What Do We Know About the Ford F-150 Lightning?
Now that electrification has come to the best-selling vehicle in the country the EV segment is set to really heat up.
Ford has been a little late to the all-electric game, releasing its first EV, the Mach-E in 2020, but the company has finally released its new 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, an all-electric pickup, and the reviews are in: It’s impressive. Here’s what we know about the Ford F-150 Lightning.
An Electrified Pick-Up Truck for F-150 Owners
While the Rivian R1T was the first fully-electric pickup to the market, the Lightning has a lot more buzz. That’s no surprise considering that the F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for the last 40 years. While Rivian’s R1T is just starting to get into customers' hands after a number of long delays, the Ford F-150 Lightning is surprisingly on time, with production and delivery right on schedule. While GM also has an EV truck coming to market, the Silverado EV, it won’t reach drivers until early-to-late 2023, depending on trim. Of course, there’s also Tesla’s Cybertruck, which is still closer to vaporware than the real thing. All that aside, does the F-150 Lightning satisfy the traditional F-150 owner?
The high-tech truck definitely impressed us, and it’s no surprise the Ford F-Series has been the best-selling truck in the world for more than 40 years. The Lightning takes that legacy and does it justice with an all-electric powertrain. Check out our review for more driving impressions.
That’s thanks to the 580 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque that comes from the larger, extended range battery pack. Ford says that the Lightning will do 0-60 in under 5 seconds, which is quicker than the still-forthcoming Tesla Cybertruck and the very real Rivian R1T, and it’s the quickest F-150 ever made. That’s quick enough to be the first all-electric pace truck for NASCAR.
In addition to a solid range and plenty of speed, the F-150 Lightning offers up to 2,235-pound payload and up to 10,000-pound towing capacity (when optioned correctly), which is what traditional F-150 owners expect. While the weight (nearly 3 tons) and ground clearance (8.4 inches), may not match an off-road enthusiasts’ wish list, it can still ford up to 2 feet of water with ease. Plus, since it’s an EV truck, the F-150 Lighting gets one of the largest frunks in the industry with more than 14 cubic feet of space.
Range and Charging the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
Even at its base, the F-150 Lightning gets an impressive 452 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque with a range of 230 miles. It comes standard with all-wheel drive across the lineup and it’s powered by a 98 kWh lithium-ion battery pack nestled into the floor. That extended-range version of the Lightning, which is mentioned above, offers up to 320 miles of range powered by a larger 131 kWh lithium-ion battery.
There’s also the Ford Lightning Pro line which Ford has purposely built for commercial use. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates for the Lighting Pro put its range at about 300 miles per charge.
Ford says that the Lightning can take a maximum charge of 150 kW, which doesn’t allow the F-150 to charge as fast as the Rivian R1T or GMC Hummer, which can take up to 200 kW and 300 kW of charge, respectively, at a DC fast-charging station.
Ford also says that charge times from 15% to 80% can range anywhere from 41 minutes on a Level 3 DC fast charger to 19 hours on a Level 2, 240-watt mobile charger. Like other EVs, as the battery approaches 100% charge, charging time slows down. Ford also says that on DC fast chargers you can recover around 41 to 54 miles in roughly 10 minutes, depending on state of charge and peak charging times. Like other companies getting into the EV field, Ford expects that most owners will charge their pickups at home.
One key thing to note is that towing with an EV is similar to towing with a gas-powered vehicle and owners should expect that range will be noticeably reduced when towing with the Lightning, the same as it is with other EVs with towing capabilities.
Price and Availability of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning starts at $42,000 for the F-150 Lightning Pro, but as is typical with the Ford F-150, the prices climb rapidly based on spec, battery size and towing features.
As you reach the mid- and top tiers, Lariat and Platinum, the pricing becomes pretty steep–even with the addition of some decent technology and interior upgrades. These vehicles start around $68,000 and $90,000 respectively. Add all the bells and whistles you might want to the Platinum trim and you’re looking at a price tag that approaches $100,000. That’s on par with pricing you see for the top-of-the-line Rivian R1T, and GMC Hummer EV.
In addition to this, much like the rest of the automotive industry, Ford faces supply shortages and high demand for the Lightning. The most recent report showed that the F-150 Lightning was the best-selling electric truck in June, the first month the vehicle went on sale, according to a statement released by the company.
The Bottom Line on the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
As the EV wars heat up and more automakers jump into the space with innovative offerings, Tesla, the EV pioneer, is beginning to lose ground. The Cybertruck continues to be faced with production perpetually delayed as Tesla contends with factory capacity problems and ongoing quality issues.
Ford appears poised to dethrone Tesla and other EV makers as it wades into the space with its popular and powerful pickup. The company has publicly said it’s investing more than $50 billion in electric vehicles, and it has split its legacy vehicles and EVs into separate business units. All that indicates that Ford could eat Tesla’s lunch, even when faced with supply shortages. That being said, battery supplies (especially lithium), amongst other things, could really hamper EV production in general. We’ll have to wait and see how Ford and the F-150 Lightning fare in an increasingly crowded EV field.