Electric cars are a powerful weapon against climate change, but most Americans do not buy cars, they buy pickup trucks. The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for decades, and now Ford is making it electric.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning derives its name from the performance version of the F-150 sold in the 1990s and early 2000s. Instead of chasing the speed record, the regenerated Lightning’s mission is to convince truck buyers that power is the future, as well as to maintain Ford’s truck dominance while facing competition from older rivals and new startups alike. It is an extremely important vehicle for Ford and for the future of electric vehicles.
“When re-imagining the best-selling vehicle in America” [as] Electricity, you can’t pay attention. “Ford Battery-Electric Vehicle General Manager Darren Palmer said in an interview with before the truck appeared.” This is a turning point in electrification, we believe, in the US. “
However, Ford did not start with a blank sheet of paper. Lightning is based on the current generation F-150, which was launched as a 2021 model with gasoline, diesel and hybrid powertrains. The goal was to improve on that foundation, adding more power and no need to entice customers to switch the internal-combustion F-150. In a sense, Ford is competing with itself as much as it is competing with other electric truck manufacturers.
The Lightning uses the same cab as other F-150 models, but gets a separate grille and visually differentiated from wraparound LED headlights and taillights. Like those other models, the cab, bed, hood and fender are aluminum to save weight, while the frame is steel.
That frame is still separate from the body, like the internal combustion F-150 and every other truck Ford has built – going back to the Model T. This means that Ford could not integrate the battery pack with the floor as part of the vehicle structure, as in the Tesla Model S and many other EVs. The load on the pack would have been great anyway, Palmer told .
Instead, the battery pack is separated from the frame by its structure, which Palmer describes as a “protective cage”. There are also additional skid plates on the underside of the truck that protect the battery pack from colliding with obstacles during off-roading.
The interior is largely similar to other versions of the F-150, retaining features such as a folding shift lever, which turns the center console into a smaller desk, and the Max Recline seats, which fold the flat so you can Take a nap in your truck. .
However, Ford used the commonly used space for the engine known as the Mega Power Frunk. At a volume of 400 liters, with a payload capacity of 400 pounds, Ford claims that it is the largest frunk of any EV. It certainly takes care of the small plastic box you find in many other electric cars and has four power outlets, two USB charge ports, cargo hooks and a drain plug. Ford did not attempt to add enclosed storage space to other parts of the truck, such as Rivian’s Gear Tunnel, claiming that there is a huge enclosure that customers want.
High-end Larriet and Platinum models get a 15.5-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen from the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV, which runs on the Sync 4A infotainment system. It includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the entire vehicle accepts over-the-air (OTA) software updates. Previously seen on Lincoln luxury cars, drivers can use the smartphone in place of the traditional fob from the phone as a key.
Lightning also has some features designed to make towing and tipping easier. It has built-in scales, allowing you to check payloads in real time using the FordPass app and Pro Trailer Hitch Assist, which automates the truck with the trailer while controlling steering, acceleration and braking while the driver is monitoring Can align with the form.
Once the trailer is hooked up, drivers will also be able to use the BlueCruise driver-support system from the standard F-150. It can control acceleration and braking, keeping the truck centered in its lane on parts of the highway. Ford also uses the driver’s front camera to prevent distraction or misuse.
Lightning also gets a Pro Power onboard system from the F-150 Hybrid, which allows it to power devices or electronic devices using a battery pack. Because Lightning has a larger pack than the Hybrid, production increases from 7.2 kW to a maximum of 9.6 kW (depending on trim level), split between the cab and the outlet in the bed. Ford said that to avoid running out of battery, the Pro Power onboard can be set to turn off automatically if the estimated range is too low.
If electricity is lost then electricity can also run your entire house. If the truck is plugged in, bidirectional charging allows it to cut automatically when an outage is detected. Palmer told that the larger of the two available battery packs could power a home for three days – including air conditioning – running, or for 10 days with more conservative power usage.
The Lightning is by far the most powerful production F-150, and the fastest. According to Ford, the two electric motors (powering each axle) develop a combined 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque, which is zero to 60 mph in the mid-4.0-second range. This not only outperforms Lightning’s predecessors but also the current F-150 Raptor performance model.
Two battery packs will be available. Ford said the larger extended range battery pack, which will also carry a distance of 300 miles. The small standard range pack will provide an estimated range of 230 miles. Ford has not mentioned battery capacity, but based on other information we have, it appears that they will be quite large.
The Extended Range Pack comes with a 19.2-kW dual charger. It is a lot more powerful than the single onboard charger used in other EVs, but according to Ford, it still takes eight hours to go from a 15% charge to 100%. Lightning is also equipped for DC fast charging at 150 kW, allowing 15% -80% charging per Ford 41 minutes. The automaker will also supply a mobile charge cord that can plug into 240-volt domestic outlets used by larger devices, although with slower charging speeds.
Lightning has 10,000-pound towing capacity and 2,000-pound payload capacity (when properly equipped), which is lower than some gasoline F-150 models, as well as 11,000-pound towing capacity Rivian has launched its R1T Quoted for pickup. Tesla Cyberattrk claims to have a maximum towing capacity of 14,000 pounds and a maximum payload capacity of 3,500 pounds, but is far from production compared to a Ford or Rivian pickup.
Ford also offered a Lightning independent rear suspension, which is common in cars but unusual in pickups, which should give the truck a smoother ride on the sidewalk. For off-roading, Ford included an electronic rear locker and an off-road drive mode for the truck’s Terrain Management System (including the Normal, Sport, and Tow / Hall modes). Drivers can also switch between normal and one-pedal driving, which means less use of the brake pedal.
Pricing and competitor
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning starts at $ 39,974. That’s about $ 9,000 more than the cheapest petrol F-150, but the Lightning will get more standard equipment, including standard all-wheel drive. According to Ford, the range-topping version will cost $ 90,000, which is not uncommon for pickup trucks these days. Buyers can put down $ 100 to maintain space in the line, but production is not scheduled to begin until the spring of 2022.
This means that Ford will not be the first company to bring an electric pickup to the market. The Rivian R1T is scheduled to start production in June as the company’s first model. It is smaller than the F-150, and with a base price of $ 45,000, its target is higher for the REI crowd than traditional truck buyers that Ford is loving.
The Tesla CyberTruck was unveiled in late 2019 with stunning styling and some impressive specs. The Tesla accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and 500 miles with a tri-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain. However, it is unclear whether CyberTruck will enter production, or whether the production model will differ from the concept version.
Ford is also facing competition from arch rival General Motors. The 2022 GMC Hummer EV is expected to come with a claimed 1,000 hp later this year, but also a six-figure price tag. The upcoming Chevrolet Silverado is a close competitor to the EV Lightning, as the internal-combustion Silverado is the standard F-150’s biggest competitor. The Chevy Ford-beating is aiming for a 400-mile range, but has not revealed when the Silverado EV will launch.