The FIRST Legitimate Shot in the Full-Size EV Pickup War
The Big Three, as we’ve always referred to them finally had to bend in favor of developing their own electric vehicles.
A ton of valuable time was spent bashing and laying mines and road blocks toward the likes of Tesla who seemed to be the only manufacturer that was “all in” toward the future of moving away from fossil fuel and toward something more sustainable. Not only did Tesla come out with groundbreaking vehicles and features, they used the platform to show that electric vehicles had some inherent benefits that cannot be matched with internal combustion power plants. There is the immediate benefit of torque on demand and sheer power from electric setups. This, if for no other reason is a strong argument toward the pickup being the most likely beneficiary of this side effect.
Obviously, Tesla has a head start in creating the mold for well running electric based vehicles. So the others such as Ford, General Motors and Stellantis (Chysler) have to catch up. The same growing pains the early adopters endured will have to be carried by the Big Three at this stage. Still its worth the price and pain of developing something from scratch. It must be done.
So of the three manufacturers here in the Union, the Blue Oval has moved fastest in actually putting their vehicles on the road. We’re not talking about sedans and specialty vehicles like Chevrolets Bolt or even hybrid versions. We mean placing an electric power plant into their bread and butter, best selling vehicles. Their full-sized pickups.
Recent looks at the Lightning show that it is very successful in adapting what people already love about their F-150 into the new age of electricity. Of course there are some growing pains and the range is impressive albeit suffering under towing load. But guess what, gasoline engines also suffer under the promise of an impressive tow load.
Firing the first shot against the rivals gives it an upper hand. The likes of the Silverado, Ram and CyberTruck are due to take their shot shortly. But until then, we can enjoy and learn from what we have in the F-150.
We’ll revisit this topic and the state of war between these brands soon.
F-150 Lightning Overview
Superpowers Only Electric Can Deliver
Ford F-Series, America’s best-selling truck for 45 years1, charges into the future with the 2022 F-150® Lightning™ pickup, elevated by all the advantages of electrification and packed with connected technology.
F-150 Lightning is the smartest, most innovative F-150 that Ford has ever built, with the freedom of a 10-kilowatt smart power plant on wheels, software updates that can make it even better over time and Built Ford Tough capability.
F-150 Lightning is the fastest-accelerating F-150 yet, with a 0-60 mph time in the mid-4-second range when equipped with an extended-range battery. Wickedly quick off the mark, quiet, smooth and exhilarating to drive, F-150 Lightning unlocks new capabilities for truck owners, like enough energy to power an entire home for up to three days2 if needed and a massive lockable Mega Power Frunk with power and charging capabilities.
All this is backed by proven Built Ford Tough F-Series durability and capability and the largest public charging network in North America.3
F-150 Lightning is a powerhouse with available 580 horsepower, improved since the truck’s reveal, and 775 lb.-ft. of torque4 – the most torque of any F-150 ever. It has an available maximum payload capacity of 2,235 pounds (increased from the target of 2,000 pounds) in the standard-range model with 18-inch wheels, and a maximum 10,000 pounds of available towing capacity on XLT and Lariat5 trucks with the extended-range battery and Max Trailer Tow Package. The low center of gravity brings even more confident handling whether traveling along rain-slicked roads or through sand.
Smart, Connected – And Better Over Time
Packed with intelligent features, F-150 Lightning epitomizes how Ford combines advanced digital technologies with proven engineering know-how to create a truck that’s smarter and more productive. F-150 Lightning will stay up to date and constantly improve through over-the-air software updates, called Ford Power-Ups.
Ford offers F-150 Lightning owners an optional BlueCruise6 hands-free driving experience on more than 130,000 miles of prequalified divided highways across the U.S. and Canada. And the FordPass app7 provides seamless access to charging stations and remote vehicle controls.
Another example is available Onboard Scales, which uses the truck’s sensors to estimate payload and tell customers how much they’re hauling so they can utilize the full capability of the truck and adjust their driving style as needed. And since payload can impact range, Onboard Scales is integrated with Intelligent Range to help ensure F-150 Lightning gives an accurate range estimate.
Advanced Digital Experience
Lariat and Platinum series have SYNC 4A – a sleek, modern interface supported by a 15.5-inch touch screen designed to adapt to driver behavior. SYNC 4A employs natural voice control, cloud-connected navigation and wireless access to your favorite services: Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, integrated Amazon Alexa and SYNC AppLink apps.
Elevating the digital experience even further is the 12-inch instrument cluster, featuring a customizable interface that instills confidence by naturally surfacing key information. Animated graphics smoothly relay how the vehicle is performing in hands-free highway driving mode or how well power is coming back to the vehicle through regenerative braking.
“It really is the smartest F-150 we’ve ever made,” said Darren Palmer, vice president, Global EV Programs, Ford Motor Company. “F-150 Lightning gives our customers all the info they want in an instant – a real-time view of where they’re going, what they’re hauling or how much real-world range they’ve got banked. And with Ford Power-Up software updates, the experience is only going to get better.”
Stay Plugged in on the Road
Lightning gives customers the freedom of a 10-kilowatt smart power plant on wheels. With enhanced Pro Power Onboard, customers can take advantage of built-in electrical outlets to directly power a variety of tools, electronics, and appliances away from home. Standard on base trims is 2.4 kilowatts of power with the option for more, while Lariat and Platinum series come standard with 9.6 kilowatts of power – a combination of up to 2.4 kilowatts available through the frunk and up to 7.2 kilowatts through 11 power outlets in the cab and bed.
Smart features make power management easier than ever. Customers receive a FordPass app notification if their truck’s battery falls below one-third of its total range, and they can even set the truck to stop using Pro Power Onboard if the battery level approaches the distance to the nearest charging station.
With Pro Power Onboard, F-150 Lightning has the ability to charge other electric vehicles so no one is left stranded.
These capabilities are possible thanks to the truck’s next-generation lithium-ion pouch battery cells that features a two-layer battery design to pack more energy into the available space. F-150 Lightning offers two options: a standard-range battery with 230 miles of EPA-estimated range and an extended-range battery. F-150 Lightning XLT and Lariat trims with the extended range battery take you an EPA-estimated range of 320 miles while the F-150 Lightning Platinum has an EPA-estimated range of 300 miles. Fleet customers have the option to purchase the extended range battery on Lightning Pro and that has an EPA-estimated range of 320 miles.8
Revolutionary Power at Home
Debuting on F-150 Lightning is available Ford Intelligent Backup Power, turning your truck into the ultimate power source for your home. With the ability to offload up to 9.6 kilowatts of power, Ford Intelligent Backup Power keeps the lights on during an outage while providing security by powering home appliances, security systems and more.9
“Whether sheltering during a storm or trying to stay safe in a heat wave, customers can now use their truck to give themselves power when they need it most,” said Ryan O’Gorman, energy services business manager. “F-150 Lightning is built for seamless transitions between charging your vehicle and powering your house when needed – and Ford is the first in the U.S. to offer this capability on an electric truck.”
At home, F-150 Lightning, together with a home integration system, can power a house during an outage for three days and in time will be able to offer power back to the grid.
Home charging is straightforward with Ford preferred installation provider Sunrun†. Extended-range battery customers with an 80 amp Connected Charge Station Pro can get a full charge overnight on AC power with dual on-board chargers. Customers may also have the opportunity to install solar energy – enabling them to power both their home and charge their truck with clean, renewable energy.
Customers can contact Sunrun about installation and solar options ahead of delivery. To learn more about Ford Intelligent Backup Power and home requirements, please visit the Ford Intelligent Backup Power website.
Under the hood is a versatile, high-tech Mega Power Frunk offering dedicated storage space that’s secure, lockable and easily accessible by a powered open and close system. This spacious area offers 400 liters of volume and 400 pounds of payload – enough to stow two carry-on bags and one checked bag, or two sets of golf clubs.
Cleverly designed with bumper-height clearance for easy access, this water-resistant space comes equipped with four electrical outlets, two USB chargers and a drainable floor that can double as a food and beverage container. It can easily power a mobile work site or an epic tailgate. With 2.4 kilowatts of power, there’s enough capability to plug in power tools, TVs, laptops, speakers, slow cookers and more.
“The F-150 Lightning pickup’s Mega Power Frunk is one of those features that reshape what vehicles can provide for customers. It’s sheer size, ample power supply, drainable floor and open and close system that opens with the touch of a button make it frunking awesome!” said Linda Zhang, F-150 Lightning chief program engineer.
Built Ford Tough Comes Standard
Powered by dual in-board motors and with standard 4×4, F-150 Lightning can take on rough terrain with Built Ford Tough durability and capability. Along with a high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy body, a new independent rear suspension delivers improved ride comfort, while an all-new frame uses the strongest steel ever put in an F-150 frame and supports a maximum available 2,235-pound payload and up to 10,000-pound towing capacity7.
F-150 Lightning goes through the same tortuous Built Ford Tough testing as all F-Series trucks. The military-grade aluminum alloy body and upgraded high-strength steel frame support the advanced battery pack. The first F-Series independent rear suspension and low center of gravity help improve isolation from the road, provide a more stable ride and reduce steering roll – while maintaining the durability and reliability expected from F-150.
“Whether they’re hauling a bed full of firewood through snow or towing a trailer on a road trip, customers need to be able to rely on their truck’s performance,” Zhang said. “This electric truck has been engineered with dual in-board motors, which means it can take on rough terrain. Our team of engineers has run the same arduous test regimen our F-150 customers have learned to expect from Ford.”
F-150 Lightning boasts excellent off-road performance, with a 4×4 system featuring four selectable drive modes: Normal, Sport, Off Road and Tow/Haul. Rugged underbody protection keeps the battery safe, with metal skid plates shielding both the battery and inboard motors from tough terrain. The battery itself is secured inside waterproof casing surrounded by crash-absorption protection and has been tested at temperatures as extreme as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure Lightning can perform when needed most.
Rigorous endurance testing included running the truck through Iowa Hill, California, where it towed massive trailers for long durations up and down steep inclines. As a result, F-150 Lightning sports a state-of-the-art liquid cooling system and powertrain layout that expertly manages heat distribution across the vehicle. Improved cooling systems and components ensure the truck can thrive even in the toughest driving ordeals.
To help prove that F-150 Lightning is tested to have customers covered, Ford engineers took development trucks to two of America’s toughest real-world towing routes.
Ford engineers took preproduction F-150 Lightning trucks to what some call the world’s toughest towing test — TFLtruck’s Ike Gauntlet™ towing test – an 8-mile stretch of I-70 in Colorado that ascends at a 7% incline to a maximum elevation of 11,158-ft. above sea level around the Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel.
Towing in wintery conditions, however, is only one part of the equation. To prove the truck’s muster towing in extreme heat, Ford took the F-150 Lightning to the extreme grades of Davis Dam. With ground temperatures reaching a high of 118-degrees Fahrenheit during testing, F-150 Lightning preproduction units towed the same 10,000-pound trailers for multiple loops across the dam.
Ford engineers also spent two weeks in the heart of Alaska in minus 30-degree temperatures to continue fine-tuning the F-150 Lightning’s performance on low-traction surfaces like snow and ice, and in extreme cold to give customers maximum confidence.
Going Electric, Made Easy
Ford has your back when it comes to charging. Ford is the only automaker to offer an 80-amp charge station as standard equipment, helping customers easily charge an extended-range truck at home. This system takes advantage of the only dual onboard charging system on an electric truck in the industry for even faster home charging. With this, F-150 Lightning adds an average range of 30 miles per charging hour, fully charging an extended-range truck from 15% to 100% percent in about eight hours8.
Lightning customers have access to the BlueOval Charge Network, the largest public charging network in North America offered by automotive manufacturers.
F-150 Lightning takes the guesswork out of when and where to re-charge with FordPass Power My Trip, which identifies charging routes before even starting your journey. In the truck, Intelligent Range accurately calculates range while factoring in weather, traffic, payload, towing weights and more. Cloud-connected navigation on SYNC 4 also identifies public charging locations and prompts owners to charge at convenient points on each drive.
F-150 Lightning Pro is the first electric F-Series truck purpose-built specifically for commercial customers. F-150 Lightning Pro is offered through Ford Pro, a one-stop shop for commercial and government customers with a range of conventional and electric vehicles and a full suite of software, charging, financing, services and support on Ford and non-Ford products. F-150 Lightning Pro is backed with turnkey solutions for commercial operations, and Ford predicts commercial customers’ cost savings will begin from day one.
Distinctive, High-Tech Design
Building on the strength of the existing F-150 design DNA, Ford created a truck that epitomizes the toughness people love while adding a distinctly modern, high-tech flair. Key elements include available signature LED lightbars that run across the front and rear, plus three new grille designs that bring a bold new look to a familiar face while maintaining Built Ford Tough authenticity.
F-150 Lightning is the most aerodynamic F-150 ever10, with improvements like newly shaped running boards, a sculpted hood to reduce drag, and grilles that replace air intake holes with a smoother, textured surface. Even more functional design delivers available enhanced 360-degree Zone Lighting, which can light up a specific zone or the entire area around the vehicle.
And F-150 Lightning makes no compromises on space, with a spacious cabin and class-leading leg and shoulder room in the rear seat, maintaining the same cab and bed dimensions as its gas counterpart, so it remains capable of accommodating thousands of accessories already available. The available fold-out Interior Work Surface makes working inside the vehicle even easier and more productive, while available Max Recline Seats offer nearly 180 degrees of recline to help customers recharge.
Click here to learn more about the electric 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning pickup.