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America’s Top Selling Pick-up Truck goes Electric as Ford Launches Electric F-150 Lightning

The United States of America is the biggest market for pick-up trucks. According to a survey, 3 million mid-sized and full-sized pickup trucks were sold in the USA in 2020, a 5% drop from 2019. And for close to 40 years now, there has been just one name at the top of the charts in this segment – Ford F-150. The immensely popular truck from Ford’s F-series has seen numerous challenges over the years, but it has managed to overcome them all. However, the recent revolution in the automobile industry posed a unique challenge to this best-seller – electrification. As of 20th May 2021, however, Ford may just have overcome this challenge as well. The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is here in the form of an all-electric pickup truck.

The Glittering Ford F-150 Lightning Launch

Ford launched the Ford F-150 Lightning through a virtual event yesterday. The event included a promotional video of the F-150 Lightning, with the actual unveiling of the vehicle to follow. After that, a feature walkthrough followed, after which Ford also discussed the electric vehicle lineup. You can watch the entire video here:

Ford F-150 Lightning: Overview

The first look of the F-150 Lightning is quite similar to its combustion model, but it accelerates to 60 mph (96.5 kph) quicker than the gas counterparts. The dimensions are more or less similar to the combustion models as well. Ford will offer two battery options, which they are yet to reveal. The company estimates that the Standard Range battery pack will go 230 miles (370 km). The Extended Range battery option will travel 300 miles (483 km) between charging breaks. A 150-kilowatt DC fast charger can add 54 miles (87 km) of range in 10 minutes, and charge from 15 to 80% in 41 minutes. Of course, in tandem with the 2021 trend, it will offer bidirectional charging, meaning it can power your home with a 9.6 kW output for up to three days.

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Ford F-150

The smaller pack combines with the dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain to give 426 hp of output. The same powertrain with the larger battery is capable of churning out 563 hp. Both will have a torque output of 1054 N-m.

Variants and Pricing

Ford has currently announced three variants for the F-150 Lightning. The electric version of the most popular truck will start at $55,000, and with all options loaded for the premium variant, go as high as $90,000. The three variants have been explained below.

Ford F-150 Electric
XLT (red), Lariat (blue), and Platinum (silver)

XLT ($55,000 estimated)

The XLT model will be the base model for the average American user. It comes standard with the Standard Range battery, but the larger pack is optional. It has standard 18″ aluminium wheels, while 20″ dark grey wheels are optional. The F-150’s new 12.0-inch touchscreen is the only choice. Cloth seats are standard, and heated seats are optional. The XLT gets the 2.4-kW ProPower Onboard system as standard, and an additional 9.6-kW version is an option.

Lariat ($59,000 estimated)

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Like the XLT, the Lariat comes standard with the Standard Range Battery, and the Extended Range pack is optional. Lariat models have grey 20-inch wheels. All Lightning models come standard with fixed running boards, but the Lariat and Platinum have available retractable running boards and a power tailgate. The Lariat comes standard with heated and cooled leather seats and the 15.5-inch vertically oriented touchscreen that uses Ford’s Sync 4A infotainment system. An eight-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system is standard. There is also a function that allows you to use a phone as a key.

The Lariat models come standard with the 9.6-kW ProPower Onboard, while Ford’s Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 is standard.

Platinum ($70,000 estimated)

Platinum models are fully loaded and are only available with the Extended Range battery pack and 9.6-kW ProPower OnBoard. They ride on 22-inch wheels with black accents. Other features include Nirvana leather heated and ventilated seats with black stripes, the larger (15.5-inch) touchscreen, and an 18-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Apart from these three, there will also be a base model later on, which will start at $42,000.

How Far will an Electric F-150 go under Heavy Towing Conditions?

Ford’s estimated figures of 230 and 300 miles of range for the Standard and Extended Range are for lightly loaded conditions. But one of the primary functions of a pickup truck is to haul heavy loads.

Normally, a 75 mph (121 kph) highway test yields a range of around 20% less than the EPA-rated results. If we consider the same for the F-150 Lightning, it puts the range between 180 and 240 miles (290 to 386 km). A recent test with an electric truck pulling a 1750-kg trailer at 70 mph (113 kph) cut the range in half. This would put the F-150 at 90 to 120 miles (145 to 190 km). Given that Ford has announced a 10,000-pound (4535-kg) towing capacity, one can easily estimate a double-digit range while hauling heavy loads.

Our Opinion

Ford may do with the electric pickup segment what it has done with the combustion market. Pickup trucks are the biggest segment in terms of sales and market value in the United States, and Ford has dominated this segment with some crazy consistency. 39 years at the top is a crazy stat, and the Lightning version may just put them atop the electric side of this segment as well.

Starting at $42,000, the Ford F-150 may just revolutionize the electric pickup truck market, just like it has done for the combustion segment. It undercuts the rivals such as Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer in terms of price, although both these vehicles have something unique to offer. We will be covering the comparison between the Ford F-150 Lightning and its rivals soon, so watch this space.

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Mihir Tasgaonkar
A mechanical engineer who loves reading and writing about new technologies in the automobile industry.

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