Ford's commitment to all-electric vehicles will take another big jump in 2022. In 2021, Ford introduced the Mustang Mach-E SUV; in 2022, the company will begin selling the Ford F-150 Lightning, an all-electric version of the best-selling pickup in America. In addition, the auto firm is working on an electric Lincoln car with Rivian, an electric vehicle start-up. Ford has also entered into a partnership with Volkswagen to use VW's battery technology in an electric car projected for 2023.
The F-150 may not be the first electric pickup—Tesla has the electric Cybertruck and General Motors has an electric Hummer pickup slated for release in late 2021—but Ford is making it clear that it intends to lead the parade in the electric vehicle industry.
Power and Performance
All F-150 Lightning pickups will come standard with two electric motors, one for front wheels and one for the back, providing all-wheel drive power and a choice of battery systems. According to Drew Dorian, author of the Car & Driver article, "2022 Ford F-150 Lightning", the standard-range battery combines with the motors to produce 426 horsepower and an estimated EPA range of 230 miles. The extended-range battery will generate 563 horsepower and range estimate of 300 miles. Both power systems can produce an impressive peak torque of 775 lb-ft.
The official towing capacity of the extended-range battery model is 10,000 pounds. The standard-range battery towing capacity is limited to 7,700 pounds. The current estimated payload capacity for standard-range battery F-150 is 2,000 pounds, while the estimated payload capacity of the extended-range battery model is slightly less at 1,800 pounds because of the battery weight difference. The Verge article, "Ford F-150 Lightning Revealed: An Electric Truck for the Masses" by Sean O'Kane, states, "That's good enough to make it the quickest F-150 ever made, with the ability to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in the mid-4 second range."
Charging Coverage Nationwide
In 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, the company announced it will be "offering an ecosystem of charging solutions" so drivers are not left stranded on the job, at home, on the road, or off the road. All Ford electric vehicles come with the 32-amp Ford Mobile Charger, which requires no special station and operates from a 120-volt or 240-volt outlet. The 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro, which provides 30 miles of range per charging hour and a full charge overnight, is standard with the extended-range battery models.
Based on publicly announced charging networks data provided to the Department of Energy by original equipment manufacturers (OEM)/automotive manufacturers, F-150 Lightning drivers have access to the largest charging network (currently more than 63,000 charging plugs) in North America through FordPass. Drivers can use FordPass Power My Trip to map out favorite routes in conjunction with fast charging station locations, taking into account the vehicle's current charge level.
The 150-kilowatt DC fast charging stations identified by Power My Trip are the quickest option for recharging all-electric vehicles. The 150kW DC stations, according to Ford, can provide 54 miles of range charge in just 10 minutes and can charge a Lightning with the extended-range battery from 15 percent to 80 percent of battery capacity in 41 minutes. The F-150 standard-range battery will take 44 minutes to charge from 15 percent to 80 percent at a rate of 41 miles in 10 minutes.
Ford's Intelligent Range system is intended to reduce driver anxiety by considering weather, traffic, grade, towing and payload weights, and other factors in calculating the remaining mileage range of the Lightning battery. Intelligent Range also adjusts range predictions for such factors as mountains and other terrain to keep the driver updated and informed.
Advancing Safety and Driver Assist Technology
Like all new F-150 models, the Lightning will include Ford's Co-Pilot 360 2.0 suite with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, lane keeping assistance, parking obstruction warning, and rear automatic braking as standard. Adaptive cruise control, lane centering assist, and Speed Limit Sign recognition is available in the Lariat model. Lighting pickups also can be started with an available activated Phone As A Key FordPass feature without getting out your phone or key fob.
BlueCruise, a hands-free driving active drive assist, will be standard in Platinum Lightning models. BlueCruise requires a specific hardware package that uses a driver-facing infrared camera to monitor the driver, making sure the driver watches the road. As reported by Edmunds in the "2022 Ford F-150 Lightning" article, Ford has mapped more than 100,000 miles of divided highways across the country where BlueCruise can be used to control the truck's steering, acceleration, and braking to ease the stress of long-haul driving. BlueCruise will be an available option on Lariat Lightning F-150s.
The FordPass Connect modem is connected Ford's network when you purchase a Lightning. The connection, which can be disabled, permits sending diagnostic data to Ford. This connection will allow F-150 Lightning owners to download over-the-air software updates, which Ford calls Power-Ups, for enhancing the future capability and convenience of the pickup. These software updates can also lengthen the longevity of F-150 Lightning ownership, because safety technology innovations and other upgrades can make the initial Lightning pickups better than they are when sold.
Exterior Styling and Productivity Benefits
The styling of the new F-150 Lightning, available only as a crew-cab, has a futuristic design and is more aerodynamic than regular F-150s, according to the "Ford F-150 Lightning EV Has a 300-Mile Range and Could Power Your Home" article by Jeff S. Bartlett of Consumer Reports. It also sports some changes in the hood with three available grille options. The electric pickup comes with running boards and dynamic horizontal LED lighting all the way across the top of the grille.
The Lightning will be available in only four trim models—Pro, XLT, Lariat and Platinum—rather than the normal six. In the Verge article, "Ford's F-150 Lightning Pro is an electric pickup truck for businesses," author Sean O'Kane reports, "…the Lightning Pro will come with Ford's commercial telematics software, which makes it easier for fleet owners to keep tabs on the location, charging status, or health of their vehicles."
Similar to other new F-150s, the tailgate of the 5.5-foot bed is constructed of durable composite materials to serve as a work surface. The handy tailgate has clamp pockets, tailgate tie-downs, a grained low-slip surface, rulers, a mobile device holder, a cup holder, and other small item storage. Four 120-volt outlets and one 240-volt outlet are in the bed to provide power for heavy duty tools on location.
Handy Interior and Tech Features
Like other F-150s, the Lightning features the foldaway gear selector and arm rest to create a flat work surface with a 4G LTE wireless hotspot nearby. The front seats recline more deeply than in other F-150s allowing for napping, for example, while the all-electric vehicle is being re-charged. Connectivity is provided by SYNC®4 technology and a 12-inch touchscreen in the Lightning Pro and XLT models. The Lariat and Platinum models of the Lightning feature SYNC® 4A with a 15.5-inch touchscreen and enhanced voice recognition to apps, navigation, and cloud-based connectivity.
Owners of the new F-150 Lightning will especially like the convenience of the large storage space under the hood, quickly becoming known as a "frunk." The power lifted-hood with the grille is weather resistant with two USB charging ports along with the four 120-volt outlets inside the frunk. The frunk also contains the Standard 2.4kW Pro Power Onboard generator or the available 9.6kW onboard backup power source. The available Intelligent Backup Power option in the Lightning with a fully charged battery can provide full electric power to a home for up to three days, or as long as 10 days if power is rationed. These estimates are based on the use of 30 kWh per day provided by F-150 Lightning with the extended-range battery.
Off-Road Performance Ready
The F-150 Lightning has gone through the same rugged durability testing as other recent F-150s with the military-grade aluminum body. The Lightning, however, has upgraded frame support and improved stability that comes from a low center of gravity and independent rear suspension. The dual in-board motors and battery are shielded with full-length metal skid plates for underbody protection.
Lucas Cooney of Off-Road.com in F-150 Lightning Electric Truck: Everything We Know, writes, "…the F-150 Lightning comes with a 4x4 system featuring four selectable drives modes: Normal, Sport, Off-Road and Tow/Haul." The Lightning also has a direct drive transmission with a state-of-the art liquid cooling system "that expertly manages heat distribution across the vehicle."
The Lightning is also equipped with an electronic-locking rear differential, hill descent control, full- and all-terrain tires. The Inside EVS article, "Ford F-150 Lightning Test Ride: Best-Selling Pickup Goes Electric," by Jordan Schiefer (published by Eric Loveday) conveys that, "The F-150 Lightning is very off-road ready…."
Available Towing and Hauling Electronics
Ford engineered the F-150 Lightning with smart electronics for making towing easier than ever before. Available Lightning towing assistance packages include Pro Trailer Hitch Assist, Smart Hitch, Pro Trailer Backup Assist, Trailer Reverse Guidance, and Onboard Scales.
Pro Trailer Hitch automatically controls the pickup steering wheel, throttle and braking to align the hitch ball and trailer coupler. The driver holds down a button and controls the gears until the coupler and ball are aligned. An alert helps to ensure the coupler clears the hitch ball. Smart Hitch can then measure the tongue weight and provide guidance for hitch overloading and weight distribution on the center dash screen or FordPass App. The truck indicates if the hitch weight is too low or high and provides guidance for tensioning the hitch.
The Pro Trailer Backup Assist features a control knob that the driver rotates in the direction the trailer should go. Pro Trailer Backup Assist responds accordingly to back the trailer in desired direction. Extra assistance can be provided with the Trailer Reverse Guidance system by enhancing the visibility with cameras in the sideview mirrors. Visual guides in the center screen also provide a clear view of the trailer direction.
With available Onboard Scales technology, the payload weight can be measured based on the specific capability of the F-150 Lightning. The actual payload weight can be displayed on a mobile phone using FordPass or on the truck's center touchscreen. Using the Scale mode, the system zeros out the current load and allows for weighing additional items loaded in the bed.
Future Impact on Fuel Savings
The Consumer Reports article, "Ford F-150 Lightning EV Has a 300-Mile Range and Could Power Your Home" by Jeff S. Bartlett, emphasizes, "The stakes are high for the F-150 Lightning, not only for Ford but also for the environmental movement. If Ford could transition even a small number of its many F-150 customers a year into electric vehicles, the collective fuel savings would be significant."
Consumer Reports driving tests show the F-150 crew-cab 4WD with the 2.7-liter V6 averages better than 19 mpg overall. Consumer Reports suggests the typical owner drives about 12,000 miles, which means that an F-150 truck typically consumes about 645 gallons annually. If 400,000 F-150 truck owners—roughly half as many of the F-Series trucks sold by Ford annually—switched to the F-150 Lightning, 258 million gallons of gasoline could be saved per year. The author concludes, "The fuel-economy benefits of moving the F-150 from gas to electric far outshine changes to any other single model on the market because of its massive sales volume and relatively modest fuel economy (compared with cars and most SUVs)."
Ford also estimates scheduled maintenance costs for the F-150 Lightning will be more than 40 percent less than the average recommended maintenance costs for a gas-powered 2.7L EcoBoost F-150 over 8 years/100,000 miles (whichever comes first). This analysis reflects Ford Motor Company's standard method for calculating scheduled owner's manual maintenance costs, as reflected in 2020 data.
As a result, the Ford Protect Extended Service Plans for the all-electric F-150 Lighting, like the Mach-E Mustang, will cost less than a gas or diesel model service contract. Check this out for yourself by using our Quick Quote feature and see the cost differences between a gas-operated Mustang quotes and a comparison quote for the new all-electric Mach-E Mustang.