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The Ford F-150 Lightning’s Chief Engineer Linda Zhang

The Ford F-150 Lightning is a game-changer for the automobile industry. The company's signature pickup truck can now be powered by electricity, but not only that, you can power your home during emergencies with the truck battery, and you can plug your power tools into it. Ford's chief engineer for this project is Lunda Zhang, who immigrated to the US from China as an eight-year-old who spoke no English.

Outside of the terminal, her father had borrowed a car to drive the three hours from O'Hare to Indiana. The back door opened and Zhang plopped herself down into the seat of an automobile for the very first time.

"That was the first time I was ever in a car and it was just beautiful," Zhang says during an interview with The Drive. "I remember it was dark outside but there were lots of lights from the streets. Everything looked so new and so fascinating. And just to be in a car—it wasn’t even our car, it was a car my dad borrowed to come get us—it was just awesome. I felt like I was riding in a carriage, like the princess story almost."

She quickly became fluent in English, bolstered by popular TV shows like Reading Rainbow and Sesame Street, according to the Detroit Free Press. Soon, Zhang became indoctrinated in American culture. She learned about Coca-Cola and chocolate milk, as well as how the culture iconized automobiles. Specifically, she remembered being drawn to the Batmobile and the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo.

Read how Zhang became an automotive engineer and rose through the ranks to head Ford's electric truck project at The Drive. -via Metafilter

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