Release Date: Available Now
Price: From $39,974
Power: 2 motor, AWD
Battery range: Up to 320 miles
0 to 60 mph: Mid-4 second range
Smarts: BlueCruise autonomy, Android Auto, CarPlay, advanced voice control, Smart Hitch Assist, 'Phone As A Key' functionality
The Ford F1-50 Lightning is here, and we've been getting a really good look at Ford's first all-electric pick-up truck. Obviously the F-series has been America's best selling car for decades, so the fact it's taking the first steps towards electrification is a very big deal.
And Ford clearly knows why people love the F-series so much. The F-150 Lightning almost completely mimics its gas and hybrid counterparts, and is available with an affordable $39,970 price tag. Also on offer is up to 320 miles of range, and it looks like Ford may be set to release one of the best electric cars. Here's everything you need to know about the Ford F-150 Lightning, including release dates, range, features and more.
That certainly matches Ford’s whole everyman schtick and emphasizes that the company isn’t trying to alienate its existing customer base with an extravagant take on the F-150. Below is everything you need to know about the Ford F-150 Lightning.
Latest Ford F-150 Lightning news (updated June 15)
- A F-150 Lightning has been spotted being tested carrying a large black box in the trunk. It's speculated that this could be a removeable range extender.
- F-150 Lighting delivers are imminent, according to CEO Jim Farley, with Ford releasing a video (opens in new tab) showing the trucks being loaded into car carriers.
- Ford has started shipping the first F-150 Lighting trucks, and revealed the truck is actually more powerful than it originally promised
- The Ford F-150 Lightning has proven incredibly popular, so popular that Ford is taking steps to try and prevent the car from being resold by scalpers
Ford F-150 Lightning: Price and availability
The all-electric Ford F-150started making deliveries earlier this year and will be available in three configurations. The base 'Pro' model starts at $39,974, the XLT model starts at $52,974, the Lariat starts at $67,474, while the all-inclusive Platinum starts at $90,874.
The XLT and Lariat come with an extended range option which adds $20,000 and $10,000 onto their respective price tags. The Platinum comes with the longer range as standard.
This means that the F-150 Lighting is going to be noticeably more expensive than the gas-powered 2021 F-150, which starts at $30,870.
Reservations were open on the Ford website, with a $100 deposit, but the F-150 Lightning's popularity meant the automaker had to shut all that down. Ford CEO Jim Farley confirmed this was down to getting 200,000 orders, while full production capacity is 70,000 to 80,000 units. However Ford has promised to double this figure by next year.
The car is so popular that Ford has even taken measures to avoid after-market sales by scalpers, offering dealers the opportunity to have customers sign paperwork that would prevent them from selling on the car within the first year.
The first deliveries for the truck are already in progress, and Ford CEO Jim Farley tweeted (opens in new tab) out a video showing the trucks being loaded into car carriers. However the popularity of the truck means it may be sometime before yours actually arrives.
Ford F-150 Lightning: Power and performance
The Ford F-150 Lighting is powered by two electric motors, which offers all wheel drive. The truck is also more powerful that Ford originally promised when it was announced. The standard range model offers 452 horsepower, up from 426, and the extended range model offers 580 horsepower — up from 563.
Ford also revealed that both models will be able to haul up to 2,235 lbs of cargo — an increase from the respective 2,000 and 1,800 lbs originally revealed. The standard range F-150 will also be able to tow 7,700 pounds, while the extended range model can tow up to 10,000 pounds.
Ford still hasn't revealed official figures for the F-150 Lightning's 0-60 time, even after the truck has started being delivered. All we have to go on is that Ford estimates the time will be in the mid-4 second range.
Ford F-150 Lightning: Battery and range
According to Ford, the base F-150 Lighting model will offer up to 230 miles of driving range, from a 98 kWH battery, while the extended range models will offer up to 320 miles from a 131 kWh battery — that's 20 miles more than originally promised.
Some high-end electric cars have started to offer 350kW charging speeds, the F-150 Lighting is limited to 150kW DC rapid charging. This isn’t a bad thing, since 350kW chargers are pretty darn rare, but it does put the car at a disadvantage on paper.
Rapid charging the extended range model can restore 54 miles of range in 10 minutes and can charge from 15% to 80% in 41 minutes. The standard range model takes a bit longer with 41 miles of range in 10 minutes and needs 44 minutes to go from 15% to 80%.
Ford has also filed a patent for a removeable range extender, which would sit in the rear of the truck and offer extra power on trips where it's really needed. It's not clear if and when such a device might be released, but Ford has been spotted (opens in new tab) testing an F-150 Lightning with something that looks remarkably like the device in the patent.
The Ford F-150 also offers up to 19.2kW AC charging, which can fully recharge the car in around eight hours. The car will also come with a 32-amp mobile charger as standard, which lets users plug into a wall outlet and trickle charge if a faster charger isn’t available.
Ford will also be selling the 'Charge Station Pro (opens in new tab)' home charger, which will offer the full 19.2kW charging speeds the truck can handle. However you will need to have Ford's 'Home Integration System' for this to work, which will set you back $3,895 before installation costs. Add on the $1,310 price of the Charge Station pro, and you're looking at $5,200 worth of equipment.
As expensive as that may be, it's a bargain compared to the cost of installing a dedicated backup battery system in your home. The 13.5 kWh Tesla Powerwall costs $8,500, not accounting for installation or the fact Tesla won't sell you one without a solar installation.
But for that $5,200 you get to use the 98/131 kWH battery in your truck as a means to store electricity. That means you can use it as a backup power supply, in the event of an outage, or to sell back to the grid — provided your power provider offers this. Ford says the car can release power at up to 9.6kW speeds.
Ford is also letting drivers use their car as a "generator." This means other devices, and even other cars, can plug into the truck and draw power from the main battery. Inside are 10 120V outlets, as well as an additional 240v outlet in the rear bed. Ford also packed the truck with an adapter that lets drivers plug into and recharge a Tesla.
While using a car to recharge another car sounds like a joke, it has been put to the test with surprising results. According to a video from Out of Spec Reviews (opens in new tab), the F-150 Lighting was able to recharge five EVs overnight and still have power to spare.
Ford F-150 Lightning: Design and interior
If you like the current Ford F-150 design, then the F-150 Lightning should feel incredibly familiar. While some electric car makers want their EV range to stand out, Ford has clearly opted for the idea that you don’t need to fix something that isn’t broken. So, the F-150 Lighting looks darn similar to a gas-powered model.
Ford CEO Jim Farley even told The Verge’s Decoder podcast (opens in new tab) that "There are lots of flavors of soda, but there’s only one Coke, and there’ll be lots of electric pickup tricks, [but] there’s only one F-150."
In other words, Ford knows how iconic its truck is, and it’s not going to jeopardize that. Presumably it doesn’t want a “New Coke” situation on its hands.
There are some changes, of course. The front grill doesn’t need to allow airflow, so that has been redesigned. There’s also a continuous light bar on the front of the truck, which wasn’t there on the gas or hybrid models. But aside from those two things, you’ll probably only realize this is electric after noticing there’s no exhaust.
In terms of cargo, your front trunk has 14.1 cubic feet of space and can carry up to 400 pounds of stuff. It's why Ford is calling it the 'Mega Power Frunk.' The rear bed is the same size as other F-150s, which also means it should be compatible with any other accessories you might have or wish to buy.
Like many electric cars, Ford has opted for a large infotainment touchscreen, though like the Mustang Mach-E, this 15.5-inch display is portrait rather than landscape. The company also hasn’t ditched all the physical buttons, which is a much appreciated design choice.
That includes a physical dial built into the display that should allow you to control aspects of the car without taking your eyes off the road. Granted, this larger display from the Ford Mustang Mach-E is only available in the Lariat trim.
Naturally, it will also have voice control options, connected navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and cloud connectivity as well.
The inside also features a fold-out workstation in the center console, and the two front seats can fold completely flat. In other words, if you’re one to spend a lot of time in your truck, Ford is making sure the F-150 has all the things that can make it more comfortable and convenient.
Ford F-150 Lightning: Autonomous Driving and special features
The F-150 Lightning isn’t going to be stingy with smart features either. To combat Tesla, it will come with a hands-free driving assistance system called BlueCruise. The system was set to launch on 2021 F-150s and Mustang Mach-E later this year, but has now been delayed (opens in new tab) to sometime in 2022. The feature lets you take your hands off the wheel when driving on the highway.
It’s not a fully autonomous feature, however. And while BlueCruise can control steering and acceleration, it will also include an infrared camera to track the driver’s eyes and make sure they’re actually paying attention to the road.
The F-150 Lighting will also have Ford’s new smart hitch assist, which will make it almost effortless to hook a trailer up to the back. The truck also comes with a "Phone as a Key" feature, which will connect to your smartphone via the FordPass app and let you start the engine without having your usual key fob.
Ford F-150 Lightning: Outlook
It’s very clear that Ford knows who it’s targeting with the F-150 Lighting. The gas-powered F-150 has been America’s best-selling car for 44 years (opens in new tab), and Ford is making sure those loyal customers aren’t alienated by the switchover to electric.
So, we’re getting a truck that looks and performs the same as current F-150 models. That’s not to say it won’t also come with all the features you’d expect from an electric car, which is certainly going to work in Ford’s favor. Plus, as electric cars go, the base model isn’t particularly expensive.
The F-150 Lightning is definitely one to watch as the years go on.