Ford’s ability to push its new all-electric pickup truck through from Production to delivery sooner than expected has its Ford Lightning enthusiasts buzzing with excitement. But how soon can you get a Ford Lightning, really?

In this article, we’ll walk through Ford Lightning delivery dates for all four trims of the Ford F-150 Lightning, how to track your Ford Lightning order, and where to get a Ford Lightning if order books are closed on your preferred trim level.

But first, a quick note on why this all-electric F-150 is hard to get:

What’s the Holdup?

First off, Ford no longer intends to keep up a reservation system after 2023, and the 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning will only be offered through certified dealers.  After August 31, 2023, Ford will cancel outstanding invitations and unfulfilled reservations for the Lightning. If you are a reservation holder and get an invitation to order, you should make your ordering decisions quickly.

Earlier this year (2023), Ford had reserved a large number of 2023 F-150 Lightnings for the commercial segment of their customer base, but since reopening the order books in May, a number of XLT, Lariat, and Platinum trims are now available for consumer purchase, no reservation necessary.

This back-and-forth ordering situation has been confusing on a number of levels. The bad news is that the wait list for a Ford F-150 Lightning is still months long, and there aren’t many of them available on dealership lots. The good news is that, with the exception of the Lightning Pro trim, you may actually be able get an F-150 Ford Lightning by the end of the year if you order soon.

Ford F-150 Lightning Delivery Dates

For the following discussion, please keep in mind that many of these numbers and estimates come from Ford Lighting reservation conversion orders that are being delivered now. The time from reservation to delivery is heavily affected by which trim happens to be on the production line at a particular time.

That said, let’s take a look at each trim level’s estimated delivery dates:

F-150 Lightning Pro Delivery Estimates

Back in January 2022, Ford speculated that it would be delivering its Pro trim sometime in 2023. However, supply chain issues and the overwhelming reservation response by customers (especially businesses looking for fleet vehicles) changed Ford’s approach to the Pro’s Production.

Currently, the Ford Lightning F-150 Pro trim has been pushed through the Production line in batches, and some the Pro has been produced and delivered through 2023. But while the Pro has been making good time through the production line, it’s unfortunately currently sold out for 2023. If you haven’t gotten an invite to order the Lightning Pro already, you’ll likely need to consider another trim if you want to use your reservation.

If you have already received a VIN and have converted from a reservation to an order, you can typically expect your Lightning Pro to Progress from order to delivery in around 3-5 months from your completed order date. 

Ford expects to ramp up Production to 150,000 units in 2023, so they may be able to finish fulfilling Pro reservation orders by September-December of this year.

The best way to get info on future (2024 and beyond) Ford F-150 Lightning Pro sales is by going to Ford’s website and selecting “Get Updates” (near the bottom of the page) to sign up for notifications.

F-150 Lightning XLT Delivery Estimates

We haven’t seen nearly as many F-150 Lightning XLT trims off the Production floor compared to the Pro and the Lariat. That said, the Lightning XLT has been included in Ford’s Production rounds, and the time between the XLT’s reservation-to-order conversion and delivery is estimated by Ford to be around 4-5 months.

If you have received your VIN already, your Lightning XLT is likely to meet the estimated delivery window given to you by Ford. They’ve been meeting these estimates pretty accurately over the last few months.

If you haven’t received your VIN already, you’re likely to be included in the next wave of Lightning XLT invites (Ford calls this “extending your reservation”). However, like we said earlier, if you do get an invite, make up your mind to order or not very quickly, as all reservations and invites will be cancelled later this year.

F-150 Lightning Lariat Delivery Estimates

The current Ford F-150 Lariat delivery time is estimated to take about 6 months, with customers in the first order wave waiting the longest between their reservation to order conversion and actual delivery. If you’ve already gotten your Lariat’s VIN, you can generally expect Ford to deliver your Lariat within a month of the estimated delivery date.

F-150 Lightning Platinum Delivery Estimates

The “Have It All” Platinum trim of the F-150 Lightning has been produced at a similar pace to the Pro and the Lariat. From order confirmation to final delivery, the 2023 F-150 Lightning Platinum Process has taken about 4-5 months.

However, like the Lariat, if your 2023 Platinum reservation hasn’t been converted to an order yet, you can probably expect to be invited to order in the next few weeks / couple of months.

How to Track Your F-150 Lighting Order

Here’s a rundown on how order tracking works after your Ford Lightning reservation number gets picked:

  • First, Ford will contact you to change your reservation to an order.
  • If you don’t have a reservation, but are placing an order through Ford’s website, you will typically be referred to your dealer (who actually receives your deposit) after choosing your F-150 Lightning’s trim level and build specs. This can be done with your local dealer instead of online, if that’s what you prefer.
  • Next, you’ll be given your VIN and an estimated Production schedule. This is typically through an email, especially if you are purchasing completely online.
  • Last, using your order number (from your order summary) and VIN, you should be able to check on your Lightning’s Progress through the Ford Order Tracking Site.

Bonus: You can also follow your Lightning’s chip activation through Ford’s Service Info site using your VIN. This won’t give you any insight into your delivery date, but it’s still a neat way to see some evidence of build Progress.

Note: If you are completing all or part of your order through your local Ford dealership, your dealer may be aware of the Production date for your Lightning even before you’ve been contacted by Ford with your VIN. If it’s been a while after you’ve converted your reservation and you still haven’t heard from Ford, be sure to check in with your dealer to see if they have any additional info.

Can’t Wait for Your Ford Lightning Delivery? There IS Another Way!

Right now, the reality of Ford’s F-150 Lightning is that production is limited, orders are backed up, and Ford’s 2023 F-150 Lightning reservation books are closed. With the reservation system going away later this year, prices increasing, and all 2024 Ford Lightings only going to EV certified dealerships, its only possible to get a new F-150 Lighting within a couple of months if you’ve got a reservation or can find a dealership ready to part with theirs (for a premium price, of course).

But what if we told you that you can find your Lightning without the wait at a comparable price?

There is a way: buy used! Heck, most of the Lightnings on our site are barely used at all!

One of the best things about the current used Ford Lightning market is that these EV trucks are all basically new, with low mileage, low wear-and-tear, and well-within warranty. Buying a pre-owned Ford F-150 Lightning puts you ahead of the reservation line. Plus, you’ll avoid the uncomfortable uncertainty about pricing increases, since there’s no guarantee that current prices will hold for the next few model years (spoiler alert: they’ve been increasing by thousands just over the last model year).

While used Ford F-150 Lightnings aren’t super common yet, a reasonable number of used Ford Lightnings are for sale right now on online listing sites.

Of course, there’s good news and bad news about those online listings.

The bad news? Most online car listing websites will mix a Ford F-150 Lightning in with a bunch of other ICE trucks from the same manufacturer. For instance, did you know that Ford already had an ICE version of the Lightning back in the early 2000s? If you try to search for a Ford Lightning EV, you’ll find that fact out pretty quickly. Additionally, in most places you can forget filtering by battery size (pretty important if you are hoping to tow with your Lightning) or tech package. What the site wants you to see is what you get.

Now for the good news: you can find an F-150 Lightning easily right here on Find My Electric. We’ve spent our time and effort making the listing system intuitive so you don’t have to guess whether the Lightning you’re looking at has a Max Tow package or the Extended Range battery pack. And there’s no extra clutter: we focus on electric vehicles (and only EVs), and you’ll only see the EV you’re searching for.

If you want to skip the wait and start hauling with a new-to-you Ford Lightning as soon as possible, check out the selection of used Ford F-150 Lightnings available today on Find My Electric.