Ford just took the wraps off its all-electric version of America’s favorite pickup truck, the F-150. It’s called the F-150 Lightning (as you probably know), and it’ll go on sale next spring.
I realize a lot of my readers aren’t necessarily car people, but when such a ground-breaking piece of tech is unveiled, I’m compelled to cover it. After all, it’s my job to inform to you all on the most impressive technology we can buy.
And impressive this truck is. Ford’s gonna sell this thing for under $40,000 (starting at $39,974 before federal tax credits, to be exact). That’s plenty an incentive for buyers who would traditionally purchase a gas car to consider buying Ford’s electric F-150. It’s also chock-full of impressive features and specs, so I’m gonna do my best to summarize everything.
On the outside, you wouldn’t necessarily assume this is the F-150 with batteries instead of gas tanks. The taillights kind of give it away, but it’s otherwise a pretty traditional-looking truck. That means people who thought Tesla’s Cybertruck was obnoxious will like this vehicle.
Even stepping inside the F-150 Lighting, you’d feel like you were entering a modern gas-powered truck from Ford. The cab of the truck is essentially the same as before, with the same amount of room and seating. The most noticeable difference is a new touchscreen which powers the new Sync4A infotainment system.
Taking a step back though, this truck is all-too-familiar for anyone who’s ever owned an F-150. That’s a good thing. Ford needs this to feel as traditional and recognizable as possible if it wants to sell a ton of trucks.
The F-150 Lightning is powered by a pair of batteries, with one in the front and another in the back. Combined, you can get up to 300 miles of range out of the truck, with the lower-end model getting up to 230 miles. The added power also makes this vehicle incredibly snappy – or, “wicked” as Ford likes to say.
According to Ford, you can get up to a whopping 563 horsepower out of this truck, with 775 pound-feet of torque. You’ll be able to take off from zero to 60 mph in under 5 seconds, and you’ll be able to tow up to 10,00 pounds of cargo. What’s more, the truck can handle up to 2,000 pounds of payload.
This is a lot of power, and Ford will try to harness it all through unique features like this one: the ability to use your truck as a backup generator for your home.
If there’s a power outage, Ford Intelligent Backup Power can help keep the lights on and appliances running. From the company’s press release:
“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, electric vehicle manager, Strategic Partnerships. “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.”
Of course, you’ll need a way to charge the batteries in order to take full advantage of this feature, so Ford will provide an optional 80-amp Charge Station Pro to speed up charging from zero to 100 percent in eight hours. If you just plug into a standard 120-volt outlet, you’ll recharge at a measly 3 miles per hour, so the amp is almost a necessity.
You won’t always be charging at home, obviously, so Ford will help you find charging stations through its FordPass app. So long as you can find a 150kW DC fast charging station, you’ll be able to juice up pretty quick – Ford says it’ll take 10 minutes to add 54 miles to your total range.
When you’re on the go, you’ll also be able to harness the F-150’s power as electricity for tools, electronics, and appliances. Obviously, the company gives workers at a job site as an example, with the ability to plug in a drill at a moment’s notice. You’ll also be able to charge your phone or other accessories using one of the several outlets in both the cab and the frunk. There’s also some USB ports sprinkled in for good measure.
Moving inside, let’s talk about that big touch screen. There’s a big 15.5-inch panel on higher-end trims of the Lightning. Meanwhile, lower-end models will get a 12-inch panel which will be horizontally oriented.
For those wondering, it can give you some really impressive stats on your F-150 Lightning, like real-time estimates as to how much power you’re using when doing truck stuff like hauling cargo or going off-road. It can also give you information on how much your cargo weighs using built-in scales.
The F-150 Lightning is also smart, as you’d expect. There’s a new Pro Trailer Hitch Assist that can automatically adjust your truck to hitch to a trailer with ease. Ford’s BlueCruise, its own version of self-driving, will also be available.
You’ll also be able to use your phone as your key thanks to support for Ford’s Phone As A Key feature. Ford says it will deliver software updates to the truck over-the-air and consistently, which is the way things should be. In addition, you get LTE connectivity, support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with Amazon Alexa.
As far as the actual truck is concerned, there’s a ton of room here. Ford says the frunk (a.k.a. the front trunk) can fit up to 14.1 cubic feet of stuff, while the bed has the same amount of room as ever. The cab is plenty spacious with a sizable console, and the entire build is based on the same “F-150 design DNA,” according to the company.
Overall, this truck is new yet familiar, powerful yet unassuming, and will help usher in the next wave of electric vehicles. right now, Ford’s bets remain on the table as to how many people actually want an electric pick-up truck at this moment in time, but they’ll find out soon enough.