All-electric Ford F-150 Lightning hits earth for as little as $32,500
It's an all-electric version of America's best-selling vehicle, and it's engineered and priced to lift that best seller into a new era. It's the all-electric F-150 Lightning, which debuts after years in the making. The fully electrified workhorse and mobile power station arrives with more quickness than a Raptor, two battery options for up to 300 miles of range, loads of handy tech, and enough trims and options to masterfully take on everything from grimy, sweaty workaday duties to camper-hauling open-road adventure. Oh, and the price isn't nearly the gut punch we thought it'd be.
The Lightning drops the traditional Ford engine options in favor of front and rear transverse-mounted fixed-magnet AC electric motors with sights on up to 563 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque — the most torque ever offered on an F-150, available the second your right foot twitches.
F-150 Lightning numbers remain preliminary estimates, but Ford looks forward to 0-60 mph acceleration in the mid-four seconds, teamed with up to 2,000 pounds (907 kg) of payload and up to 10,000 pounds (4,535 kg) of towing. Top acceleration and payload will require the extended-range battery, while max payload will rely on the smaller, lighter standard-range option. Those battery options have targets of 230 and 300 miles (370 and 483 km) of EPA-estimated range, respectively.
"F-150 Lightning delivers everything we’ve said electric vehicles can offer, plus the capability expected from a Built Ford Tough truck — not just near-instant torque but powerful towing and hauling customers can depend on," Kumar Galhotra, Ford president of Americas and International Markets Group, promised during Wednesday night's reveal.
With those type of hard-nosed customers in mind, Ford plans to launch the commercial-oriented 2022 base model at $39,974, before federal or local tax incentives. Factor in a possible $7,500 US federal tax credit, and buyers drive away for as little as $32,474, not such a tall climb from the $28,940 base price of the 2021 F-150 XL. Ford plans to sell the mid-series 2022 F-150 Lightning XLT for a starting price of $52,974, before incentives. The 2021 F-150 XLT starts at $35,050 but is, of course, not eligible for EV incentives.
The Lightning's dual motors deliver standard 4x4 with four-selectable modes, and Ford speaks of the e-pickup as though it shouldn't miss a beat when off-roading. The new independent rear suspension teams with the natural low center of gravity of the electric packaging to improve isolation from rough road, enhance ride stability and cut down on body roll. The lithium battery gets sheathed in a waterproof casing cushioned by crash-absorption protection and further protected by metal skid plating that also protects the motors.
Looks-wise, the 232.7-in (591-cm) Lightning doesn't present the level of variation we thought it might after seeing the shadowy teaser photo, but it distinguishes itself with full-width, crisp-cornered LED light bar front and rear lighting signatures, three distinct grille designs, and "Lightning" badges. It's laid out with a SuperCrew cab and a 5.5-foot (1.7-m) bed and stands atop a 145.5-in (370-cm) wheelbase, a military-grade aluminum alloy body planted on a high-strength steel frame reinforced for carrying the battery pack. Ford promises that the cab and bed dimensions remain identical to the standard F-150.
The real differentiation happens when you power-pop the snout-like hood with integrated grille and reveal the "Mega Power Frunk" that serves as something of a stowage counterpart to the pickup bed in back. Ford targets 400 liters of lockable volume and 400 pounds (181 kg) of payload, suggesting its frunk will capably carry a checked bag and two carry-ons to the airport or two sets of golf clubs to the links. The space includes four electrical outlets and two USB ports to tap into the battery and a floor drain plug to double up as a big, ol' cooler for tail/frunk-gating parties.
When it comes to usable power, the F-150 Lightning works like a massive battery bank on wheels. Not only does it put out between 2.4 and 9.6 kilowatts, depending upon trim, for plugging in power tools, laptops, TVs, speakers, blenders, camping equipment and more out in the field, it also comes ready to power your home like a backup generator. The 80-A Ford Charge Station Pro that comes standard with the extended-range battery works with the included home management system to automatically power an entire house during outages, providing an average of between three and 10 days of power, depending on usage. Once the power comes back on, the truck immediately switches back to charging mode.
Ford will help with the installation of the 80-A charger and backup power hardware and plans to team up with solar company Sunrun so that customers can add solar power to their homes simultaneously. In the future, it will add intelligent power management that allows the Lightning to charge at off-peak hours and feed power into the home during high-cost, peak-energy hours to save money.
Using the 80-A charger, the extended-range Lightning can charge between 15 and 100 percent in roughly eight hours, adding 30 miles (48 km) of range per hour. Using 150-kW DC fast-charger, the extended-range pickup will add about 54 miles (87 km) in 10 minutes and charge between 15 and 80 percent in 41 minutes.
Electric power isn't the only high-tech component the Lightning brings to the dealership. Available BlueCruise driver assistance offers hands-free driving on 100,000 miles (161K km) and counting of US and Canadian highway. An Onboard Scales feature not only estimates onboard payload using the truck's sensor set but factors that load into the range estimate to provide a more accurate picture of how far the truck can travel. The Lightning tech suite will improve over time with standard OTA updates.
Inside the driver's door, the Lightning brings the Ford truck debut of the available SYNC 4A system with a 15.5-in touchscreen, natural voice control, cloud-connected navigation and wireless access to popular in-vehicle services like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa and SYNC AppLink apps. That center touchscreen is complemented by a 12-in digital instrument cluster.
Ford will build the F-150 Lightning at its all-new Rouge Electric Vehicle Complex in Dearborn, a planned zero-waste-to-landfill site. The e-pickup will begin rolling out to more than 2,300 EV-certified Ford dealerships across the US in Spring 2022, available in four series and the two battery options. Interested parties can reserve theirs with a $100 deposit today.
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The Lightning's battery addresses that. For that reason alone, it's a much better design.