a non-electric, non-hybrid, non-plug-in vehicle. This is probably why F-150 Lightning owners make more use of their truck’s capability.
“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.”
Jason Mase, Ford marketing general manager for electrified trucks
The survey also revealed other interesting things about F-150 Lightning buyers, such as the fact that more than 60 percent of them are Millenials or Gen X – under 50. This partially explains another finding, namely that they tend to be early adopters of technology. Speaking of tech, a majority of them use Apple versus Android phones.
Finally, F-150 Lightning buyers tend to have higher education: 70 percent of them have a bachelor’s degree (versus 42 percent for ICE owners), and 33 percent have graduate degrees (versus 14 percent for ICE owners).