The Ford F-150 Lightning has finally been revealing, giving us an in-depth look at Ford's first all-electric pickup truck. Obviously this is a very big deal, because the standard Ford F-150 has long been America's most popular car.
Ford clearly knows that, and has built the F-150 Lighting to almost completely mimic its gas and hybrid counterparts. Throw in an affordable $39,970 starting price, and a 230 mile range, and Ford could easily have just revealed 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.
Release Date: Early 2022
Price: From $39,974
Power: 2 motor, AWD
Battery range: 230 miles
0 to 60 mph: TBA
Smarts: BlueCruise autonomy, Android Auto, CarPlay, advanced voice control, Smart Hitch Assist, 'Phone As A Key' functionality
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That certainly matches Ford’s whole everyman schtick, and emphasises that the company isn’t trying to alienate its existing customer base with an extravagant take on the F-150. So here's what you need to know about the Ford F-150 Lightning.
Ford F-150 Lightning: Price and release date
The all-electric Ford F-150 is due to arrive in early 2022, and will be available in two configurations. The base model starts at $39,974 while an extended range model (with about 300 miles of range) will sell somewhere in the mid-$50,000s.
This means that the F-150 Lighting is going to be noticeably more expensive than the gas-powered 2021 F-150, which starts at $29,940. But it’s also cheaper than the current hybrid F-150, which will cost you a minimum of $42,840.
Electric cars are almost always more expensive than their gas-equivalents, and Ford hasn’t done anything to change that status quo. But an $11,000 price difference isn’t quite as bad as we’d feared.
Reservations are available now on the Ford website, with a $100 deposit.
Ford F-150 Lightning: Power and performance
The Ford F-150 Lighting is powered by two electric motors, which offers all wheel drive. Unfortunately we don’t know much more about what this means, because Ford hasn’t revealed any specs on speed or acceleration. However, Joe Biden guessed that the F-150 could manage 0 to 60 mph in about 4.3 seconds, at which point a Ford rep let it slip that it was probably closer to 4.4 seconds. That's pretty speedy.
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. Meanwhile the standard range model can carry up to 2,000 pounds of cargo, while the larger battery on the extended range model means it has a lower 1,800 pounds maximum.
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, while the pricier extended range model will offer up to 300 miles of range. Unfortunately Ford doesn’t appear to have revealed the size of those batteries just yet.
But while 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%.
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 you plug into a wall outlet and trickle charge your car if a faster charger isn’t available.
Ford is also letting drivers use their car as a “generator." In other words you can plug into the car itself and utilize the power of the battery to get things done. This is called Pro Power Onboard, and it basically means you can take advantage of 11 outlets scattered throughout the truck. They include four 120v outlets in the front trunk, two in the cab, and four in the bed, plus an additional 240v outlet in the bed.
The F-150 Lightning can also be used as a backup power source if your home power goes off. 9.6kW of energy can come from the car, which Ford says can offer up to three days of full-home power. Obviously you will need a Ford Charge Station Pro at home, and it’ll only work if the car is plugged in.
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 pretty damn similar to a gas-powered model.
Ford CEO Jim Farley even told The Verge’s Decoder podcast 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. That’s a lot, and is 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, Force 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 we can be grateful for. 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.
Naturally it will also have voice control options, connected navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and cloud connectivity as well.
But that’s not all. 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 the smart features either, and it comes with a hands-free driving assistance system called BlueCruise. The system will launch on 2021 F-150s and Mustang Mach-E later this year, and lets you take your hands off the wheel when you’re driving on the highway.
It’s not a fully autonomous feature, 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 a very long time, 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. So the F-150 Lightning is definitely one to watch as the months go on.
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