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2024 Ford F-150 Lightning spotted in Australia: Details revealed about 'unofficial' right-hand drive conversion

This right-hand drive Ford F-150 Lightning was recently spotted in Sydney. (Image: Stephen Ottley)

A right-hand drive version of the Ford F-150 Lightning has been spotted in Australia by CarsGuide, but the Blue Oval has no plans to launch the car locally. Instead, this belongs to AusEV company that is specialising in commercial electric vehicles.

CarsGuide attempted to contact AusEV but was unable to speak with anyone involved with the project. However, we can reveal that the company is offering the F-150 alongside the MDXT ‘medium duty’ and HDXT ‘heavy duty’ trucks.

The Lightning is being converted by a third party supplier, Advanced Manufacturing Queensland (AMQ), which has video on its LinkedIn page showing a production line is already up and running to produce a fleet of F-150. 

A Ford Australia spokesperson said this project has no support from the factory and is completely independent of its own right-hand drive conversion of the petrol-powered F-150 models.

“The Ford F-150 Lightning remains left-hand drive only, and unavailable for sale from Ford Australia,” the spokesperson said. “Ford Australia has not remanufactured any F-150 Lightnings to right-hand drive.”

While AusEV doesn’t make any specific claims about the target audience for the Lightning in Australia, CarsGuide believes the company will focus on fleet buyers, specifically the mining sector. This will likely be driven partly by cost, with Ford Australia believed to have focused on the petrol-powered F-150 due to the high investment needed to convert the Lightning pushing its retail price well beyond the current market for US ‘pickups’.

There’s also unlikely to be enough private buyers to justify Ford Australia converting the Lightning itself, as the big ute has failed to take-off in its home market. Ford just announced the updated 2024 Lightning range in the US and the biggest change was a US$5500 price drop, in a bid to increase demand as supply backs up.

An Australian company is converting Ford F-150 Lightnings to right-hand drive. (Image: Stephen Ottley)

While Ford is expected to be joined by Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Sierra EV and GMC Hummer in the near-future, there are serious question marks surrounding this full-size electric utes. Buyers of these big vehicles are still overwhelmingly preferring petrol engines in the US and the electric market remains soft with seemingly no sign of any turnaround in the near-future.

In Australia, the growing number of US utes, which also includes the Ram line-up and the Toyota Tundra, grew by more than 20 per cent in 2023 but still only accounted for slightly more than 10,000 sales. 

In the first quarter of 2024 sales are up more than 16 per cent as the F-150 and Tundra have become more available, but even so the idea of adding a significantly more expensive electric-version of these utes would seem like a difficult business case for any of the car companies.

Instead, it appears the F-150 Lightning, and any future electric utes, will likely remain the domain of third-parties like AusEV and AMQ.

Stephen Ottley
Contributing Journalist
Steve has been obsessed with all things automotive for as long as he can remember. Literally, his earliest memory is of a car. Having amassed an enviable Hot Wheels and Matchbox collection as a kid he moved into the world of real cars with an Alfa Romeo Alfasud. Despite that questionable history he carved a successful career for himself, firstly covering motorsport for Auto Action magazine before eventually moving into the automotive publishing world with CarsGuide in 2008. Since then he's worked for every major outlet, having work published in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Drive.com.au, Street Machine, V8X and F1 Racing. These days he still loves cars as much as he did as a kid and has an Alfa Romeo Alfasud in the garage (but not the same one as before... that's a long story).
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