The competitively priced, featured-laden electric version of North America’s most popular pickup launched to rave reviews in a prime-time showcase worthy of the F-150’s iconic status and expected market impact
Ford Motor Co. unveiled its fully electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck in a livestream from its Dearborn, Mich., headquarters on Wednesday evening — and the shock waves rippled through the auto industry and the commercial and consumer driving public long into the night.
The first fully electric edition of the world’s bestselling truck has a projected range of 370 kilometres and a raft of appealing features.
In the U.S., starting price for the commercially oriented entry-level model is just US$39,974, situating it among the world’s most affordable large EVs. In Canada, that same model will cost $58,000. An entry-level consumer version, the XLT, starts at $68,000.
Price is but one part of the story, however.
“For both Ford and the American auto industry, F-150 Lightning represents a defining moment as we progress toward a zero-emissions, digitally connected future… F-Series is America’s best-selling truck for 44 years, the backbone of work across the country, and a trusted icon for generations of customers. Now we are revolutionizing it for a new generation,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford, at the vehicle’s launch.
Given the F-150’s status in the industry, many are saying the hype is justified.
The Lightning is set to arrive at Ford dealerships in Canada and the U.S. in Spring 2022, joining the Mustang Mach-E and the forthcoming Ford E-transit cargo truck among the ranks of fully electrified Ford vehicles. Along with the XLT model, buyers will have two higher-end models, the Lariat and Platinum, to choose from. Larger battery versions will have a range of 482 kilometres.
The fastest F-150 ever
The F-150 Lightning will have a 2,000-pound payload and 10,000-pound towing capacity, as well as a targeted 770 lb.-ft. of torque and 563 horsepower. It also features a spacious “frunk,” with 400 litres of volume and 400 pounds of payload as well as what Ford describes as best handling of any F-150 model.
It also accelerates from 0 to 96 kilometres per hour in “the mid-four-seconds” range, making it the fastest F-150 ever produced.
In addition to its impressive driving specs, the F-150 Lightning is equipped with a number of high-tech features that make it one of Ford’s most advanced vehicles yet. Those include a 12- or optional 15-inch digital control screen on the dashboard and an intelligent range system that weighs truck payload, weather and traffic to accurately calculate the vehicle’s range.
The vehicle can provide 9.6 kW of power through 11 on-board outlets, and is also capable of automatically powering a home for up to three days during an outage through its Intelligent Backup Power system, according to Ford. The Lightning will also receive automatic updates through Ford’s Power Ops platform.
The Lightning features the only dual onboard charging system in an electric truck, and comes with an 80-amp charging station that is capable of charging the extended range truck from 15 to 100 per cent capacity in about eight hours. A 150kW DC fast charger can charge that same amount in roughly 41 minutes.
A presidential endorsement
The day before the big reveal, the F-150 Lightning caused a stir when U.S. President Joe Biden took the vehicle for a spin at a Ford test track outside of Detroit.
“This sucker’s quick,” the President noted of the EV’s rapid acceleration.
The F-150 Lightning will be manufactured at the company’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center at the historic Rouge factory in Dearborn. At the launch, Bill Ford described the newly revamped plant as the “the greenest plant in the country.”
With the launch of the Lightning, Ford joins the selective ranks of auto manufacturers offering a fully electric pickup truck. The Lightning is priced to compete with Tesla’s Cybertruck, set to hit roads later this year, and is significantly cheaper than Rivian’s R1T and GMC’s Hummer EV.
“It’s a truck that will usher in a cleaner future for our country, and it will fulfill our promise to our children and our grandchildren that our generation is committed to leaving them a cleaner planet,” said Bill Ford.