Written by Theo Koenig – June 08, 2021
Reviewed by Asaf Kedem
For those wondering why so many electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers have entered the pickup market, they need not look far. 2020’s list of top 10 vehicles sold in the U.S. include 5 pickup trucks, with the top 3 also being pickups. In fact, for an incredible 39 years straight, the Ford F-series pickup trucks have been the most sold vehicle in America. Dominating the American EV market will require a viable electric pickup, and Ford Motor Company will not be left behind. In a memorable unveiling that included U.S. President Joe Biden, Ford have now revealed the all-electric version of their top-selling truck – the F-150 Lightning.
Within 48-hours after the unveiling the F-150 Lightning hit almost 45,000 pre-orders, numbers only previously seen when the Tesla Cybertruck hit 250,000 pre-orders in 5 days. We’ve seen in the past the dangers of reading too much into pre-orders, but if these numbers are anything to go by, then these two heavy-weights will be the main contenders for dominant shares of the pickup market.
The Ford F-150 Lightning will come in 4 different models, each with different specs and most importantly, different prices. The base model, F-150 Lightning Pro, will start at $39,974 with more expensive models such as the Platinum, going up to $90,474. As is always the case with electric vehicles, the battery will be a decisive factor. Ford have tried to alleviate concerns by offering customers the option to opt for a battery range extension, giving the F-150 Lightning the following specs:
Both the standard range and extended range version of the Lightning can be charged on standard home outlets of 120V or 240V, for a full charge of 14 hours. However, Ford offers 80A-Pro Charging Stations to be installed in customers’ homes, decreasing the charge time for the Lithium-ion battery to 8-10 hours. Finally, for those of us lucky enough, the Lightning can charge from 15-100% in 44 minutes on a 150kW DCFC (level 3) charger. The Lightnings will also come with a backup power system intended to allow customers to use their truck as a power source for household power during severe weather and unpredictable events.
The Ford F-150 Lightning is powered by 2 electric motors, offering a system that powers torque instantly to all 4 wheels. The pickup also features independent rear suspension, which is not present in the combustion engine F-150 Raptor pickup. Onboard scales automatically calculate the estimated payload carried in the bed.
According to Ford, the F-150 Lightning will feature the largest front truck (frunk) of any all-electric pick-up with a reported 14.1 ft3. It should hold up to 400 lbs. (181 kg) of payload capacity – the equivalent of 8 bags of cement mix.
Another outstanding feature is the onboard power capabilities. The vehicle will feature four 120V outlets in the frunk, two in the cab, and four in the bed. The bed will also feature a 240V outlet, for a total of 11 outlets on board.
The interior of the truck will vary depending on the model. Seating materials vary from vinyl for the Lightning Pro to heated and ventilated Nirvana leather for the Lightning Platinum. The two higher-end models (Lariat and Platinum) will also be equipped with twin-panel moonroofs as well as 15.5-inch (40 cm) touchscreens.
Through the FordPass App customers have an array of different functionalities, starting with the Phone As A Key feature. Through the app customers can also isolate different zones of lighting, as the truck enjoys 360-degree lighting, including the inside of the bed. Beyond this, customers can calculate weight distribution and range estimations factoring in weather, payload, towing weights and more.
Auto Trendy’s take:
Convincing American pickup owners to switch to electric was never going to be an easy task. However, with the F-150 Lightning, Ford have a vehicle that is not only affordable, but also capable of rivaling its existing combustion engine pickups (such as the F-150 Raptor). Especially in terms of torque and acceleration, the Lightning blows the Raptor out of the water, while its payload and towing capabilities are very similar. Whether or not customers will be put off by the charge times and limited range, remains to be seen. Ford customers will have access to the FordPass Charging Network – supposedly one of the largest charging networks in North America, with a whopping 13,500 charging stations (although many labeled “coming soon”). Moreover, Ford will have the advantage of its vast dealerships network, which will not only help their sales but also benefit the servicing of its vehicles, especially as they look to add further charging points. And as opposed to many new entrants, Ford have decades of experience in the pickup sector and know what their customers want. Everything put together, the F-150 Lightning looks ready to dwarf its competition.