The electric full-size Ford F-150 Lightning made its debut with a lot of excitement as the future of trucks. If you got caught up in the excitement, you likely missed some key details. So, here are the five things you need to know about this all-electric truck.
Ford F-150 Lightning price, audience
When this new electric truck hits dealer lots, you can expect to find a rather wide price range running from $40k to $90k, depending on range, trim and features. For example, Ford says a mid-series XLT model will start at $52,975 before any federal or state credits.
During the preview, Ford said the target audience is going to be younger and urban with a higher income. This makes sense when you consider the range, tech features and market for this electric F-150.
You’ll notice it is an electric F-150 by the front end with its LED lightning signature spanning across the top of the grille before curving around to the sides. Plus, three new grille designs will help it stand out even more.
Underneath the truck, the steel frame has been reinforced to handle the battery pack.
Range, towing, payload
The Lightning will come in two versions with one putting out 230 miles and another aiming for 300 miles. All electric trucks will have a crew cab configuration with the popular 5-foot, 5-inch bed length, and they will all have standard 4×4 capability.
Helping to power the truck will be the largest lithium-ion battery Ford has ever built, surrounded by a waterproof casing. It will have both skid plates and crash-absorption protection. Ford says they tested this battery extensively — even in -40 degree temperatures using advanced cooling technology for performance.
Charging the standard-range battery can be done with a DC fast charger, 220 volt and 110 volt — although the extended range’s dual charging systems makes this battery charge faster.
Ford says the battery charging times will vary as seen in the chart below.
Another cool thing about the charging is Ford is introducing 19.2 kW dual charging for the extended range truck allowing you to charge the battery from 15-100% in 8 hours, so you ideally wake up with a full charge.
Also, they say the truck can reverse power your house when the power is out through an available 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and home management system. Ford says it can help install this system through a partnership with Sunrun, a leading solar company. This means, the truck will serve as a seamless backup battery source, and when power kicks on, the truck will automatically stop sending power into the house. You won’t need to do anything.
Thus, in case of a power outage, the truck with an extended-range battery will power a standard 30kW house for up to 3 days (10 days with energy rationing). It is able to accomplish this using a 9.6kW Pro Power Onboard system (up from 7.2kW on the PowerBoost), using a combination of the 2.4kW power from the frunk and 7.2kW in the bed and cabin outlets, which is smart enough to alert the owner when the battery is getting less than 1/3 full — or whatever number the owner sets to be alerted.
The 9.6kW is standard on Lariat and Platinum models, while 2.4kW is standard on base models.
For performance, the truck with the extended-range battery is slated to go 0 to 60 mph in the mid 4 seconds, and it is targeted to provide 563 horsepower, 775 pound-feet of torque. The maximum payload is 2,000 pounds for the standard-range trucks, and 1,800 for the extended-range. The maximum towing capacity of 10,000 pounds is for the extended-range model with a Max Trailer Tow package.
Ford says the lower center of gravity, with the battery below the cabin, will make the Lightning a more confident towing truck.
The truck will use dual in-board electric motors with an independent rear suspension allowing for greater wheel articulation on trails and a smoother ride than a traditional solid axle.
About that frunk
With an electric vehicle, you typically see the engine compartment turned into a storage area, and Ford has really gone all out on the F-150 Lightning to make this happen.
The Mega Power Frunk, as they are calling it, is wide enough for suitcases, golf bags and can handle up to 400 pounds of payload with D-rings to secure the load. Plus, it’s easy to spray out and clean with a built-in drain plug for emptying water and debris.
Additionally, there are four electrical outlets, two USB ports and the 2.4kW generator-style plugs like the PowerBoost.
It is ideal for a beach trip, camping or tailgating as you can now store and power everything from the front of the truck leaving the cabin empty for passengers and the bed free for hauling longer items.
The big news is inside the cabin a 15.5-inch portrait screen filled with technology and features. This will be standard on the Platinum and Lariat trims and will use the new Sync 4A interface designed to adapt to driver behavior.
This larger screen provides you with access to information from planning out your trip with charging stations to monitoring miles of range as well as helping you to determine how far you can tow.
With towing range a huge issue for EVs, Ford addressed this by creating a range estimator using the truck’s payload, towing weight and battery power to provide a real number of miles available. Plus, the system is smart enough to factor in speed, temperature and grade (with other variables coming) to determine how far you really can go.
Also helping towing, the truck will debut a new Trailer Hitch Assist, which will guide your truck’s hitch for you allowing you to easily hook up any trailer without having to mess around with pulling forward and backward to line up the ball just right.
Behind the steering wheel will be a 12-inch digital instrument cluster enhancing the cool factor of the technology in the cabin.
Finally, select truck models will be available with Phone As A Key, which works exactly as how you think it would. While keeping your phone in your pocket, it enables you to unlock and start the truck — just as you would with a key fob in your pocket.
As you might expect, the F-150 Lightning will carry over technology such as the 360-degree lighting, the fold-flat center console, Max Recline seats and Pro Power Onboard — with a bump up to 9.6kW for plugging items into the bed.
Plus, Ford’s BlueCruise, their semi-autonomous driving technology will make its way into the F-150 Lightning.
Finally, the truck will get over-the-air updates and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with Sync 4 — available in Lariat and Platinum models.
You can reserve an F-150 Lightning with just $100 down and the truck will be built at the newly redeveloped Rogue factory in Dearborn, Michigan.
Ford says it will be available in the Spring of 2022.
The bottom line on the Ford F-150 Lightning
In my view, Ford nailed what it needed to do to make this truck successful. Will it be a massive seller? Probably not, but the automaker will hit its mark for its target audience.
I see this as a great option for an urban dweller who needs a truck for trips around the city, an occasional camping trip and working around the house. It will be pricey to install all the home charging, but once you do, the savings from buying gas will cover those expenses, and in-home charging is really the ideal charging option.
Will it spell the end of ICE (internal combustion engine) F-150 trucks? Nah, it will simply open the truck market up to more buyers.