Electric Ford Lightning Finally Strikes

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
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electric ford lightning finally strikes

Lightning does strike twice, apparently, but perhaps not in quite the same way each time.

The Ford F-150 Lightning was once a hi-po street rod with power coming from a V8 engine. Now, however, the truck is all-electric.

We teased it last week, and President Joe Biden got to drive it yesterday, even breaking the embargo, and now it’s here.

The obvious name pun may be eye-rolling but the specs are not.

Ford is touting up to 563 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque — what the company says is the most torque ever offered by an F-150 — from an inboard front and rear transverse dual-motor setup. Four-wheel drive is standard.

There will be standard and extended-range lithium-ion batteries, with the standard battery making 426 horsepower and 775 lb-ft. The rear suspension is independent and the batteries are protected by skid plates.

The truck will come in SuperCrew configuration with a 5.5-foot bed. DC fast charging from 10 to 80 percent will take place as in little as 41 minutes, with standard charging taking between 10 and 19 hours depending on charger type and battery type.

Ford is targeting 230 miles of range with the standard battery and 300 with the extended-range. Sixty from zero should arrive in the mid-4-second-range with the extended-range battery, and the maximum towing capacity is listed at 10,000 pounds, again with the extended-range battery — in this case, with the addition of a max towing package. The truck will also offer a feature that helps drivers line up trailer hitches by assisting with throttle, brake, and steering inputs.

This truck might be the only one on the road with a “frunk” that has electrical outlets, UBS ports, and a drainable floor. It can also use onboard power to supply charge externally — Ford claims it could even power a home during a blackout. Over-the-air updates will keep the Lightning’s software current, and it will have Ford’s BlueCruise semi-autonomous driving aid. The FordPass app can be used to help drivers find the nearest charger, and Sync 4A infotainment will be part of the package. Buyers will also be able to use their phone as a key.

The next version of the Lightning goes on sale at about 2,300 Ford stores next spring, though you can reserve yours for $100 today. Four trims will be available, with the base work-truck starting at $39,974 and the mid-trim XLT at $52,974. Those prices don’t include destination.

[Images: Ford]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • JaySeis JaySeis on May 20, 2021

    We occasionally lose power to coastal weather so a backup is sweet. I commute 88 miles a day so that works. My boat weighs 5K and I tow it maybe 13 miles at the most. I can hide the bodies in the frunk while out dragging the showboat jacked up 3/4 tons for the win!

  • Red Miata Red Miata on May 20, 2021

    Happy to see Ford is making progress on EVs. I can see this being great for multi-vehicle households, where both a gas and electric pickup can be the two primary vehicles. But there’s still a long way to go, and talk of banning gas vehicles changes the EV backlash from unnecessary luddite-speak to well deserved complaints about freedom of mobility - something that was even referred to as a ‘Right’ in last night’s reveal presentation. Barring incredible increases in range and longevity over the next 15 years, a there’s a large percentage of people out there where an EV won’t meet the needs for business or pleasure, whether folks behind the keyboard want to accept it or not. In my line of work the number of times I’ve followed a pack of cars on 600+ mile drives across interstate lines is too many to count. Not all tradesmen, consultants and businessmen like to fly. And the moment you tell them they are forced to fly or add an extra day away from home onto their trip because of charging, there will be a hell of an uproar. As an example on the personal front that hasn’t been mentioned, not every family moving their kid to college is able to break a daylong hassle into multiple days to make it 500-600 miles round trip. Ever been to a big ten college move in day? There’s staggered drop off/unloading times, and no parking to speak of. Hotels for 50 miles out are fully booked. So unless every space in town and every space in roadside truck stops have fast charging, it’s a non-starter with only EVs. I won’t get into longevity and the effects on the used car market, but I have hope that battery replacement will be cost effective at 100k miles to keep good cars on the road. My point is, I’m for EVs, and I’m okay that progress takes time, but the moment you tell me a vehicle that suits my needs perfectly will be ‘banned’ when the competing technology isn’t ready, I will promptly tell you to go pound salt.

  • 28-Cars-Later Someone finally remembered what a coupe is over at MBZ.
  • 28-Cars-Later Pay more, get less!
  • 28-Cars-Later I could probably figure out whose that is and I can't imagine I haven't seen it before at one of the many PVGP mini or main shows because there are only so many of these things around.
  • MaintenanceCosts Range is enough for the intended use, but how many people who need a city runabout really want a 2-door? I'd much rather have a Honda E, which is of similar size, looks at least as good, but has (well-styled) back doors.
  • KOKing "Meant to replace both the C-Class coupe and E-Class two-door"So it's a CLK...